Copyright Sealed in an Envelope

Oxford Summer Programme, Day One.


Kevin from the States told us this story in his presentation. Since he was six or so, he was taught how to understand and protect copyright for his works. In order to establish such right, they believed they would have to write a letter to themselves, writing about the work and right established thereform, and sent to themselves through a post office (kevin, correct me if I’m wrong). Once received, the envelope would be kept without first opening the content. So it’s kept selaed. This would become a proof in future to show that the copyright over his particular work does exist. This was known as ‘poorman’s copyright’.

I am intrigued with his true story for a number of reasons. First, the fact that the family in which kevin lives (somewhere near washington DC in America?) had started to inculcate this awareness of intellectual property protection from the very eraly of his life. Secondly, that this practice is legally unnecessary for the copyright does subsist automatically without need of any form of regiatration. But having said, that, I think this is a practice one could rely somehow for the evidentiary purpose… i would say, it’s the least you can do to get assured of your right being defendable.

Prof. jonathan Zittrain was present to give comments and facilitate/moderate questions from the floor. Many questions were asked. i also raised my hand, giving some comments (two actually, but I got Zittrain warned me to have the second very short one 🙂 ). I was arguing, instead of discussing ‘implications of piracy to the global information policy’, it is now more urgent to elaborate ‘implications of copyright law to the global information policy.’

Ooopss.. i’d like to write more on this but I’ve got to go for the lectures at the OII.

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