When you are an artist, writer, blogger, musician or other producer of intellectual or artistic property, you must know that copyrighting your work is the only way to protect it from being stolen, copied or displayed for profit by others. Those profits are rightfully yours, no matter how much money they spent on advertising and production, distribution and all the other aspects of selling art. Even though imitation and copying is the ultimate flattery for an artist, it is also reason for civil litigation.
How to register a copyright begins with figuring out how much money you are willing to spend on copyrighting your works. A basic copy, in electronic format, with no researching, copying or other works committed by the Copyright Office is $35. Once you start having the Copyright Office do research (extremely expensive) on your patent or copyright, and even photocopies cost $0.50 per page. The “poor man’s copyright” can be used to protect your artistic works, but in a court of law that can be beaten by a good copyright lawyer.
For the written word, or anything that is put, described or copied onto paper can be copyrighted by placing your name under the title, along with the copyright symbol (‘©’) and the date that you put it into a tangible format, and doing the same at the bottom of each page. You can also mail a copy of your works to yourself, your lawyer (recommended), a family member or a dearly trusted friend. Instruct the recipient not to open the envelope under any circumstances other than a copyright infringement case for or against your works.
No matter the format or genre of your works, as an artist or writer you should most definitely use at least one form of copyright protection, unless you are making that artwork under the employ of someone else. Another consideration to be taken into account when deciding whether or not to copyright your work is how and where the works were submitted. If submitted to an article warehouse, like Associated Content or Helium, then you should not worry about copyrighting, as Internet plagiarism rules will apply.
Know your rights when you write. As long as you can prove that you have used one form of copyright or another, and that you have the date included with your copyright, then anything written after that sate which uses the same flow or content is most likely infringing upon your copyrighted materials.