Blessings to you, the readers of this page, in Jesus Christ our Lord. May He guide you and protect you always.

Copyright Abuse
The Project To Prevent Copyright Abuse
By Corporate Media And Publishers

By Rev. Bill McGinnis, Director - Internet Church Of Christ -

ISSUE: The Corporate Media and Publishers, aided by their collaborators in Congress, have been making a serious attempt to claim ownership of Intellectual Property which is rightfully owned by the Public, not by them. And some of them have attempted to claim ownership of facts and ideas, which cannot be copyrighted by anyone, thus depriving the Public of its unfettered right to use ideas and facts which, once published, are always in the Public Domain.

An egregious example of both offenses is contained in this one copyright notice which regularly appears on material distributed by the Associated Press.

"Material from the Associated Press is Copyright 2006, Associated Press and may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. Neither these AP materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and noncommercial use. The AP will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing. All rights reserved."
In this notice, the Associated Press fraudulently claims ownership of every scrap of material in every item that comes "from the Associated Press." On its face, this is a preposterous claim, because it would be absolutely impossible that the Associated Press actually owns the complete and total rights to every piece of information it sends out. It uses other people's words, quotes from other people's documents, takes photos of other people's faces without obtaining a release. Much of the AP content originates from its member newspapers, who themselves do not actually own all of the material they claim in their own copyright notices. Thus the AP content is filled with material it could not possibly own. But they claim ownership anyway.

The AP is not alone in making such sweeping fraudulent claims of ownership. It is now common throughout the Corporate Media.

But the Associated Press goes much farther than most others in trying to restrict what can be done with the material they distribute. Most glaringly, they falsely claim that it cannot be rewritten. This of course is total nonsense. You cannot copyright a fact or an idea, only your particular description of that fact or idea. When you reduce your description to "fixed form," you can then claim ownership of your description; and if you want to keep the facts or ideas embodied therein a secret, you have the right not to publish. But after you have permitted this description to be published, you still have ownership of your description (unless you sold it . . .), but the facts and ideas contained in it are now Public Domain. You do not obtain ownership of the fact or idea simply because you published a description of it, even if your description was the first and only such description ever made. If you want to keep these things to yourself, don't publish them!

Thus by attempting to prohibit re-writes, the Associated Press is fraudulently attempting to deprive the Public of its rightful use of Public Domain facts and ideas.

Also see:

Our Copyright Pages

Please see all of our copyright-related pages . . .
Public Domain
Project For The Public Domain
Fair Use Of Copyrighted Material
Facts Are Not Copyrightable
Copyright Law Does Not Cover Photographs Which Merely Copy Visual Works In The Public Domain
Our Original Content
False And Fraudulent Claims Of Copyright
We want to end this copyright abuse by the Corporate Media and Publishers, and restore a vigorous sense of Public Domain in Intellectual Property once again.


Blessings to you. May God help us all.

       Rev. Bill McGinnis, Director -

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