Copyright 101

Brought to you by the US government: http://www.copyright.gov
Download the govt manual: US Copyright Basics (PDF file @ 670Kb)

WHO CAN CLAIM COPYRIGHT Copyright protection subsists from the time the work is created in fixed form. The copyright in the work of authorship immediately becomes the property of the author who created the work. Only the author or those deriving their rights through the author can rightfully claim copyright. Federal registration is not a requirement for protection.

WHAT WORKS ARE PROTECTED? Copyright protects "original works of authorship" that are fixed in a tangible form of expression [as in digital images]. The fixation need not be directly perceptible so long as it may be communicated with the aid of a machine or device.

NOTICE OF COPYRIGHT The use of a copyright notice ( 2002 John Doe) is no longer required under U. S. law, although it is often beneficial.

Use of the notice may be important because it informs the public that the work is protected by copyright, identifies the copyright owner, and shows the year of first publication. ... Innocent infringement occurs when the infringer did not realize that the work was protected [but a copyright notice voids that defense].

What name should you use in the copyright notice? The name of the owner of copyright in the work, or an abbreviation by which the name can be recognized, or a generally known alternative designation of the owner [like your eBay ID?].

How does this affect eBay Sellers?

eBay takes copyrights and trademarks seriously and therefore will investigate seller and VeRO (Verified Rights Owner) claims of infringement and copying.

For Copied auction texts and photos (includes a Report button):
http://pages.ebay.com/help/confidence/vero-image-text-theft.html

For Corporate Trademarks and Copyrights
http://pages.ebay.com/help/confidence/vero-rights-owner.html

Copyrights explained.
http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/copyrights.html

courtesy of shipscript
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