Copyright Basics for Writers
On Friday, I taught a Creative Writing Class for 15 new writers. Some of the information we discussed was copyrighting your work. Since most of them did not know the copyright basics, today I am going to discuss it with my blog readers and fans.
What Is A Copyright?
According to U.S. Code and the website www.copyright.gov, Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U.S. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works.
“Original works of ownership” include literary works—a written piece of art—such as a book, a poem, a short story, or an article, etc.
The Copyright should include the following:
- The copyright symbol,
- Followed by the copyright year,
- Followed by the author who created the work and who is responsible for and who is the owner of the copyright,
- Followed by the phrase, “All Rights Reserved”
Published Example: © 2017 Cheryl Holloway All Rights Reserved.
Unpublished Example: Unpublished Work © 2017 Jane Doe
It is illegal for anyone to violate any of the rights provided by the copyright law to the owner of the copyright.
The reason you will copyright your writing is that you do not want anyone to copy your “work” without your permission and steal it. In this day and digital age, there are many possible ways to copy your work—both in the U.S. and in foreign countries. So, protect your writing from plagiarism by using the copyright law.
Keep in mind, plagiarism occurs when a writer duplicates another writer’s language or ideas and then calls the work his or her own. Copyright laws protect writers’ words as their legal property.
There are two ways to copyright your literary work:
- Copyright Registration with the Copyright Office using Form TX (Registration establishes a public record of the copyright claim.) There is a Filing Fee ($35). For general/updated information about copyright, call the Copyright Public Information Office at (202) 707-3000 or 1-877-476-0778 Toll Free.
- Poor Man’s Copyright is a method of using registered dating by the postal service, a notary public or other highly trusted source to date intellectual property, thereby helping to establish that the material has been in one’s possession since a particular time. (Email me and I can send specific instructions.) No Fee
I hope this short blog post helped you better understand the Copyright Basics.
Note: Clip art compliments of the Internet and Cheryl Holloway.
Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!
Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.
On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author. ~ Cheryl Holloway
Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :
AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net