How To Protect Your Writing
You pour your soul out on the pages of your writings. Your story, poem, or song lyrics are perfect. Now you worry that someone will steal your ideas and use them as their own. It is important to know that you own your work. From the moment you put pen to paper or your fingers fly across the keyboard whatever you write or type has copyright protection. Legally it is your intellectual property. While it is safe to post your work online, here are some ways to ensure your work is protected.
Poor man’s copyright: Poor man’s copyright is simply mailing yourself a copy of your completed work. You should not open the envelope after you receive it. The date on the postage will prove when you completed the work. This method is not very reliable as it will not stand up in court because it can easily be faked, but it does offer some simple and cheap protection.
Protectrite: Protectrite is an instant online service that will for a fee time seal and encrypt your writing for a term of either 10 years or lifetime. They also have free emergency file retrieval just in case you somehow lose your files or copies. This service is available to you when you submit a writing to WritingRoom.com under the create writing tab. Their website www.ProtectRite.com is clear and user friendly.
WGA: The WGA or the Writers Guild of America provide online service similar to Protectrite. They also allow you to submit your writings in person or by mail for a fee. The WGA’s terms are five years and can be renewed. Find more information at www.wga.org
Copyright: You can Copyright your works with the United States Copyright Office. If you register your works with the US Copyright Office you will have a public record and a certificate of registration. This registration is good for the lifetime of the author. This is the most secure way of protecting yourself however, it is more expensive and may take anywhere from 5 months to 1 year to get your registration certificate. You may apply online, by mail or in person. Visit their website www.Copyright.gov.