Copyright Resources

Copyright Resources - Get The Facts

Just The FAQ!

I hope the answers to the most frequently asked questions will give you a better understanding of the laws as well as the importance of taking the proper precautions to protect yourself and your work. For more in depth information visit the resource sites that are listed below.

Why Pay Good Money For Copyright Registration
When I'm Already Covered?

In the United States and most other countries, a work is automatically protected as soon as it is created. It is not required that you register your work or even provide a notice. So why "waste" your time and money registering for something you already have? There are some very compelling reasons...

(1) Ability to sue Even though your protection is automatic, you cannot actually sue for infringement unless you have registered your work. You can, however, register after infringement as long as it is before filing suit. In this instance you would be eligible to sue for "Actual Damages" (damages that you can demonstrate having actually suffered), which may or may not be significant.

(2) Statutory damages. If you register prior to the date of infringement, you can collect "Statutory Damages" and attorney fees. Statutory Damages are defined in the statute and determined by the judge; and depending on the situation could be quite substantial.

What Is a Copyright Notice?

A notice is a simple and free way to post notification that your work is under protection. In a lawsuit litigation this notice will keep an infringer from claiming "innocent infringement". Innocent infringement simply means the infringer had no reason to believe their acts constituted infringement. Whether you register or not, this notice should be on all of your published work.

A proper notice consists of three things: 1) The symbol (©) or the word "Copyright", or the abbreviation "Copr."; 2) the year of first publication; 3) the name of the owner Example: © 2011 eBook Crossroads

What Does Copyright Protect?

The simple answer is "expression". According to the Copyright Act, items of expression can include literary, dramatic and musical works; pantomimes and choreography; pictorial, graphic and sculptural works; audio-visual works; sound recordings; and architectural works.

Items that are not protected are ideas, titles, names, facts and short phrases.

How Do I Register My Book In The US?

Download form "TX" from the Library of Congress web site at Print form on white, letter-sized paper.

To fill in the form, type or print using black ink. Fill in the title block with the title of your work, only. Fill in the rest of the form completely and simply.

In one envelope, place your completed form, a $45 check for application fee and one copy of work to be registered (if unpublished) or two copies (if published). Copies will not be returned.

Submit complete registration package to:
Library of Congress
Copyright Office
101 Independence Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20559-6000

Your registration becomes effective on the day your application, payment and copy(ies) are received. If your application is in order, you will receive a certificate of registration within 22 months or less.

You can now register online for a lower filing fee of $35 via credit card at: Online filers will receive their certificate within 9 months or less.

Additional Resources

10 Big Myths About Copyright
Intellectual rights and Fair Use issues explained.

Brint Institute
Information on intellectual property law and technology. A lot of information here.

NOLO Law For All
A site filled with legal resources, web site protection and a whole lot more.

Electronic Frontier Foundation
A San Francisco-based group dedicated to helping civilize the electronic frontier and make it useful and beneficial to all, not just the technological elite.

Chilling Effects
A joint project by several major universities regarding web site protection and intellectual property rights.
An online copyright and reprint clearing house offering permissions and results instantly.

Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society
A UK based rights licensing organization administering rights in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Canadian Intellectual Property Office
a Special Operating Agency (SOA) associated with Industry Canada, is responsible for the administration and processing of the greater part of intellectual property in Canada.

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