Tuesday, March 13, 2007

What is a Copyright?

A copyright is a "form of protection" that's achieved by filing the appropriate application with the US Copyright Office.

Copyrights can be obtained for things of an artistic nature. This includes, of course, poetry, films, sculptures, music, fiction, etc. But can also include things that may not necessarily seem "artistic" in the general sense of the word. Copyrights can also be obtained for advertising copy, games, software programs and blueprints, to name just a few.

Despite what you may hear, a "poor man's" copyright is NOT the same as registering it. Here's what the US Copyright Office has
to say:

"The practice of sending a copy of your own work to yourself is sometimes called a 'poor man’s copyright.' There is no provision in the copyright law regarding any such type of protection, and it is not a substitute for registration."

Here are some books about copyrights:

The Copyright Handbook
How to Register Your Own Copyright

To learn more about copyrights, be sure to visit these sites:

NOLO's Copyright Resource Center
Copyright Registration Advantages

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