1. afinemess
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    afinemess Active Member

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    copyrighting material?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by afinemess, Jan 25, 2010.

    My method of editing as I went has paid off, I'm almost ready to send out my work. (when I complete the perfect query letter) Do I need to have my novel copyrighted before sending it to agents? I haven't found any info on this, I assumed I would, but if there's something that comes up that needs to be changed, I would think you wouldn't be able to alter it after it's been copyrighted. Or maybe I'm just not grasping this concept properly. Thanks.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    No. Your work is already protected by copyright, and once sold, most publishers will register it on yourt behalf.
     
  3. Mitch445
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    Mitch445 Member

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    Like Cogito says. I sent the Library of Congress a query about this once. Say you copyright your work now, but make changes before hitting the presses, you (or your publisher) will have to register a new copyright "for derivative woks". I was told that this derivative copyright is substantially more expensive than the initial copyright.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    all written/art/musical works are automatically covered by copyright from the moment they're completed and exist in a reproducible form... go to the source, to learn how it works: www.copyright.gov

    seasoned prose writers don't usually register their already existing copyright, though screenwriters generally do so, at least with wga...

    fyi, anyone can register and archive their written works of any kind, with wga...

    www.wga.org [screenplays and tv scripts]
    www.wgae. [books, stage plays, poetry, song lyrics/music]
     
  5. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    That's good to know. I was wondering this myself.
     
  6. afinemess
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    afinemess Active Member

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    Thank you all. My husband has been riding me to get it copyrighted. He thinks someone is going to steal it, but I tell him that I have the massive piles of drafts and notes and journals, so I could easily prove I wrote it even in the unlikely event that it happened. Thanks again, I'm off to those sites, thanks mammamaia!
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    what you've done, re keeping early notes/drafts IS the best of all proof of authorship...

    and before anyone brings up that old wive's tale, 'the poor man's copyright' [mailing to yourself], know that it's not admissible in court in the us, as it can be too easily faked... however, i hear it does have some standing in the uk...
     

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