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"Is There A Copyright On Phrase ‘Of Possible Interest’?" Topic

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Areas of Interest


1,289 hits since 31 Mar 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Cacique Caribe31 Mar 2018 3:36 p.m. PST

Because that's the message I get from reading the Dawghouse reason given here:

TMP link

How can such a commonly used phrase be a copyright?


deephorse31 Mar 2018 3:46 p.m. PST

If you know where to look you can find the answer.

jaztez31 Mar 2018 3:53 p.m. PST

I think it might have been the huge copy and paste job rather than that phrase…

Personal logo Virtualscratchbuilder Supporting Member of TMP Fezian31 Mar 2018 3:58 p.m. PST

Just did quick search of the US Copyright office database and the US Trademark database and not only is "of possible interest" in of itself NOT copyrighted or trademarked (apparently), but it shows up in the title of several titles of other copyrighted items.

Generally from what I read short phrases cannot be copyrighted unless they are distinct and publicly recognizable as having a secondary meaning different from common usage. Trademarking is similar.

Of possible interest:



Oberlindes Sol LIC31 Mar 2018 4:06 p.m. PST

If the phrase can be copyrighted, I submit that Tango himself is the most likely copyright holder, given his frequency of use and length of time using it.

Or is that the standard for trademark? I don't remember.

Anyway, you have to register a copyright for it to be enforceable in the USA, so if's not registered here, his use is not a violation here.

Winston Smith31 Mar 2018 5:19 p.m. PST

Armand linked to a copyrighted site which was a 700+ page pdf file. That was what was of possible interest.
The whole thread had to be nuked to protect TMP, giving us no evidence of the violation. I saw it.

Winston Smith31 Mar 2018 5:26 p.m. PST

By the way, TMP has had in the time I've been here at least 3 copyright lawyers as members. I think all are inactive.
However, I would trust their opinion more than "I googled it on the internet."

The main thing to know about intellectual property is that deep pockets usually win, no matter who is technically correct. Has Disney ever lost a case? Sure, but it cost the "winners" a fortune. That's how they win.

Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP31 Mar 2018 5:56 p.m. PST

The length of the article isn't what causes copyright violation. It occurs when you copy someone else's work and post it as your own or claim authorship and don't give attrribution to the original author. Should not be a problem as long as you don't do any of the above. Simply linking to an article is not a breach of copyright.

If you wanted to be bullet proof, you would say "" Big Guns" by Wot Ever". Then in parens, quote a few lines from the text and post the link to the original article. The only thing you would have to make sure of is that you are not linking to the article through a secondary source, but to the original posted article itself.

This was how it was explained to us when we spoke to a copyright attorney about someone copying large parts of our copyrighted web site and not giving attribution.


PS: And while I'm not an attorney I do play one in Community Theater productions. grin

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian31 Mar 2018 8:21 p.m. PST

Please don't post links to products which have been made available on the internet in violation of copyright laws.

nevinsrip01 Apr 2018 1:42 a.m. PST

"And while I'm not an attorney I do play one in Community Theater productions"

Sorry to hear that.

Gwydion01 Apr 2018 5:38 a.m. PST

copyright violation. It occurs when you copy someone else's work and post it as your own or claim authorship and don't give attrribution to the original author.

No. Wrong.
That is 'passing off' and/or plagiarism.

Copyright violation is copying, pubishing, reproducing someone else's intellectual property without permission.

You don't have to pretend it was your work.

You don't have to charge for it.

You just have to copy it.

You can argue about the 'moral' rights and wrongs but legally, if you copy it without permission you are violating the IP.

princeman01 Apr 2018 5:53 a.m. PST

Then I must ask – has everyone who has linked to anything posted here received permission to do so? I would imagine that a great number of members here who have linked to just about everything would be in violation of copyright laws.

Gwydion01 Apr 2018 6:13 a.m. PST

Linking to an original post is not copying it.

Tango's link went to a copy posted as a pdf on the University of Calabria site.

I have no idea whether the scan of the book and posting of it was with Penguin books' permission. (I suspect not). If it was then Tango's link was okay.
If it wasn't, then it was aiding copyright violation.

Directing people to original web content written by someone and posted on their blog or web page is not a copyright violation.

Copying it without permission and posting it on TMP would be.

Winston Smith01 Apr 2018 7:47 a.m. PST

Aiding and abetting?

jowady01 Apr 2018 10:02 a.m. PST

Most quotes here on TMP will likely be covered by the "Fair Use Doctrine" which allows for quoting articles by others or using images created by others, etc. in the context of commenting on or criticizing that work, idea, or notion. Simply adding the phrase "of possible interest" probably isn't adequate to cover the wholesale copying of a work or a large portion of that work. Just put in an attribution to the original work, quote a few lines and maybe a link if it is on the net and you should be fine. In the interest of full disclosure I am not an attorney nor do I play one, but in my real world existence as a writer and photographer I have run into Copyright Law once or twice (so far always as the aggrieved party).

Gwydion01 Apr 2018 12:21 p.m. PST

In English law 'of possible interest' most certainly does not constitute 'fair use'. In English law 'fair use' allows quoting 'no more than necessary' – certainly not a whole book.

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP01 Apr 2018 2:09 p.m. PST

"Of Possible Interest"
Is owned by Disney, so is in fact TMP and Bill, and you and me.
Disney owns the universe.
Bought it in a hostile take over from Zues.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP02 Apr 2018 11:20 a.m. PST

Fair Use only covers very specific considerations and very limited reproduction. You can't say, "This book sucks. Here, see for yourself," and post a link to a PDF of said book and then claim you were reviewing the work so the link is "fair use." You can quote a phrase here or there, but that's about it. Length and size of the actual work are also irrelevant, so long as the content is sufficiently original to the artist. Whether the work is a 2,000 page tome or a haiku, the entire work is protected by copyright, as are any significant and original portions of said work. Also, you are still protected by copyright in the US even if you don't register the work with the government. The latter action merely serves as valid legal proof, but the law defines copyright as existing from the moment of a work's creation. If it's original to you, it's yours. If it's not, it's not. Period.

If the originator (or legal rights holder) of a work chooses to publish that work on the Internet in an open, public manner (blog, forum, etc.), then linking to that specific public posting is perfectly legal, provided one is not bypassing any payment or other registration requirement the rights holder has set up. However, copying said digital posting, even if it's free and public, and reposting it somewhere else could be illegal if the rights holder has not stated permission to do so.

In sum: if it ain't yours, don't copy and paste it here. And if you know (or reasonably suspect) another site that has it doesn't own the rights, don't post a link here, either.

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