Obtaining a copyright is about registering your work, for example, your self published book, at a copyright office. Your work is under your copyright as soon as you imprint it on a fixed device. For example, if you write a song on a piece of paper, you already have the rights to that work.
Personally, I have not officially registered my books with the copyright office. Technically my products are copyright as soon as I publish them. However, you may want to know more about how to get a copyright and if it is the best option for you.
You simply need to register your work on a copyright office. If it's possible, they will keep a copy of your work. Whenever someone else claims that they are the owner, the copyright office will compare their work with the copy you left at their office. As a result, they will reject the claim of the other person.#2: Obtaining a copyright is inexpensive.
If your work is going to bring you money, you should definitely register the work and pay a fee. The registration fees range between a few dozen and a few hundred dollars.#3: You need to be the first author.
How to get a copyright involves being the first author of the work in cause. It doesn't matter if you are the second person who created the exact same work. Only the first one counts.#4: Copyrighting is hard to prove.
How can you prove that you are the first owner of a work? Unless you register the work it's quite hard to prove it. Of course, there are ways to do it. As a singer, you can sign the song during a concert and be filmed.#5: Protect yourself and your work.
It's much better to prevent a problem from ever happening than to solve it. The whole process of how to get a copyright is really easy. Contact the copyright office and they will let you know all the details.#6: Your boss will hold the copyright if you are the one hired for the job.
As a person hired, you will not own the copyright. This is exactly what the copyright definition says. The process of hiring is similar to the process of buying. Your boss basically buys your work and your copyright along with it.#7: Obtaining a copyright is helpful in many situations.
Even though obtaining a copyright by registering your work is not legally enforced, it's still helpful to do in many situations. The alternative could be quite damaging. You could lose thousands or even millions if your work is distributed for free. No one likes to pay money for something that's already free out there.#8: Your work is protected from derivative works as well.
According to the copyright definition, derivative works use one or more parts of the copyrighted work. A rewritten article is a derivative work.
In the US, there's also the "fair use". Basically people can use your work as theirs unless they lose you money. An example of fair use is the user generated content on the Internet. Millions of people take parts of certain movies, edit them and upload them to Youtube and other video sharing sites. Their work mostly enhances the popularity of the movie. The rightful owners can still get their work down.#9: You receive the copyright by default.
As soon as you create a work, you are the rightful copyright owner of that work. You don't have to think about how to get a copyright. You received it by doing nothing. The problem is that you are the only person who knows about it.#10: How to protect yourself in court.
Let's say that you create a work but you didn't register it at the US copyrighting office. If someone uses your work as their own, you can not win a lawsuit against them by default. You need to prove that you were the first person who created the work. That's pretty much impossible to do. This is why you need to register the work right from the beginning.
Obtaining a copyright for a work that's going to bring you money is mandatory. The potential loses are huge unless you do it.
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