So within the last few weeks I’ve gotten this question a lot! “How did you Copyright you’re book?”
Let me start by saying that you can confirm everything I’m about to tell you withhttp://www.copyright.gov
First of all let’s explain what a copyright is other than that C in a circle symbol that we all know and love. A Copyright is a form of protection in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. (FYI: Copyright covers both published and unpublished works.)
Copyright is a form of intellectual property law that protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. However be aware that Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation.
Copyrights and Trademarks are not the same thing. A trademark protects words, phrases, symbols, or designs identifying the source of the goods or services of one party and distinguishing them from those of others. Like logos, Example: The Barbie Logo is trademarked.
You work is under Copyrighted protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. Now, this is important! You don’t have to register your Copyright. Registration is voluntary because Copyright exists from the moment the work is created.
Just understand that you will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. work.
Now I know, why would register if Copyright protection is free? Well, Registration is recommended for a number of reasons. Many choose to register their works because they wish to have the facts of their copyright on the public record and have a certificate of registration. Registered works may be eligible for statutory damages and attorney's fees in successful litigation. Finally, if registration occurs within 5 years of publication, it is considered prima facie evidence in a court of law. (prima facie denotes evidence that – unless rebutted – would be sufficient to prove a particular proposition or fact.)
For anyone looking for more information about Copyrights I’d highly recommend checking out this linkhttp://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.pdf
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