Two questions

1. Is there a word in the english language that is solely used to describe the moonlight/sunlight reflecting on the water?

2. How would I go about copyrighting written material?

Neither are for me, before you ask, but if anyone has any good pointers (particularly for the latter as the web is awash with conflicting info), I’ve very much appreciate it.

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Long time blogger, Father of Jack, geek of many things, random photographer and writer of nonsense.

Doing my best to find a balance.

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1) No
2) To my knowledge, copyright can be established by keeping a copy of the document. There’s no central repository for copyrighted items. If you want to make sure that you have a date for when something was written, make a hard copy of it (print it out, whatever), then send it to yourself recorded delivery. Don’t open the envelope when you get it So long as the envelope remains sealed (until/unless copyright is disputed) then you have a signed, dated document saying when you created your work.

2a) I think you can also do this via a solicitor etc., but it costs more than the 60p for sending something recorded delivery. (You can spend more, it just means it gets back to you faster) Saving a CD/DVD of the data may also be acceptable, but is still more prone to disbelief than the ‘I sent this on x date to myself, which proves I had written it before then” gambit.

1) Moongleam? Not in dictionary, but I have heard it before in more Celtic/Pagan circles.
2) Follow what Lyle said with the posted hard copy (and yes, do NOT open it).

On copyright: what Lyle said, although I’d add that it is worth asserting your copyright on any published versions of the document, simply by adding the words “Copyright: Fred Smith, 2007”. You don’t even need the C-in-a-circle sign. Doing this makes clear to anyone coming across the published work that the author intends to defend his/her rights in it – this is often anough to deter the casual IP thief.

Yep – if you wrote it it’s your copyright.

I’ve never quite understood the recorded delivery thing, as there seems to be nothing to stop you sending an empty unsealed envelope through the post then inserting ‘Idea: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ into it at a later date. But it’s usually given by experts as the simplest way to prove ownership.

hans says:

1. Its called refraction
2. There is a difference between a copyright / patent.
3. Should you enforce a copyright, you must prove its your material, copyright is not worth the paper its written on.
4. A patent is granted by an office and can be sold, rented, and is worth $


re. 1) , refraction is defined as he change of direction of a ray of light, sound, heat, or the like, in passing obliquely from one medium into another in which its wave velocity is different.

It’s not really about reflection, which isn’t “passing from one medium into another”. Nor is it used solely to describe moon/sunlight reflecting on the water. (as per Gordon’s initial enquiry)

But hey, it’s a word that’s as good as any for describing that effect, as there’s no such thing as a ‘correct’ word for it… πŸ˜‰

Jonny – hence the “do not open” idea?

hans – yeah refraction is the technical term but I was looking for a more poetic word.

hans says:

Sorry I only deal in technical absolutes, as i have a keen Autism streak in my family, thus my inability to start a blog or enjoy anything as bland as second life.

Unless of course I can break it first…..Or perhaps if they introduce sniper rifles and crossbows, oh wait thats half life (which is much better)

I also think in short sentences, rambling on raises my awareness that i may not know where my conversation will finish, which when presenting to an audience is a bit unnerving.

re: 2. I’m guessing you’ve already considered Creative commons? ( That’s my first port of call for anything copyright these days.

mum says:

1) ‘Moonglow’ – not an original idea but was the title of a song which if memory serves me was recorded by Benny Goodman and Doris Day and was used in the film ‘Picnic’ starring Kim Novak and William Holden. I think Rod Stewart did it recently too.

Your work is technically copyrighted the moment you write it. However, if you want financial compensation for its misuse, you need it to be “official” – and that’s the bit I don’t recall. I read somewhere about sending a CD full of pictures along with a certain form and a fee and they’d all be officially copyrighted. I’d imagine the same would apply to a batch of stories or poems or whatnot. The fee was a bit steep to send in each individual work (unless it’s a novel, and then you’d want to sell it, not copyright it).

I’m pretty certain Jennifer is wrong.

Apart from anything else, if she were right I would have had to do it for my book – and I didn’t. It’s in my contract that whenever copies of my book are published, the text “Copyright Clare Sudbery 2004” (or something along those lines) has to appear somewhere within it, and that’s as far as it goes.

Your work is automatically copyrighted as long as you can prove you wrote it, and assert copyright on the work itself.

The sealed envelope trick is quite a good way of proving you wrote it.

But, for instance, if anyone were to try and claim they wrote my book (The Dying of Delight), they wouldn’t have a hope in hell, as there is so much documentary evidence sloshing about that I wrote it and sent it to the publishers. But I never did the posting-it-to-myself trick, and nor was I ever advised to.

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