Does my work have to be
published to be protected?
not necessary for copyright protection.
When is my work
In Britain, you hold the copyright for your work as soon as it is
written down - you do not need to apply for copyright or register your
work with any organization.
Your work is
under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a
tangible form so that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid
of a machine or device.
The only exception to this is when you are writing as part of your
employment - for instance, if you are a journalist working for a
newspaper. Copyright lasts for 70 years after the end of the calendar
year in which an author dies.
copyright my ideas?
There is no copyright over ideas - so always get an idea down in
writing. Similarly, there is no copyright over titles, although you
could be accused of "passing off" if you used a well-known title for
your own work.
If you are concerned about proving that you are the copyright holder of
an unpublished work, you can post a copy of your manuscript to yourself
and keep this, unopened. The postmark will provide proof that you wrote
the work by a certain date. Or you can deposit a copy of your manuscript
with a bank or solicitor (get a dated receipt).
the copyright issues relating to quotations are not as straightforward
as one might think. Among other things which need to be considered,
The amount of the quote, the purpose of it, and in where
it will be used always play a very definitive role before an informed
decision on the subject is achieved.
For example, a
critic or a journalist working/specialising on that relevant subject,
will would need to make references to the work in order to do their jobs
properly. But neither of them will be expected to make their quotations
much longer than their work necessitates. If those quotes pours out of
the confines of evaluation or news, and ends up damaging the
author’s/publisher’s otherwise possible financial gains, then the
author/publisher will almost certainly look for a lawyer.
On the other
hand, [according to the 1988 CDPAct s.32], an instructor is
allowed to copy relative material -within reason- as part and for use
of his/her teaching subject, (reprographic process).
And, under no
circumstances, you're allowed copy material from any work in a way,
scale and content which will cause an infringement of "moral rights".
“case by case” approach seems to be the best available option when
dealing with quotations. However, it is starkly certain that a quotation
must not cause the rightful owner of that work (author and/or
publisher) a loss of income and/or must not look like that you’re trying
to make money out of their work.
It is therefore
highly advisable that you should get in touch with the publisher (or the
one who holds the rights) in order to obtain such a permission. This
may involve a charge. However, in some instances, you may be allowed to
quote -within reason- as long as you insert the due references to the
original work and its author. As said before, it has to be done case by
Copyright in the US
Do I have to register
with US Copyright Office in order to be protected?
No. In general,
registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work
is created (like in the UK).
You may find it valuable to register, however, if you wish to bring a
lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. work. (Circular 1, section Copyright
will I get my certificate?
The time the
Copyright Office requires to process an application varies, depending on
the amount of material the Office is receiving. You may generally expect
within approximately 6 months of submission (8 months in the case of
Visual Arts claims) a certificate of registration
Why should I register my work if copyright
protection is automatic?
Many of those
who choose to register their works wish to have the facts of their
copyright on the public record and have a certificate of registration.
Registered works may be eligible for statutory damages and attorney's
fees in the cases of successful litigations. Additionally, if
registration occurs within five years of publication, it is considered
prima facie evidence in a court of law. (Circular 1, section Copyright
Registration Circular 38b on non-US works)
US Copyright Office Mailing Address:
Library of Congress, 101 Independence Avenue, S.E.,
Washington, D.C. 20559-6000.
number to order application forms is (202) 707-9100. TTY is (202)