How To Copyright

Copyright to avoid infringement

Copyright is the legal protection given to the authors of original works that include drama, music, art and other intellectual work whether published or unpublished. Most of the countries have enacted copyright laws to protect the owner’s rights to his creation. These copyright laws have been modified many times to include new categories and extend the duration of protection.
Why copyright?
Copyright is an exclusive right, given to the creator of a particular work, to reproduce, distribute or sell any copies of that work. He has the right to exploit the work himself or transfer the rights conferred by the copyright to others. It ensures that the owner gets due credit for any adaptation of his work. In such cases, the copyright holder also benefits financially. In many European countries and the US, copyrights last until 70 years after the death of the creator. If the creator of any story or an academic paper is afraid of it being infringed or copied or adapted by others into a movie or other form, he can copyright it.  Copyright registration is done to avoid any infringement. In case of infringement, registered copyright works are eligible for statutory damages. Without getting a copyright protection, the owner or author of any work or paper cannot sue anyone using the work without authorization.
What can be copyrighted?
Books, music, art, academic papers etc can be copyrighted. Though copyright does not protect ideas, it protects the original expression of the idea.  However copyright rules vary for some works like designs and drawings used industrially. Any work, as soon as it is created, is automatically copyrighted. However it is safe to register the work or papers at the copyrights office. Those who wish to have their copyrights on public record often register their work and obtain a certificate of registration.
Copyright registration is done by submitting an application form with a fee at the copyright office. It can also be done online. The author has to submit a non-returnable copy of the paper or work to be registered. Even in the case of online registration, the hard copy of the document to be copyrighted has to be sent to the Library of Congress. Though copyright registration is not a requirement for protection it is just a legal formality which has the following advantages:

  1. It establishes public record of the copyright claim.
  2. To file an infringement suit in the court, copyright registration of the work is a must.
  3. Registration of papers within five years of creation can act as evidence to establish the validity of the copyrights.

The Library of Congress can be difficult making the registration process difficult.  Sometimes causing you to lose your Copyright Application. makes it simple to submit the correct information giving you the best chance of success in obtaining your copyright certificate.