Copyright – if you aren’t familiar with copyright it’s time you were. There’s a great deal of talk about copyright but, unfortunately, there is still huge problems online with copyright infringement.
Copyright gives artists and authors the legal rights to the work they create.
For example, let’s say you write an article on “How to be a Good Writer.” The content in that article is copyrighted to you and no one else has the right to use it in, any form, without your express permission.
Copyright applies to music, photographs, software, dance, architecture, pantomime, words, etc. As long as it is recorded in some form – disc, tape, film, paper, etc. it is protected under copyright law.
If you live in Canada, USA, UK, Australia, or any other countries with copyright laws to protect original materials, then your writing is protected. Of course, the onus is always on you to prove that you wrote or recorded something original and that the copyright actually belongs to you.
For this article, we will focus on copyright as it pertains to the Internet. When you write something and publish it online, you are protected by copyright law.
A common misunderstanding, if you live in the US, is that you must register your writing with the US Copyright Office to have copyright protection. This is not true.
You do not even have to mark your work with the copyright information but it is recommended you do so to keep things clear. Just add the Copyright (c) [Insert Name] [Insert Year], and your material is copyright protected.
Just as you do not want anyone stealing what you have written, as a writer, you must also make sure you are not stealing the works of others.