Many people, it appears, have a fear of their intellectual property being stolen, and rightly so. It’s your idea that you have developed and it should be protected. Here’s how to ensure your works remain yours, and what you should do if it is breached.
What is Copyright?
First off, let’s define copyright. A copyright protects original forms of intellectual property such as: literary, musical and artistic works that includes: novels, short stories, autobiographies, biographies, translations, poems, lyrics etc. Other creative ventures such as computer software and videos are also covered under the 1976 Copyright Act.
In essence, an author of an original piece of work has exclusive rights from the time the work is created, irrespective of whether the work is registered.
However, if you are involved in a collaborative endeavor while working for an employer for instance, or any form of collective undertaking, this is generally considered ‘works for hire’. As such, the rights of, ‘works for hire’ is that of your employer.
The 1976 Copyright Act states that:
Copyright Act established the boundaries of a copyright and the ownership of a work of literature, music, drama, pantomime, choreography, visual art, sound recording, and audiovisual work. The Act determined the forms of copyrightable material as well as the duration of exclusive rights and protection. In 1978, this act was amended to include works of architecture and architectural design.
How to Claim Ownership
To safeguard your creative works, simply place the © symbol which means ‘Copyright’, the publication year and your name. Hence, this newsletter will be copyrighted as: © 2010 Cherry-Ann Carew.
Under US law, copyrights last for the duration of the author/creator’s life, plus 70 years.
What to do if Your Work is Used Without Your Permission
Should the above occur, you may do one of two things, contact the person to advise them of the infringement and tell them to immediately stop, or contact an attorney who will take appropriate action.
© 2010 Cherry-Ann Carew
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Cherry-Ann Carew, The Power Writing Coach, Editor, and Founder of Writetastic Solutions, is a contributing author to How the Fierce Handle Fear – ‘Secrets to Succeeding in Challenging Times.’ Cherry-Ann helps writers with their creative expression to add value to their books. Learn how her coaching and editing services can help you with your book. Subscribe for your FREE SPECIAL REPORT: ‘Discover The 3 Simple Steps That Will Help You Start And Finish Your Book.