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Lady of Waset
December 2nd, 2005, 02:19 PM
Since this is my first post on this board I want to begin by saying “Hi!” to everybody. :) *waves*

On to the subject matter. I have some questions about how this whole copyright thing works on the internet. Say, for example, I want to publish an extract from my work online (in my LiveJournal or on a forum like this one). What do I do?

Would simply writing at the bottom of the text something like

Contents of this page is © 2005 [insert name here]

be enough? And what about names? Say, the extract will only feature my pen name – or even a screen name. Would putting down "© 2005 Lady of Waset" actually mean anything?

In the very unlikely event of somebody trying to pass my text as their own, how do I prove that “Lady of Waset” is actually me? It’s not like I would be able to produce a passport with this name in it. :D

David Forbes
December 2nd, 2005, 04:01 PM
As soon as you write something it is copyrighted. (Caveat -- I'm talking about the United States. I don't know about other countries.) Definitely put the tag on your work, and maybe a mention that it may not be copied without the express permission of the author except for the purpose of a sample in a review of the larger work.

As far as your screen name goes, there are ways to determine that a screen name is "you." But on the whole, I wouldn't worry about it too much. I mean, I certainly wouldn't post an entire novel online (not unless you want it to be given away), but an excerpt from a longer work that is solely in your possession should be fine.

Lady of Waset
December 3rd, 2005, 08:00 AM
Thanx, David. It was helpful. I did come across as a wee bit paranoid, didn't I? :D


As soon as you write something it is copyrighted. (Caveat -- I'm talking about the United States. I don't know about other countries.)

Well, I live in the UK. The laws shouldn't be that much different over here.


Definitely put the tag on your work, and maybe a mention that it may not be copied without the express permission of the author except for the purpose of a sample in a review of the larger work.

As far as your screen name goes, there are ways to determine that a screen name is "you." But on the whole, I wouldn't worry about it too much. I mean, I certainly wouldn't post an entire novel online (not unless you want it to be given away), but an excerpt from a longer work that is solely in your possession should be fine.

No, I'm not going to post a whole novel online. You see, I'm currently going through that world building craze phase for my WIP project (every fantasy author is undoubtedly familiar with this severe condition :D ), so I want to set up a blog or something for posting bits and pieces of background info.

Expendable
December 3rd, 2005, 11:35 AM
Don't forget to google yourself and key phrases from your writing every once in a while.

whitesilkbreeze
December 3rd, 2005, 07:29 PM
I read somewhere that if you want to get published, you shouldn't post your writing on the 'net as the first publishing rights then disappear, and publishers want the first publishing rights. I'm really not sure how true it is and I can't find the link. :confused:

Kirby
December 4th, 2005, 06:37 PM
If you are really concerned, and want to give yourself another legal leg if you think that standard notification is not enough, have a look here.
Library of Congress - copyright (http://www.copyright.gov/)
I registered images of my characters (I illustrate), and a photograph of mine that I particularly cherish.
They deal with literary copyright as well.
All it means, is that the specific words you have written, will be about as copyright protected as you can get (at least in the U.S. - and I think other countries as well, but it's been a while. There's some "convention law" or something, I think) - I am not sure about the "conceptual" aspect of it though. But you could then say "See this? See that? See this date on this document? (they send you one) I was here first." If it ever came to that!

:)

P.S. I don't know what bearing it has on publication, if you are registering an entire work that you want to get published later, but I think that might be answered in their F.A.Q., where you grant rights or something like that.

P.P.S. - for what it's worth, I would recommend you copyright your internet works under your real name, not your screen name.

James Barclay
December 5th, 2005, 08:58 AM
Copyright is automatic in the UK too but take a look at how it is worded in the front of any book and think about using similar words. I don't think it's paranoid to worry about copyright. For a writer, that's the core of their business, it is their product. Stealing work from a writer is exactly as bad as ripping off CDs, DVDs, software or any other kind of theft that limits the profit the creator should get for their talent.

In terms of rights, do be careful when you publish work online because technically, you are giving up first publishing rights. Posting short pieces of works in progress won't cause you a problem, I don't think; it's more posting entire chapters of work you consider finished.

NOM

BlueAngel
December 5th, 2005, 02:35 PM
I'm new here too, and have been playing close attention to this thread. I was wondering if there was any way to put a lock on any file we post for critique so that it could only be read and not edited by anyone. I have some short stories I need help with but I'm worried about protecting them. Not worried about publishers though, I plan to eventually self publish because I'll retain all rights to my work. Anyway, give feedback on this idea for me, I'll be checking back often.~Angela