Common-Law Copyright
from Fancyclopedia 2 ca. 1959
Under statutory copyright a person has the right for a limited time to prohibit publication or paraphrasing of long sections of a copyrighted work. Under the common-law copyright, however, unless authorization to publish is implied (as in letters to the editor) or expressed, the author has absolute power to prohibit publication in any way of anything he has written or drawn or composed. This rests on the rule in common law that the products of a man's labor (including mental labor, even tho slight) is his to do with as he wishes. The common-law copyright is lost upon registration for statutory copyright, upon general publication, or abandonment. General publication consists in making the work available to an indefinite portion of the general public; publication in, say, FAPA is not general publication because FAPA has membership restrictions, but to offer your fanzine to anybody with a dime means loss of control. Abandonment may be inferred from acquiescence in unauthorized use; but this unauthorized general publication does not in itself destroy the common-law rights.

We might add that statutory copyright is secured by first publishing the thing, with a notice saying "Copyright Joe Fan 1984" or something like that, and then sending two copies and a registration form and fee to the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress. Publication without such a notice constitutes dedication to the general public.
from Fancyclopedia 1 ca. 1944
Under statutory copyright a person has the right for a limited time to prohibit publication or parafrazing of long sections of a copyrighted work. Under the common-law copyright, however, unless authorization to publish is implied (as in letters to the editor) or expressed, the writer has absolute power to prohibit publication in any way of anything he has written or drawn or composed. This rests on the rule in common law that the product of a man's labor, including mental labor (even tho slite!), is his to do with as he wishes. The common-law copyright is lost upon registration for statutory copyright, upon general publication, or abandonment. General publication consists in making the work available to an indefinite portion of the general public. Publication in the FAPA is not general publication, for instance, because the FAPA has membership restrictions, but if one also offers his FAPA pub for sale to anyone with a dime, he loses his control. Abandonment may be inferred from acquiescence in unauthorized use, but unauthorized general publication does not in itself destroy the common law rights. We mite add that statutory copyright is secured by first publishing the thing, with a notice saying "Copyright Joe Phan 1954" or something like, and then sending two copies and a registration form and fee to the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress. Publication without such a notice constitutes dedication to the general public. Incidentally, articles by you in someone else's fanzine can be copyrighted by you.