Copyright Primer

Timothy B. McCormack, attorney, shares some of the “trade secrets” of copyright law and disputes: Proving copyright infringement during litigation can be very complex. An easy case might involve a “smoking gun” where direct proof of copying exists. A more complex case might involve a detailed three-part analysis, known as the abstraction-filtration-comparison test. When trying to figure out what can be copied and what cannot, it is best to err on the side of caution and ask an attorney.

Timothy B. McCormack, attorney at law and Seattle copyright lawyer, has been writing about how not to infringe copyrights for years: One should presume that all postings on the Internet are copyrighted unless specifically stated otherwise or unless the postings fall into one of the categories of uncopyrightable material discussed below. Postings that are presumably copyrighted include: (1) email, (2) Usenet and news group posting, (3) bulletin board system (BBS) posting, (4) mailing lists posting, (5) postings to Internet Service Providers (such as America Online and Microsoft Network), (6) interactive chat communications (IRC), (7) recordings of communications via Internet telephone and Internet video conferencing, (8) web page contents, (9) computer graphics, (10) sound, (11) video; and, of course, (12) photographs.

Article provided by Timothy B. McCormack, Seattle Copyright Attorney working in area of copyright litigation, procurement and development. This article is a continuation in the series of Software Copyright articles. Another copyright principle that limits the protection given to copyrighted works is the “merger doctrine.” Basically, the merger doctrine prevents any one person from having […]

Article provided by Timothy B. McCormack, Seattle Copyright Attorney working in area of copyright litigation, procurement and development. This article is a continuation in the series of Software Copyright articles. The “idea/expression dichotomy” refers to a principle in copyright law that ideas are not protectable. Instead, copyright protects an author’s creative expression of an idea.(#24) […]