How to get your work Copyrighted>
Copyrighted work is protected from the time of its creation until 70 years after the death of the author. Works receive this protection whether or not the work is registered with the United States Copyright Office. However, a work must be registered before any legal action can be taken for infringement. Protecting your work can be very easy if you follow these three simple steps:
Place a notification of copyright on the work (example: © 2004 John Doe). This notice gives a warning to potential infringers and prevents them from claiming that they unknowingly committed infringement. Courts may reduce the amount of money received by a copyright plaintiff if the infringement occurred because the defendant was unaware that his or her actions were an infringement (The Law of Public Communication)
A work, whether published or unpublished, can be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office by:
- completing the appropriate application form for the type of work you are registering AND
- submitting a $30 fee payment
Along with your registration form and fees, you must submit two non-returnable copies of a published work or one copy of an unpublished work.
**To obtain all the benefits of copyright registration, these steps should be taken within three months after the publication of a work. (The Law of Public Communication)