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 Is this a copyright notice?

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Vagrant

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PostSubject: Is this a copyright notice?   Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:58 pm



In the above image, notice the little (X) logo (or is it more of a (K)? I dunno) just below the "Approved by the Comics Code Authority". What I want to know is whether this is some sort of copyright notification, as it doesn't appear on Wikipedia, yet all the Seaboard comics appear to have them on their covers. If it's not a copyright logo, then I'm going to start combing for comic issues that don't have any copyright notifications on their covers.


Last edited by Vagrant on Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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argosail

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PostSubject: Re: Is this a copyright notice?   Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:57 am

As far as I know, the © symbol is the internationally recognized symbol. As a tech writer, I work on legal pages for documents that are translated into 10-12 languages and the "C" is used on all of them. I don't know what an X or K could stand for, but I'd be interested in knowing if you find out...
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Vagrant

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PostSubject: Re: Is this a copyright notice?   Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:03 am

Not sure why the first image didn't show up, but here's another cover image with the (K) (if indeed that is what it is) but otherwise appears to have nothing that could possibly be a copyright notification. Anybody know where would be a good place to ask about whether this is a copyright logo or not?
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PostSubject: Re: Is this a copyright notice?   Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:53 pm

The K looks like it has something to do with the Comics Code Authority. Copyright notices are rarely seen on the cover of a comic.

Also, just FYI, I looked into that Atlas Comics, and while I have seen no definitive answer, it seem pretty likely that the copyright on them is good. If you find out otherwise, let me know, because it would be a treasure chest full of interesting characters.
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Vagrant

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PostSubject: Re: Is this a copyright notice?   Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:18 pm

In that case, where would the copyright notice be found? I thought it had to be displayed on the cover? That was the impression that I got, at the very least. The Digital Copyright Slider tool that I was using as a reference seems to indicate that for products between 1964 and 1977 that didn't have a copyright notice they immediately fell into the public domain, so where other than the cover could I find a copyright notice for these things?
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argosail

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PostSubject: Re: Is this a copyright notice?   Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:30 pm

I believe the law only required them to put a copyright notice *somewhere* on the publication, and I think most of the time it is placed on the first page or inside of the cover, along with the rest of the legal mumbo-jumbo. I could be wrong, but I don't think I've ever noticed a copyright symbol on a cover.
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Vagrant

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PostSubject: Re: Is this a copyright notice?   Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:42 pm

Bugger, that makes finding out if they're copyright protected much harder, since it's difficult to find copies of those comics to view online, aside from the covers...
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PostSubject: Re: Is this a copyright notice?   Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:49 pm

Yeah...your best bet is to look for defunct companies that didn't renew...it is unlikely that there are too many comics that overlooked putting a copyright notice on during their initial publication. It would be a fundamental mistake for someone who invested money in publishing a book.
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Vagrant

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PostSubject: Re: Is this a copyright notice?   Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:34 pm

The issue is more that anyone who didn't put a copyright notice on their issues wouldn't have renewed anyway, since in the time period I'm looking at (after 1964) you didn't need to renew anyway. So there's a potential source of good finds between renewal and automatic copyright protection where any comics without copyright notifications could be lurking.
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PostSubject: Re: Is this a copyright notice?   Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:26 am

The "K" under the Comics Code Authority box is for Kable News Company, a company that has distributed comic books since the 1930s. Distributors usually put some type of initial on the covers of the books they handled.

HERE is a page showing various marks distributors would use on books they handled, including the "K" for Kable.

Regarding whether or not the Atlas/Seaboard books are Public Domain, I'm pretty sure they all have valid Copyright notices. The company was owned by Martin Goodman, who was fairly meticulous regarding Copyrights while he owned Timely/Marvel Comics. That being the case, I have no reason to believe that he became a complete airhead with Copyrights when he started-up "Atlas" in the 1970s.

The only book I've seen that had a Copyright Notice on the cover is Tower Comics' "THUNDER Agents # 1". That doesn't mean it's the only one, just the only one I've noticed.

Just to expand on what Vagrant said: According to the Copyright Laws I've read, between 1923-77, any publication missing or having an invalid Copyright Notice was immediately Public Domain. Anything published between 1978-89 that did not have valid a Copyright Notice, that did not get registered with the Copyright Office, is Public Domain. It would seem that (based on how I'm reading the laws) even if a publisher failed to place a Copyright Notice on their books during this second period of time, or the notice was invalid for any reason, the laws allowed the publisher to "correct their error", as long as they did so within a certain amount of time (I forget the exact length, but I think it was only a few months). So, even though a comic may be missing or have an invalid Copyright Notice, it's still a good idea to check with the Library of Congress to make sure that there isn't a Copyright registration floating around.
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PostSubject: Re: Is this a copyright notice?   Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:29 am

Glad you could explain the "K" symbol bchat, because I had no idea.

As to the Atlas/Seaboard characters, yes, Martin Goodman (and his estate/family) maintain the copyrights ... in fact, I read somewhere that they are the largest collection of privately held copyright characters known to exist. The family is currently working with another comic company to bring updated versions of these characters back to the comic stores, starting with Phoenix and Grim Ghost. I think they'll be out sometime this summer.
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PostSubject: Re: Is this a copyright notice?   Sat Jun 18, 2011 1:52 am

GoldenBard wrote:
Glad you could explain the "K" symbol bchat, because I had no idea.

For a long time, neither did I, or to be more accurate, I saw the different letters on the covers (like "K", "IND", etc) but never cared enough about them to learn more. It wasn't until I was reading an article online regarding Kable that I was like "oh, that's what that "K" is for!"

Quote :
As to the Atlas/Seaboard characters, yes, Martin Goodman (and his estate/family) maintain the copyrights ... in fact, I read somewhere that they are the largest collection of privately held copyright characters known to exist. The family is currently working with another comic company to bring updated versions of these characters back to the comic stores, starting with Phoenix and Grim Ghost. I think they'll be out sometime this summer.

Ardden Entertainment is the company Jason Goodman (Martin's grandson) is working with to produce the titles. So far, they've produced two "0" issues, one each for Grim Ghost & Phoenix, which were released as conventions exclusives at the New York Comic Con in late-2010. Earlier this year, Grim Ghost, Phoenix & Wulf started being published. Issue # 2 for each series were released last month, although it appears that they didn't reach every comic store, or the books are selling-out on the racks fast enough that most people aren't seeing them.
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