The Copyright

T

WEHS.001

Note One:

The Copyright Certificate has arrived. The book is official. I feel official. I think I’ll walk around a few days feeling official, and see what happens.

Original  story below.

When I did the compilation of the WEHS book, I completed the work in nine months, from start to finish. That would have been April 2014. I promised all those who wrote for the book I would copyright the book. I applied for the copyright in April, 2014. My daughter and I plowed through six or seven or eight pages of questions and submitted it online with the fee which at the time we thought to be $85. That would have been eighteen months ago.

Contrary to the constant yapping that comes out of D. C. among the congressmen and senators on both sides of the aisle, I suddenly ran into dead silence. Finally earlier this year I received an e-mail from the Copyright Office. I owed them $20 more which I sent in with the speed of light.

Again silence.

Then I received an e-mail from Melissa a few days ago, God’s gift to the Copyright Office. Here all this time I didn’t think the Copyright Office had a heart, and along comes Melissa.

But all was not clear sailing. I applied for an aggregate copyright to cover the book. I couldn’t do that. I didn’t write all the stories in the book, only one. The individuals who wrote for the WEHS book would have to apply for their own copyright individually, which if I am correct, meant each of the thirty-two people who wrote for the book would have had to send in probably $85 each. I assume the copyright would have specified that their stories appeared in the WEHS book. That was about as practical and effective as Shoeless Joe Jackson repeatedly saying he didn’t participate in the White Sox scandal in the 1920 World Series or somewhere around that time.

But this is where Melissa becomes God’s gift to the Copyright Office, just when I thought nobody cared. She suggested that I could copyright the text of one factual account (mine), selection, arrangement, and coordination of all factual accounts (everybody else) in the book, which in essence gives everybody copyright protection. If I did all that, then nobody is going to be able to swipe a story, because the copyright tells everybody I put that particular story in that particular place in the book, and they would be a moron to try and plagiarize it.

Now how many people in the U. S. Federal Government would have gone to that much trouble? One. Melissa.

Melissa took into account that all of the people who wrote for the book are probably in the neighborhood of 145 years old now, well give or take sixty-five or seventy years, and a copyright was the last thing on their minds. If they are as I am, I just hope I’ve written down all of my doctors’ appointments and don’t forget them, and that is my achievement for the year, and also that I remember that I did the book in the first place.

Melissa, you just don’t know how us folks down here in the Southern climes appreciate you and your efforts. A problem solver in the U. S. Federal Government. Imagine that. Couldn’t Obama have a Rose Garden Ceremony, and present Melissa with the Medal of Freedom, or at least a medal that says, “Melissa is appreciated.”

All of us of the WEHS book would like to thank you in a proper Southern way, and what can be more Southern than Grits. Please send me your mailing address, and we will send you thirty-three boxes of grits (that includes mine). Pass them around to your D. C. friends. They won’t know what they are.

That copyright will be mailed on Tuesday. Melissa said so, and I believe her. Frankly I think Melissa should run for Congress. She’s the only one up there who knows what’s going on. Is it too late for Melissa to enter the Presidential race?

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