Copyright Law (Part 2)

Most magazines are copyrighted, and their copyright doubly protects your personal copyright. Newspapers are seldom copyrighted, although syndicated columns are protected. Government publications are not copyrighted either. If you write a book, the publisher will register your copyright; but make sure they register it in your name, not the name of the publishing house.

An application for copyright registration contains three essential elements: A completed application form, a nonrefundable filing fee, and a nonreturnable copy or copies of work or works being registered and “deposited” with the Copyright Office. You can register as many of your articles, stories, and poems as you like under the same copyright, as long as all the material is sent to the Copyright Office at the same time. Also wait until you have your final editing done. If you rewrite your work at a later date, you must register it again as new document/s.

Here is the fastest and most cost-effective option for registering your copyright. Online Registration: through the electronic Copyright Office (eCO) is the preferred way to register literary works. The filing fee is $35 or $55 if you use a credit card.  See www.copyright.gov and select register a copyright. The telephone number is 888-407-9211. Beware of organizations offering to obtain a copyright for you. They will charge at least $95 for what you can do yourself.

More information will be given in next week’s blog.

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