Why Copyright?

Why copyright©?
The law automatically provides copyright protection for written work whether you type it in Word or write it on a paper bag with a crayon.
You may still want to register your work with the US Copyright Office for several legal reasons:*

1. Registration establishes a public record of the copyright claim.          
2. Registration is necessary for works of US origin before an infringement 
   suit can be filed in court.

3. Registration will establish prima facie evidence in court of the validity of
    the copyright and of the facts stated in the certificate, if made before
    or within five years of publication.

4. If registration is made within three months of the publication of a book,
   or prior to infringement of the work, statutory damages and attorney's
   fees will be available to the copyright owner in court actions. Otherwise,
   only an award of actual damages and loss of profits is allowed.

5. Registration is good for 70 years after you die.

*The above information is taken from the book, Publishing Basics, by Robert
  Bowie Johnson, Jr. with Ron Pramschufer.

Current fee to copyright a book online is $35 to E-file, $50 for paper filing. (On August 1, 2009, some other fees changed.)

On the other hand: Fred Gleeck suggests copyrighting may be a waste of time. I don't worry about it either way. Anyone can plagiarize by just changing a few words.

At a given point, you will want to Find A Publisher.

You are on the Copyright page.


Updated January 1, 2015