Okay, I'm back on this now. Have been distracted a few days by a death in the family.
I got this response from the SmugMug agent regarding my Copyright notice inquiry:
Thanks for contacting SmugMug.
Check out section '13. User Content' under 'A. GENERAL TERMS' in our Terms of Service [ http://www.smugmug.com/aboutus/terms/
Starting with this line, "You retain the copyright in any User Content you post on the Site".
Designated Agent | SmugMug
This makes it probably clear that copyright is retained with the original owner, but it also seems to say that Smug is granted an exclusive right to use the image any way they like. If you read the section, almost any image uploaded can be interpreted as violating their rules. But that's another issue.
Spokane, I looked at the sections you suggested. The FAQ is answered again saying copyright is retained with the producer. And while all the issues of protecting images from poaching are nice (and I've always done those things, except watermark), the original question stands. Why is there an inconsistency in the Copyright notice?
On my site current site, there is what I believe to be an appropriate Copyright notice:
Portions Copyright 2013 SmugMug, Inc.
On other user pages I've viewed, I see this:
Copyright 2013 SmugMug, Inc.
On some other user pages there is no copyright notice whatsoever.
My understanding is that notice of copyright is necessary when an image is displayed. Now, it's been 30 years since I did my graduate "Communication Law" course, but I don't think that has changed.
So, for the Smugmug guy doing drivebys here, what's going on with copyright notice? My question has not been answered.
Sorry to be a pedant about this, but I think it's important.