Do You Need To Copyright Your Work?
The most common advice out there in the Indie world is to mail yourself a copy of your work, because once you have that time stamp by the US post office, it’s official.
The only concern is – Would this stand up in court?
Ask yourself these questions –
- Are you concerned about your work being stolen or plagiarized?
- Will you be using multiple distribution channels including overseas?
To ensure your rights are protected here in the US, go to the website and apply. It’s that simple.
It is an easy process. The website is http://copyright.gov/
First you will have to register.
Second you will have to fill in the information about your work and send or attach copies.
Don’t be intimidated, just read the instructions and make sure you understand what they are asking.
Once you open the claim it will take a while for it to process. My experience was a long wait, but they had been going through a major site construction at the time. When they needed physical copies, I was contacted by an employee via email and she was very professional, courteous and helpful.
Everything is up and running smoothly now. Here is the list for the new fees just announced yesterday. http://www.copyright.gov/fls/sl04.pdf
Do not confuse the copyright registered with the Library of Congress with DRM – that is an entire different matter we can discuss at another time. Also don’t assume that US laws mean anything anywhere else, some countries acknowledge US rights, some do not. So you see there is still more you can research before you make your decision – just learn about it and make an informed decision.
Here is a quick FUN video on US Copyright & Use
Another Video on copyright law history & facts