Re: Help with who owns copyright

From: Terry Carroll <carroll[_at_]tjc.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Sep 1996 12:04:38 -0700 (PDT)

On Fri, 20 Sep 1996, Sue Medina wrote:
>
> Can someone suggest an answer:
>
> A library has been given someone's personal files. He gave the
> university rights to the copyright. The files include his
> correspondence--so the University owns the copyright for his letters.
>
> Who owns the copyright of letters written to him?

In the absence of an assignment by the authors, the authors of each of those letters owns the copyrights.  

> The library would like to create a website with these materials. Can
> it include letters written to him, or will it have to get the permission
> of the people who orginally wrote the letters?

They would probably need permission.  

> If the dates of letters predate changes in the copyright assigning
> copyright with a statement of copyright, are these letters without
> copyright if the do not have a copyright statement or the c in a circle
> symbol?

The copyright symbol was only required for published works. Assuming the letters were not published, their failure to have a copyright symbol won't affect their copyright status.

--
Terry Carroll       | "In a professional sports league game played in the
Santa Clara, CA     | United States, the head referee ... shall ... in the
carroll[_at_]tjc.com     | event of conflicting calls, review instant replay to
Modell delenda est  | determine the correct call." - House Bill H.R. 3096
Received on Mon Sep 23 1996 - 19:17:04 GMT

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