As part of my burgeoning interest in copyright issues, I’ve been paying more attention to the copyright notices included in various publications. Unlike the strangely long copyright notice that I expressed my amazement at earlier, here are some rather common ones that nonetheless display remarkable diversity.
- Here’s a pithy copyright notice that is deemed sufficient by its jurist-author.
- Compare that to this “everything but the kitchen sink” copyright notice below.
“All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form and by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer, who may quote brief passages in a review. Scanning, uploading, and electronic distribution of this book or the facilitation of such without the permission of the publisher is prohibited. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated. Any member of educational institutions wishing to photocpy part of all of the work for classroom use, or anthology, should send inquires to Grove/Atlantic, Inc., 841 Broadway, New York, NY 10003 or firstname.lastname@example.org” From Roya Hakakian’s Assassins of the Turquoise Palace.
Do you find the juxtaposition of the elaborately laid-out restrictions on the users — the “no ifs, ands, or buts” tone — and the exhortation to support the author’s rights to be rather dissonant? Isn’t it like reading a detailed list of instructions left to a babysitter which includes both “Talking on the telephone, watching TV, and eating food in the fridge or the facilitation of such without the permission of the bank (which owns this house) is prohibited” and “Please know that your support of these restrictions are encouraged and appreciated by the parents of the baby.”?
- Here’s a much less restrictive copyright notice, which reserves all its authors’ rights but then immediately make exemptions in those rights.
“All rights reserved. For noncommercial purposes only, this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior permission in writing from the publisher, provided it is reproduced accurately, the source of the material is identified, and the copyright status is acknowledged.” From NISO‘s Making Good on the Promise of ERM: A Standards and Best Practices Discussion Paper.
- Here’s a notice from the UK. How different it is! Consider the highfalutin and far reaching language on author’s”moral right”.
“All rights reserved. The moral right of the author has been asserted.
Except in the United States of America, this book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser” From Richard Fletcher’s The Cross and the Crescent.