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View Full Version : My dream is coming true —or a nightmare?



Tedel
08-05-08, 04:06 AM
You know? I need to vent (and I can't believe I'm doing it here). Here it goes:

A few years ago, about 5 or 6, when looking at the Internet, the blogs and all that stuff, I thought the Internet needed to be summarized, reviewed, in general, tidied up; so I started thinking on the idea of doing Heptagrama: a website made from summaries .

This week I was reading an article (http://www.newsweek.com/id/119091/page/1) that says that the next evolution of the Internet would be "the verified Internet", an Internet written more by professional writers and less by amateurs (read bloggers, I guess) because the next goal would be to recover its credibility... Just what I thought 5 or 6 years ago.

I checked Heptagrama's visitors and statistics last night and I found that 20 thousand people visited the site last month, from them 9 thousand returned at least once

...and I felt the huge weight of a social responsibility over my shoulders. :upset:

I think I should stop writing and start reviewing all the site, but I'm afraid I might be acting more by reaction to this sensation of feeling under pressure than other thing. I also received two suggestions: to reorganize the site and to "open" it. I think I can restruture the site easily if needed, but opening the site would make it a second Wikipedia... how would I be able to control that!

My dream was to organize and summarize the good content on the Internet to help teachers give better education to their pupils. I decided this after being a teacher for a few years and seeing with my own eyes how ignorance can really ruin a person's life. Now the dream is coming true and I am feeling very scared. So far, I have written all Heptagrama by myself, made the web pages code by myself, dealt with the e-marketing by myself.

Now I feel I need help but I don't have a clue of where to get it. Moreover, I don't know if Heptagrama has mistakes or not, no matter how responsible I've tried to be when writing it.

Sh*t... sorry for the long post.

boobaa
08-05-08, 04:09 AM
You start off as google and make millions.

Gigabitch
08-05-08, 05:53 AM
Talk to a lawyer and get your ownership sorted. Immediately.

Tedel
08-05-08, 10:57 PM
Talk to a lawyer and get your ownership sorted. Immediately.

mm... What do you mean?

squirrley
09-05-08, 04:22 AM
I think Giga means a patent?

Gigabitch
09-05-08, 06:51 AM
Make sure you officially own that site.

IndiReloaded
09-05-08, 07:16 AM
Giga, do you mean the actual website content or the url? Noone really *owns* a URL unless you created the name & own a trademark. Even then, you need to stay on top of your registration as cybersquatting is rampant.

A website, even if some jerk of a web designer didn't give the code, is actually owned by the person paying for the site design service. If they didn't get the code, you can just grab it off the web. As for content, a copyright is already inherent in anything you publish, but beware, b/c putting something on the internet is basically open for grabs. Including anything on a site like this, FYI.

At some point, Ted you may want to look into filing a trademark for the name. Its a long process tho & can be costly. Its not as much as getting a patent, however, & can be done w/o a lawyer if things are straightforward. Make sure its worth it.

I seem to remember telling someone else (LW?) about this. If you have original works you want to protect, your best bet is to get them 'officially' published, either as a book or an article where the date can be referenced should things ever go legal.

GrkScorp
09-05-08, 08:32 AM
You know? I need to vent

Sh*t... sorry for the long post.

Don't worry about it :D

I don't know if you want to even consider a patent.., I would be looking for a copyright on the content.., and a trademark on your site's name.., and perhaps on the URL in due time.., since it's a website you're talking about.., I wouldn't care too much about just US or Peruvian law.., so much as international law..

Some links you might find useful:

http://www.copyright.gov/title17/

(Title 17 is US Copyright law.., but it should give you a rought idea)

http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ38a.html

(Peru is a member of treaties mentioned)

http://www.uspto.gov/web/trademarks/madrid/madridindex.htm

(You might find the Madrid Protocol more interesting)

Note: "International" Copyrights & Trademarks are of the more complex bodies of law.., i'm not saying that you're not capable of taking care of this yourself.., it would just be a better use of your time to give it to a lawyer who knows about this area of law to take care of it.., than to do all the research yourself..

Additional note: A "poor man's copyright".., is really all you need in terms of content.., (even though from what you've said.., I doubt they would grant you a copyright on the actual content of your site.., that would be like trying to copyright the definitions of all the words in the English language).., however.., if there is some scholarly analysis of certain events or some other unique input that is an original work.., then a copyright is automatically created.., that's right.., no need to register.., it's created.., and has a duration of "life plus 70" (lifetime of the author.., plus 70 years after the date of death)..

Poor man's copyright: If there's any content you want to be able to prove you own the copyrights to.., write it.., put it in an envelope.., have your post office stamp it with a date and mail it to yourself via certified mail.., when you receive it.., just hold on to it.., don't open up the envelope.., if anyone ever challenges your copyright.., you can use all of these to make a case.., and it's been upheld..

Lastly.., that sounds like a great idea.., good luck with the whole thing Tedel.., just don't forget about us little guys here.., when you're all the way on the top..

Best,

GrkScorp

Tedel
09-05-08, 11:41 PM
Oh, thanks... I'll check those links.

I went to the Indecopi (which is the Peruvian bureau for intellectual property and the like) and they told me that, according to Peruvian laws, if I say something is mine, it is; and if someone wants to make any claim he must prove me wrong. It's a sort of automatic copyright.

For brand names, it's the same. If I can prove I've been using a brand or commercial name for at least six months, then it mine. And I can prove that.

I'll double check anyway. :)

IndiReloaded
10-05-08, 12:00 AM
I went to the Indecopi (which is the Peruvian bureau for intellectual property and the like) and they told me that, according to Peruvian laws, if I say something is mine, it is; and if someone wants to make any claim he must prove me wrong. It's a sort of automatic copyright.

For brand names, it's the same. If I can prove I've been using a brand or commercial name for at least six months, then it mine. And I can prove that.

I hate to break this to you, Ted, but just b/c you own a copyright or trademark doesn't prevent anyone from copying you.

I own some registered intellectual property (so that's my experience) & my lawyer advised me in early days that while one can have a trademark the onus will be on YOU to enforce it. In other words, if someone copies your IP then you will have to decide if you want to take legal action. His best advice was to get lots of press, to establish oneself publicly as the owner/creator, which is helpful in quashing competitors. Its all about the brand.

Its still a good idea to get a trademark started (it takes a year or so in Canada from start to finish), and from what I've seen of your site, its about the best you can do. As I understand the current laws, you're not eligible for a patent, as you have no tangible, unique invention (a patent is for a *device* or sometimes a *process*). Plus, a patent is costly.

I've been through this process. Feel free to PM me if you have need.

Tedel
10-05-08, 02:04 AM
Well, according to Peruvian law "En el caso particular del derecho de autor, la protección se obtiene de manera automática con la creación y no se encuentra sujeta a formalidad alguna." "In the particular case of copyright, it is automatically obtained with the creation and it is not subject to any formality."

That means that, pursuant to Peruvian law, I am already the owner of Heptagrama and the texts in it. Maybe I only need to protect the star and the purple colour combination.

In the meantime, I think I should add a line that says that "The use of this site is pursuant to the laws of the Republic of Peru" or something like that. I have a friend who is a lawyer, I'd better ask him. :)

IndiReloaded
10-05-08, 02:45 AM
"In the particular case of copyright, it is automatically obtained with the creation and it is not subject to any formality."

Yes, I said that in my first post. Is what I meant about a copyright being inherent in whatever you publish. Its true, you don't have to formally file anything for a copyright to be in effect. Not so simple for a trademark, there are criteria to satisfy as you have found.

But a copyright doesn't mean much by itself. Its a very weak protection of IP by itself. In cases of infringement, its all about who can *prove* they did it first, and trademark filing/registration date (or a *registered* copyright) constitutes proof. So does getting something published in a newspaper, as a book, in a journal--anything with a date. Any good lawyer will tell you so.

Just make sure its actually worth it for you to start this process. And that it would be worth it for you to actually pursue legal action should someone infringe on your copy or mark. You should start using the 'TM' symbol on your mark right away, btw, that doesn't require anything special & it shows you are claiming it as a trademark. You do need to register your mark to (legally) to make use of the 'R' mark, however. Good luck.

Tedel
12-05-08, 11:58 PM
Thanks a lot. :)