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Sonia
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Email Jokes?
« on: May 15th, 2005, 9:27am »
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I'm considering compiling a book of all the email jokes that I've received in the past 5 or 6 years.    
 
What would be the legalities as far as copyright goes for something like that?  How can one possibly search for copyrights on thousands of email "pass-along's"?   Roll Eyes
 
Would I just put "compiled by..." on the cover and copyright page instead of "written by", and then put my illustrations as ?
 
Thanks for your time  Smiley
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Visions of Fantasy
tom
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Re: Email Jokes?
« Reply #1 on: May 17th, 2005, 7:15am »
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I think your sentence about compilation will save you.  It would be known that the compilation is the original thought, and not the jokes themselves. I think this should save you based on what I have read, but I am not a copyright attorney.
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Isaac
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Re: Email Jokes?
« Reply #2 on: May 17th, 2005, 6:39pm »
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Copyright law is not concerned with attribution of the source.
It's concerned about copying, distribution, creating of derivative
works etc.  The text of the jokes you receive in email is
creative expression fixed in a tangible medium of expression
which means its protected by copyright.  Absent some exception,
you need the permission of the copyright holder to make
copies.  You don't really know whether the author's permission
was given even to type the joke into email.
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Isaac
JSonnabend
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Re: Email Jokes?
« Reply #3 on: May 18th, 2005, 7:05am »
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Isaac's analysis is correct, in my view (Tom's is way off the mark).  
 
On a more practical note, if the jokes in question have been widely distributed by email without a hiccup, I question who would come after you claiming to be the author.  Of course, if the book's successful that may still happen.  Assuming some purported author did surface, how would he or she prove authorship under these facts?
 
- Jeff
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SonnabendLaw
Intellectual Property and Technology Law
Brooklyn, USA
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JSonnabend@SonnabendLaw.com
IP Attorney
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Re: Email Jokes?
« Reply #4 on: May 18th, 2005, 9:46am »
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Laches may also be an issue if the email jokes have been published all over the Internet for years.
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