Intellectual Property Law
Intellectual Property Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer
Federal copyright law gives the owner(s) of the copyright all power to limit and control the way in which the copyrighted material, in whole as well as any part of it, may be used by others. This means that if a copyright owner does NOT grant permission for the use of their material any use of it, or any portion of it, is illegal and leaves the person who uses it subject to a federal lawsuit for damages and criminal action. The phrase "all rights reserved" indicates that a copyright owner keeps all rights a copyright grants - such as those that allow copying, printing, displaying, using, or doing any other action with it or to it,whether done in print, audio, tape, film, or the Internet. It would normally be a violation of federal copyright law (a crime) if, without the permission of a copyright owner, a person or party were to copy a copyrighted document (in its entirety or any portion of it) to use it in any way such as by printing it electronically, on paper, on audio, film, etc. (in its entirety or any portion of it), or do anything else with it or use it (in its entirety or any portion of it) in any way.
Hi Jane. Thank you for the quick response. I have a follow up question. I would like to post the chapter of the report I referenced in my first question on the author of that chapter's personal website. He contributed the chapter to the overall report. Given the "All rights reserved" does this mean that even though he wrote the chapter for the report, we can't post it as a separate pdf? I would still need to post the full report?
Where a person writes a chapter or a portion of something for another organization or as part of a larger work, the copyright may have, in fact, been retained (or is owned entirely by) someone other than the actual author. It may also be the case that an author and others or an author and an organization create their own contract regarding copyright rights, who retains them, and what rights they retain. Such private contracts may even remove all rights from an author in some cases. Without knowing what those agreements or rights are or even if any such agreements or contracts exist, it is possible that even when using material written by an author for the benefit of that author, a copyright violation may occur.
Also, I am not sure you may have read my first post properly. Any use of anything that is copyrighted, whether the whole thing is used, or only a part of it, can be a violation of copyright laws, if the express, written permission of the person or party that owns the copyright is not provided. I am not sure what you mean by "we can't post it as a separate pdf? I would still need to post the full report" as my explanation of the law is to indicate that posting a whole or any part of something that is copyright protected, unless a person has permission to do so from the copyright owner (as that owner appears in federal records, would violate copyright law.
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