Matt left an interesting comment on my post about how a “poor man’s copyright” is meaningless. I began to write a reply, and then I realized that my reply might be better off as a full-blown post. So here we are.
Matt wondered if a postmark might help prove that a work wasn’t copied from some other source. In a nutshell, my answer is no.
The postmark doesn’t help prove a work wasn’t copied from another source. I could copy something that has not yet been published, put it in an envelope, and mail it to myself. In that case, the postmark doesn’t prove anything (except the date when the envelope was handled by the Post Office).
People confuse the concept of copyright protection being available only to the first person to come up with a work. While the idea of “first in time, first in right” applies in…
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