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Subject: Copyright law vs. mailing list archives
From: "David W. Vaughan" <mail @ david-vaughan . com>
Date: Wed, 12 May 1999 00:34:43 -0400
To: <List-Managers @ GreatCircle . COM>
Importance: Normal
In-reply-to: <199905110800 . BAA04542 @ honor . greatcircle . com>

Hi Jeff!

> He published the first version of this poem in 1996 and has subsequently
> published several other versions. You may view some of them on
> his home page at http://www.missouri.edu/~c715327/life.htm. A copy of the
> official United States Copyright Office registration of Mr. Fendelman's
> original poem is also posted on his home page.
What is/are the date(s) of the messages that were archived at your site? I
see from the copy of the copyright notice at Mr. Fendelman's home page that
the copyright's "effective date of registration" is December 14, 1998. If
the archived materials were NOT copyright protected at the time that they
were sent in messages now archived at your site, I wonder if and how this
may affect Laturno & Graves claim?

> Please note,
> however, that nothing in this letter shall serve to release or reduce any
> liability of any of the following entities in pending Civil Action # CV
> 99-01694  DDP (RCX): CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL ENTERPRISES, Inc., Jack
> Canfield, Mark Victor Hanson, Kimberly Kirberger, Health
> Communications, Inc.
Who are these people/entities and how do they fit in here? (Posters of the
original messages?)

Interestingly, even with only a quick search, I found several sites with
substantially the same poem eg.,:

 http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Village/6050/lifeisnt.html

 http://www.geocities.com/SouthBeach/Tidepool/3247/life.html

 http://www.aesgmbh.de/tamir/life.html

 http://kathy.addr.com/thoughts/poetry/lifeisnt.htm (here the author is
shown as being "Connie Preti - 1997")

 http://www.labs.net/jfeather/Lifeisnt.htm (here the author is shown as
being Katie Leicht, age 17,; note the apparent link with "Chicken Soup",
which would account for the appearance of that name, above)

 http://www.rom101.com/lifeis.htm

 http://www.eyeontomorrow.com/embracingthechild/Clifeisnt.htm (author
unknown!)

 http://osprey.unf.edu/~jspenc3/jokes/life.txt

 http://www.deathstar.org/~krlipka/other/life.html (says here that the poem
came around the net as a chain letter - several times)

 http://members.wbs.net/homepages/d/a/v/davematthewsband143/life.txt

 http://home.ipoline.com/~tcha/justjoke/arqueangel.txt (and here it is in
chain letter format)


As a general question, when someone files for copyright on a creative
written work, does the Copyright Office carry out any steps to establish
that the requestor is indeed the "real" author of the piece?

/dwv





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