Page name: Copyright / Intellectual Property Links [Logged in view] [RSS]
2007-06-05 15:39:44
Last author: Rondel
Owner: Rondel
# of watchers: 7
Fans: 0
D20: 10
Bookmark and Share


These wiki pages are dedicated to helping Elftown members who want to know more about

Copyright and Intellectual Property


It has become apparent to some members of Elftown that there is a widespread lack of knowledge about the concepts of copyright and intellectual property. So, for those who want to learn more about these concepts, and for those of you who wish to teach or share with others what you do know, please feel free to participate in the discussion, and post any information and/or links that you might think might be useful to others.


Wiki Rules:

1. Please keep all page additions on topic, and maintain the basic format of the page as it exists. To propose any suggested changes, please contact the Wiki owner; if they seem like a good idea, and are in keeping with the page's intended purpose, they'll probably be adopted.

2. Please keep all comments to this Wiki page *on topic*. Casual chatter or off-topic conversation interferes with the intended use of this page, which is to serve as an informational resource, where people can use the comments section to ask questions.


Copyright Links


Copyright -- Myths vs. Facts



Supposed Copyright "Outs" -- clauses such as Fair Use, Educational Purposes, Altered/Derivative Works, etc.

* US Copyright Office -- FAQ entry on Fair Use
* Canadian Intellectual Property Office -- FAQ entry on Fair Use (specifying the limited range of contexts to which this clause applies)


How Much Must I Change Before It's Mine?

More on altered or "Derivative Works"
Just to be unmistakably clear, Derivative Works is a term which specifically includes ALL works made by copying and/or changing the work of another artist.

* The Berne Union for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Property (Berne Convention) -- this is the clause of this international convention on copyright which spells out (in no uncertain terms) the rights of the artist/author/creator of the work, with regard to ALL Derivative Works
* US Copyright Office -- this FAQ entry on Fair Use includes information on Derivative Works


Copyright Law SPECIFICALLY for Fan Artists/Fanfic Authors

* Chilling Effects Clearinghouse Fanfic Page -- "Not all fan fiction is a violation of law - the purpose of these pages is to describe for fan fiction authors possible legal problems, in the hopes that the writers can then avoid these problems. This page is a resource for legal information if you do receive a cease and desist letter claiming you’ve infringed someone's copyrighted or trademarked work." Includes specific sample cases in the FAQ, at:
  * -- presents specific examples, scenarios and detailed explanations which we hope will provide the FanFic author with information on what course of action he or she might want to take, whether it is removing the story from the Internet, ignoring a cease and desist letter, or calling a lawyer.


In support of Copyright and Intellectual Property Rights

* Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc.: Electronic Piracy
* Grey Day
* Copyright Clearance Center, Inc. -- Getting Permission to Reproduce Another's Copyrighted Works:
* Plus PSP -- Copyright Information (information I wish every graphic artist knew about copyright and digital art tools):


Copyright Alternative -- or -- Just what is Copylefting, anyway?

* RadGeek People's Daily -- Copyleft and Copyright: The Prospects for Liberty,
November 06, 2003
* Copyright vs. Copyleft, by Karin Turner Cooney
* Applying Copyleft To Non-Software Information by Michael Stutz, 97.06.11
* Wikipedia: About the GNU Free Documentation License (includes discussion of pros and cons)


Sample Alternative Licenses

* GNU General Public License
* GNU Free Documentation License
* Sample Copyleft Notice: Charles W. Johnson
* Creative Commons -- simple alternative open/limited licensing options
* Free Art License (English Version with links to other languages)


Understanding Intellectual Property

* Intellectual Property Demystified
* Rights For Artists: A glossary of terms pertaining to copyright and intellectual property
* Wikipedia's entry on Copyright


International Copyright Law Sites

* What Is Copyright? -- this site was written using the Berne Union for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Property (Berne Convention) as the main bibliographical source, and does not refer to the laws of any country in particular; most countries are members of the Berne Convention and the Universal Copyright Convention (UCC), which allow you to protect your works in countries of which you are not a citizen or national.

* The Berne Union for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Property (Berne Convention) -- full text -- as noted above, most countries are members of the Berne Convention, making this the exact wording by which your international rights (and those of other artists) are protected.

* More on the Berne Convention, from Wikipedia

Copyright Laws of Individual Nations

US Copyright Law Sites

* U.S. Copyright Office:

Canadian Copyright Law Sites

* Canadian Intellectual Property Office -- FAQ:

UK Copyright Law Sites

* Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988


Please feel free to add links, and if you have a link to information on the laws in a country or region that isn't listed, simply add a listing for that country or region, maintaining the existing format.


Please feel free to submit links and information to this page, if you have anything useful to contribute.

NOTE: Please keep all comments on this Wiki page *on topic* to the Wiki -- i.e., related to the subjects of copyright and/or intellectual property.


Username (or number or email):


2005-05-11 [Reene]: May I suggest adding a few links to various licenses that people may find useful? I notice the GPL is already listed, but having specific links to things like the Free Art License ( and the GFDL might be useful.

2005-05-11 [Rondel]: I'd be delighted to include the proposed links. Please post them here, and I'll add them as promptly as possible. Edit: I've looked up the GFDL and included it, as well as the English version of the Free Art License (with links to other languages). Please feel encouraged to provide other suggested links for inclusion in the wiki. :)

2005-06-10 [Rondel]: Thanks to [hanhepi] and [ArchangelGabriel] for the new additions to the Links! :) Keep 'em coming, folks!

2005-10-06 [Rondel]: My thanks to [Skydancer] for the latest additions to this page; I strongly recommend both of them, but for different reasons. The PlusPSP site page is an excellent overview of copyright, especially as it applies to many digital art tools, which are (to the frustration of digital artists everywhere) used, all too often, to steal the works of other artists & claim them as one's own, through slight alteration. The other, the Rights For Artists site page, is a glossary of relevant terms, an excellent resource for anyone confused by the terms they encounter in attempting to learn more about these issues. Read them! Learn! I hope they are of use to many.

2005-10-08 [Solid_Metal]: What is Elftown Published under and what is the date of that Publication?

2005-10-08 [Rondel]: I'm sorry, can you clarify that question? Elftown is published on the web, as are other websites; the laws which apply to it would be a combination of the laws of the country in which it is hosted, and the laws of the countries in which it is viewed. The date of publication, as with other continuously updated websites, is continuously renewed; it came into being some years ago (I don't remember exactly when, just at the moment -- post-2000), but it is published in revised form many times each day - revised each time it is updated in any of its elements. Does that answer your question?

2005-10-08 [Solid_Metal]: The question for the date was answered. The name of Publication is of no use to me any more. Thank You.

2005-10-08 [Rondel]: If you're trying to cite Elftown in a bibliography or footnote or some other such context, there's actualy a standard now for citing internet publications. It doesn't follow the same format as for physical publications, though; you can find it by doing a google search for "how to cite a website in a bibliography", or some similar set of keywords. I recommend using one of the college style guides, if you don't know which of the resulting links to go by. I'm not sure if this is what you were trying to do, mind you, I just offer the information to anyone who might find it relevant.

2005-10-09 [Solid_Metal]: I was trying to cite this website in APA format, but the information that I require is no longer needed. Thank you for trying.

2005-10-10 [Rondel]: You're welcome. For future reference, though, I would advise looking up that format for citing websites; it is a useful thing to know when uing the web as an informational resource.

2006-10-26 [Aruruen]: I've wondered for years on this question looked it up several times, and just never knew or met anyone that could be asked. I do know that for obtaining patents, theres a process & approval deal to go through before recieving one... but, how about copyrights? Do you just slap your © on works original to yourself and its done or is there something more official to it than that?

2006-10-28 [Rondel]: Technically, all of your own original creations are (c) copyright to you, dating from the day you create them, automatically -- but there are methods for legally insuring this claim, by registering it (for instance, this allows you to prove that you are the creator and holder of the copyright should you later need to press charges against someone for infringing it, or vice versa, should someone try to claim it as their own and prosecute *you*). In essence, this isn't technically necessary for you to *hold* the copyright, but it might be necessary in order for you to be able to *prove* that you hold the copyright. That is different from the way it works with patents, which have to be granted after meeting several criteria, including originality, patentability of the concept in question (some things can be patented, while others can't; e.g. a machine or process can, but an idea cannot), and the requirement that the item/concept be *functional* (you can't patent a machine that doesn't actually work).

Some people will suggest posting a manuscript/artwork/lyrics/etc. to yourself and keeping it in the sealed envelope, with the postmark intact, in order to help secure your copyright by providing dated proof of your creation -- but according to a number of fairly reliable sources, all that is is a good way to waste a stamp. You can read up further on this issue at several sites listed on the following Google search page:

Useful results include:

Good question -- thanks for asking!

2006-10-29 [Aruruen]: I appreciate the answer. Thanks =)

2006-11-29 [xido]: Is there a link anywhere on here about APA Formatting besides this one, because if not, I am writing one to help with things around the Guild which host a veritable gamut of legal issues surrounding their use and referencing...

Show these comments on your site

Elftown - Wiki, forums, community and friendship.