Legal Question in Intellectual Property in New Jersey

distribution rights of personal communications

my questions concern general ownership of personal letters. if i send a letter to someone i have clearly transferred physical ownership of the letter. however, do i retain the distribution and reproduction rights? can the letter be copied and distributed without my permission? If i write that the letter may not be copied, reproduced, or distributed in any way, does that help me to retain these rights?

thank you.

Asked on 7/15/00, 1:44 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Jason Stern Law Offices of Jason Stern

Re: distribution rights of personal communications

You are the copyright holder in the letter and therefore entitled to the same protections as anyone else who is a copyright owner. You have the exclusive right to reproduce that letter. Choosing to include a warning to this effect may effectively communicate this to the readers of your letters as should posting a Copyright 2000 notice followed by your name. For follow-up, call

Jason L. Stern


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Answered on 9/09/00, 4:22 pm

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