U.S. Copyright and How it Helps you

I think everyone knows that once you write something you own it. It’s yours free and clear.  However, did you know that if someone steals your work without a registered copyright that you will unlikely not be able to bring a lawsuit against them? There is such as thing as a “poor man’s copyright” but it is not the same as a registered one. According to https://www.copyright.gov website, a poor man’s copyright is 

The practice of sending a copy of your own work to yourself is sometimes called a “poor man’s copyright.” There is no provision in the copyright law regarding any such type of protection, and it is not a substitute for registration.

Once you have a registered copyright you are protected by the law if someone plagiarizes your work. You will be able to bring a lawsuit against the thief and will get the chance to prove it’s yours.  A U.S. registered copyright is not required but I would highly recommend it for the above-mentioned reason. How bad would it be if someone stole all your hard work and essentially got away with it? Do yourself a favor and get a copyright through the U.S. copyright office. 

I know what you’re probably thinking but what are the odds that my work will be stolen, that’s rare right? That may be but why take the chance? Anything can happen and it’s better safe than sorry. You will have protection for the life of the author plus 70 years if it is published after 1977, if it is a work done for commision it last between 95 to 120 years as per the U.S. Copyright website.

For works published after 1977, the copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years. However, if the work is a work for hire (that is, the work is done in the course of employment or has been specifically commissioned) or is published anonymously or under a pseudonym, the copyright lasts between 95 and 120 years, depending on the date the work is published.

Your work will be protected for your entire life! I think it is more than worth it to get a copyright! Do you know how to go about getting one? I will outline how to do so. Go to https://www.copyright.gov and click register copyright. There will be different categories you can choose from these include literary works, performing arts, visual arts, photographs, motion pictures, and other digital arts. Each of these has subcategories. Pick which one fits what you want to copyright. 

You will be sent to a list showing you what is covered under your choice, to the right of the page you will click register in our case it will say literary work. If you don’t have an account you will need to make one. Once you’re done with that you will be sent to a page called eco. On the left you will see register a work, below that is standard application. Click that and you will be taken a page that explains what you need to register a copyright. at the top it says start registration, click it. 

Fill out the application, when you are done you will need to pay the fee (yes there is a fee). The cost will depend on what you are registering. A single application is $35, this is single author, same claimant, not for hire. A standard application is $55. These are the only two I will list here as this is most likely what most of my readers will be registering with. Check out the U.S. Copyright website for a full list. I truly think this fee is worth being fully protected. I have not fully listed all the laws and suggest going to the U.S. Copyright website to read up on all the laws so you know what all it entails. I hope I have added enough info here to at least give you an idea of why it’s a good reason for you to get one.

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