Your Guide to Successful Writing and Speaking
Archive for September 2, 2010
Copyright is the writer’s security blanket. It just makes you sense finer to recognize your words are protected. I once recognized a writer who was so scared his labor would be stolen, he never sent it anywhere. Talk about counterproductive! But whenever you may comprehend these four bare copyright keys, you may remain bare & submit at will.
That’s all you have to do to copyright something: compose it. You do not have to print it & you do not have to record it with the United States Copyright Office, though there are certain advantages to registration (see below). The moment a piece is printed down, it automatically increases copyright & that copyright is owned by the author.
2. Give Notice.
That’s when you put that tiny encircled “c” on the work. You may as well use the word “Copyright”, then your name & the year of premier publication. For instance, this newsletter is “Copyright 2005 Sophfronia Scott”. It says the world that the labor is protected so someone cannot exhibit up in courtroom & arrogate they did not recognize it was. Speaking of court…
3. Register Your Copyright.
Again, registering with the United States Copyright Office is very just a legality. You do not have to do it. But you do get a couple of benefits for the $30 fee that are worth considering.
Registration makes your copyright a subject of common record and–get this–if you record & someone later infringes on your copyright & you take them to court, you will be capable to sue for “statutory damages & attorney’s fees”. With an unregistered labor you may only get an gift of real damages & profit. To study more on how to record your literary labor go to http:// www.copyright.gov/register/literary.html.
4. Send Copies to the Library of Congress.
Once your script is published, you are necessary to send 2 duplicates to the Library of Congress. It’s phoned a “mandatory deposit of wrote works”. If your script is developed by a conventional publisher, the folks there will do this for you, but whenever you are self publishing, keep in brain that you have to do this yourself. You have three months after publication. It doesn’t hurt your copyright whenever you do not do it but, according to the Copyright Office, “failure to make the deposit may result in fines & other penalties.”
That’s it! Pretty simple, really, but all the more cause wherefore it ought not become an artificial roadblock to your continuing & submitting your work. One last note: you cannot copyright an idea. I have heard writers state they submitted a tale or script offer & someone other came out with a script just like it, so the agent/editor/writer must have stolen their idea. Well, not quite. It is extremely probably that someone other just had the same idea. It does happen. And yes, it is possible for someone to steal your idea–just make REALLY sure that they have done so earlier you make the accusation.
2005 Sophfronia Scott