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Old 05-07-2012, 02:13 AM   #1
frahse
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Copyright?

Do you copyright?

CopyRight!

Why?

Why not?
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Old 05-07-2012, 02:32 AM   #2
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Everyone copyrights unless they specifically release their works into the public domain.

Do you mean, "do you register your works with the US Copyright Office?" (Where they have a backlog of 18 months or more for registrations?)
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Old 05-07-2012, 02:54 AM   #3
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You automatically hold a copyright the instant that you create your work.
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:20 AM   #4
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As previously stated, you automatically have copyright of your work.

The tricky part is PROVING it. Hence formally applying for copyright. Or doing the cheap way of using registered mail and mailing yourself a copy of your manuscript (don't open it; it can be used as evidenced that you are the author of the work).
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:23 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by flipreads View Post
The tricky part is PROVING it. Hence formally applying for copyright. Or doing the cheap way of using registered mail and mailing yourself a copy of your manuscript (don't open it; it can be used as evidenced that you are the author of the work).
Dear me, is that old chestnut really floating around still? . Believe me, it has absolutely no legal standing whatsoever. Any amateur magician knows a dozen different way to get things in and out of "sealed envelopes".
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:06 AM   #6
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The "mail it to yourself" trick might be evidence if you have to go to court to defend your copyright, but these days, there are better ways to prove you wrote something when. Like the file creation date on your Word doc. (Which isn't 100% either, but is no more spoofable than an envelope.)

Mailing a doc to yourself never had a particular legal value; it was just one way of countering a claim of "who is this author who claims he wrote this story that our staff writers produced independently as a work for hire?" It wasn't definitive, just a piece of evidence an author could bring to court. These days, the author's more likely to have timestamped emails to his friends describing progress on the novel.
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Dear me, is that old chestnut really floating around still? . Believe me, it has absolutely no legal standing whatsoever. Any amateur magician knows a dozen different way to get things in and out of "sealed envelopes".
Quite right, though I wonder if other countries might view it differently.

Also, while the copyright offices explicitly says the law doesn't account for it, that doesn't necessarily mean that it wouldn't serve as one more piece on the pile of evidence you might bring to court. I don't know. Might be like chicken soup...can't hurt.

Last edited by ApK; 05-07-2012 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
Everyone copyrights unless they specifically release their works into the public domain.

Do you mean, "do you register your works with the US Copyright Office?" (Where they have a backlog of 18 months or more for registrations?)
In an effort to stop a little misinformation, the moment you create the work you own the Copyright of it. One way of showing a date of copyright is to mail the work to yourself, however it hasn't been shown if that is a way of protecting your work in a court of law.

To legally enforce that Copyright it is a good idea to file it with your Countries Copyright office. At this time the US Office turn around time is 90 days.

Good luck,
Nick
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by altworld View Post
In an effort to stop a little misinformation, the moment you create the work you own the Copyright of it. One way of showing a date of copyright is to mail the work to yourself, however it hasn't been shown if that is a way of protecting your work in a court of law.

To legally enforce that Copyright it is a good idea to file it with your Countries Copyright office. At this time the US Office turn around time is 90 days.

Good luck,
Nick
Sorry; I was misinformed. I'd heard about the backlog but not that they had cleared it.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:31 PM   #10
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In the event of a legal dispute, what will work is your early drafts. Even if, by some fluke, someone managed to steal a copy of your story and registered it with the copyright office, you have the early drafts which you can use to show a court how you developed the ideas, what changes you made, how you edited etc. The other person can't do that.
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by altworld View Post
In an effort to stop a little misinformation, the moment you create the work you own the Copyright of it. One way of showing a date of copyright is to mail the work to yourself, however it hasn't been shown if that is a way of protecting your work in a court of law.
No, that's not a way of "showing" anything. Didn't you look at the link to the US Copyright Office that Apk provided in the post immediately above yours?
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Dear me, is that old chestnut really floating around still? . Believe me, it has absolutely no legal standing whatsoever. Any amateur magician knows a dozen different way to get things in and out of "sealed envelopes".
I'm from the Philippines, so it "works" here, but as pointed out, it's not undeniable proof, but evidence in helping prove that the work originated from you.
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
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No, that's not a way of "showing" anything. Didn't you look at the link to the US Copyright Office that Apk provided in the post immediately above yours?
Hey Harry if you read the rest of my post you would of seen I said that mailing to yourself is not been shown to be enforceable in a court of law; even though technically it should as it proof of date, and works in other countries. The US Copyright wait time was for my latest work took 90 days from sending to getting the certificate back.
Arigato,
Nick Davis
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:44 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
You automatically hold a copyright the instant that you create your work.
In the UK the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 covers song lyrics, manuscripts, manuals, computer programs, commercial documents, leaflets, newsletters and articles plus a lot more, but this is the part we are talking about.

The Act says:

Copyright is an automatic right and arises whenever an individual or company creates a work. To qualify, a work should be regarded as original, and exhibit a degree of labour, skill or judgement.

Interpretation is related to the independent creation rather than the idea behind the creation. For example, your idea for a book would not itself be protected, but the actual content of a book you write would be. In other words, someone else is still entitled to write their own book around the same idea, provided they do not directly copy or adapt yours to do so.

Names, titles, short phrases and colours are not generally considered unique or substantial enough to be covered, but a creation, such as a logo, that combines these elements may be.

In short, work that expresses an idea may be protected, but not the idea behind it.

The duration of copyright for literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works
70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the last remaining author of the work dies.

If the author is unknown, copyright will last for 70 years from end of the calendar year in which the work was created, although if it is made available to the public during that time, (by publication, authorised performance, broadcast, exhibition, etc.), then the duration will be 70 years from the end of the year that the work was first made available.

International conventions give protection in most countries, subject to national laws.

In the United Kingdom, it is generally accepted that any work is essentially copyrighted as soon as it leaves the creator's mind and is placed on paper, computer, or other medium. The United States offers similar protection for writers and their original works. In neither case does the individual have to register his or her pieces with the government, though it is possible to do so in America through the U.S. Copyright Office.

However, this all means nothing without the proof that you are in fact the author or the work

As a professional writer, you can only protect your works so far; after all, there are con artists everywhere. However, one thing you should always do when working with an agent, editor, or publisher is settle upon some kind of written contract before sending him or her your entire works. This could be as simple as an emailed, faxed, or sent letter of agreement or as complicated as a dozen-page form that must be signed in triplicate. Without this diligence, your writings could be "lifted" and it would be difficult (and perhaps too costly) for you to take action.

Last edited by Justin Nemo; 05-08-2012 at 04:10 PM.
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Old 05-08-2012, 04:25 PM   #15
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Hey Harry if you read the rest of my post you would of seen I said that mailing to yourself is not been shown to be enforceable in a court of law; even though technically it should as it proof of date, and works in other countries. The US Copyright wait time was for my latest work took 90 days from sending to getting the certificate back.
Arigato,
Nick Davis
What I was referring to Nick, was the link which ApK posted. If you look at that link you'll see that the Copyright Office specifically state that the "mailing it to yourself" method has NO legal standing.
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