Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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I like this idea, only I think it should be run by the government.

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Electronic catalog with copyright references

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Where you would be able to find the copyright holder for any published work. If you look inside the book (video, whatever), it could happen that the copyright has been sold or transferred since.
GusLacerda, Apr 04 2001

U.S. Copyright Office Home Page http://www.loc.gov/copyright/
Includes information on LOCIS (the Library of Congress Information System, which contains the records of the Copyright Office), as well as Frequently Asked Questions like "How do I protect my sighting of Elvis?" [bookworm, Apr 04 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Copyright Clearance Center http://www.copyright.com
If the copyright owner registered the work, you can search by title and usually pay for permission right then and there. [migennes, Sep 21 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       As baked as it's ever going to get, even if the interface sucks.
bookworm, Apr 04 2001

       Companies have been formed around the concept of building digital rights databases which could identify the owner and licensing provision of any given pattern of bits (allowing automated copyright audit, for example).   

       One in particular (iCopyright) just failed.
egnor, Apr 04 2001

       See the Copyright Clearance Center. I am giving this a croissant anyway, because not everything is listed there. Also, copyright law is convoluted and sucks. It is my job to obtain permissions for documents that my company wants to copy and keep (forever) in its library. I have often thought that registration should still be mandatory, if you want to keep your rights. If it’s not in the CCC, I spend days hunting for people. It is ridiculous that I have to track down someone who may not even care.
migennes, Sep 21 2002

       It's even more ridiculous, in my opinion, that an author should have to register to prevent infringement or retain ownership. The current method establishes that works are automatically protected from inception and, I think, that that is an important concept. I do agree, though, that it would be nice if the ownership were registered for the sake of courtesy but I disagree that it should be mandatory.   

       Maybe registration could be encouraged by the copyright holders receiving a small fee for each time their works are the result of a search or that they receive a small extra fee for each use if they have taken the effort to register and the use was a result of being listed in the registry.
bristolz, Sep 21 2002

       The “receiving a fee” part is also baked. It’s called royalties. Once you pay the Copyright Clearance Center, they will transfer the royalties to the copyright owner on your behalf, saving you much time and effort.   

       By registering, authors/copyright holders have a greater chance of being found and asked for permission, and therefore receiving royalties. By not registering, they run the risk that frustrated searchers will quit and use the material anyway, without paying them. I think it’s crazy that by law I am required to find this obscure person(s) in order to ask for their permission, when the reason that they didn’t register is that they don’t care if you use it or not. They may not even know they own copyright in the work. And if you do manage to find them and ask for permission, they don’t answer because they don’t care! And I, the law-abiding citizen, am left hanging, unable to use the material.   

       Under US law, the work does not even need to be marked as copyrighted in order to be protected. I think that at the very least, copyright owners with an interest in protecting their rights should be required to mark the material. Then, if it’s not marked, I don’t have to ask for permission. If it IS marked, hopefully the copyright owner will have some interest in being found and will be more in the public eye.   

       (Yes, I know this is a rant. On some days, my job sucks. A lot.)
migennes, Sep 24 2002

       An additional "I registered, so there" fee, I meant to type.   

       Copyright holders should be, by default, protected. Can't find the holder? Don't use it.   

       I think registering copyrights is a good idea and I think encouraging such registration is a good idea as well. I think mandating it is not so good.
bristolz, Sep 24 2002

       Much of the purpose of copyright law was to increase the volume of material that would (eventually) enter the public domain. Since material that is in the public domain is often not marked as such, the lack of a marking (or even dating!) requirement means that nothing may be safely considered to be in the public domain unless it can be shown to have existed prior to the removal of the marking requirement. As that gets to be further and further in the past, the net effect is to seriously diminish the value of works in the public domain. Of course, the fact that the [bleeps] in Congress seem to have decided that--despite their authority being limited to the assignment of limited copyright terms--nothing shall ever again enter the public domain, this in some ways seems moot.
supercat, Sep 24 2002

       [Mephista]: I think use for teaching should be covered under fair use and that fair use rights should be strengthened. I don't think academic use should be inhibited at all . . . as long as it is truly academic.
bristolz, Sep 24 2002


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