We all know that we need for our work to be copyrighted to protect ourselves from others profiting from our work, but what are the facts? Check out this Writer’s Digest article, “6 Questions Writers Ask about Copyright and the Law” by Chuck Sambuchino.
A good primer. The points that are covered:
- Do I need to register my work with the U.S. Copyright Office to hold a copyright on the work?
- So since I do not need to “super copyright” my work to have basic protection, is there any real incentive to doing so?
- I’ve heard that if I mail a copy of the printed work to myself, that proves copyright. Is that true?
- Does a copyright protect ideas?
- What are the legal ramifications of reproducing song lyrics in a manuscript? Also, can I use a song title as the title of my book? I have personal experience with this—I used song lyrics in my novel The Summer Boy and then either took them out, referred to titles, or otherwise referred to lyrics in ways that didn’t duplicate them exactly.
- In a work of fiction, what restrictions exist on using the names of professional sports teams, TV networks or real people?
© 2015 Ray Rhamey