Author Topic: To copyright or not to copyright first??  (Read 3142 times)

Offline wuzzle

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To copyright or not to copyright first??
« on: May 30, 2010, 08:28:34 PM »
I have written the first three chapters of my novel, and would like to have them critiqued through a few of the writers websites that I'm thinking of joining, just to get some feedback on it. However, I'm wondering if I need to get these chapters copywritten first, as I am nervous of being ripped off by someone. Am I too paranoid? Should I even worry about it? Can you offer me some input as to my dilemma?

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: To copyright or not to copyright first??
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2010, 04:57:10 AM »
If you press the Search button above and type in the word copyright, you'll find lots of information about this subject . . . some of it is even useful.
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Offline deborahowen

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Re: To copyright or not to copyright first??
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2010, 11:40:23 PM »
Your computer automatically time stamps everything you write and that is your copyright. Although it is possible that someone could plagiarize you, it isn't likely. On the whole, writers seem to be pretty honest (although not always kind). If you think you have reason to be concerned, you can always check for plagiarism at copyscape.com. It costs a nickel, but you have to buy it in increments of $10 - which is well worth it. Hope this helps.
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Offline John Yamrus

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Re: To copyright or not to copyright first??
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2010, 01:54:25 PM »
what you do is take your manuscript as it currently exists, then mail it to yourself.  don't open it.  keep it sealed.  that post mark, with it's date on it is legal proof of your ownership at least starting at the date stamped.  that's known as a "common" copyright.
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Offline Gyppo

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Re: To copyright or not to copyright first??
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2010, 03:33:31 PM »
First thing to do is stop being paranoid  ;-)

Second thing is to not fall for the various 'copyrighting services' you'll see advertised on the net. They can't do damned thing for you that you can't do for yourself by following the advice you've already been given.

As for the probability...  In about forty years I've only had one bit of work blatantly ripped off - by a magazine - and they quite fittingly went bust soon after.

Writers are, by and large, a pretty honest bunch.  But you do have to accept that others will sometimes come up with an almost identical idea to yours.  Especially if it was inspired by a news story seen and heard by millions of people worldwide.  But even that's not a major problem because if you feed the same idea to a dozen different writers they'll likely as not come up with a dozen very different interpretations of it.

There is no copyright on ideas.

Relax a bit and enjoy your writing ;-)

Gyppo
« Last Edit: September 13, 2010, 03:41:37 PM by Gyppo »
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Offline phmoisan

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Re: To copyright or not to copyright first??
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2010, 05:24:13 PM »
Thanks a lot for your feedback, and for the topic itself. I've had the same fears as wuzzle for 25 years. That's not the main reason I've been procrastinating instead of writing novels, but somewhere in tha back of my mind, the fear was there.

Offline deborahowen

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Re: To copyright or not to copyright first??
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2010, 06:40:28 PM »
Chances are good that you've been using that (and other things) as avoidances. Let's face it. Writing is scary! Being criticized for your writing is even scarier. Have faith in yourself. And if I might add one thing - don't share your writing with family and friends who aren't writers. Nine times out of ten, they will be your worst critics. It's far better to get into a good writing club. Best, Deb 
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Offline Gyppo

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Re: To copyright or not to copyright first??
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2010, 06:48:24 PM »
Could I also add, for the benefit of those who know they are procrastinating, don't talk too much about what you are going to write.  Get it down on paper, or on the computer, and then talk about  it.  Many a good idea has been talked out of existence before it was captured.

Gyppo
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Offline deborahowen

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Re: To copyright or not to copyright first??
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2010, 07:00:04 PM »
Excellent post, Gyppo. I never understood that until I voiced a full (and as yet unwritten) story to someone. After the excitement had surfaced, I totally lost interest. Pity. It was a great plot. Nowadays when I have a brainstorm, I write a basic outline and leave it for a day when I can't remember where I parked my creativity.
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Offline LRSuda

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Re: To copyright or not to copyright first??
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2010, 12:11:36 AM »
The date and time that appear at the head of each posts here should also give you a bit of comfort; it's proof you put it out there first.

lisa

Offline rosysophia

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Re: To copyright or not to copyright first??
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2010, 01:24:10 PM »
I have written the first three chapters of my novel, and would like to have them critiqued through a few of the writers websites that I'm thinking of joining, just to get some feedback on it. However, I'm wondering if I need to get these chapters copywritten first, as I am nervous of being ripped off by someone. Am I too paranoid? Should I even worry about it? Can you offer me some input as to my dilemma?
Someone may have already said this, but do you know about Poor Man's Copyright? Just send your work to yourself in an envelope, via snail mail, and don't open it.  Also, I read online that characters and unfinished stories can be very easily stolen via the internet . . . So be very careful where you post, and make sure that what you're posting is either mostly done or all the way done, because if you have a finished piece of writing in your hands (even if it's not totally edited) you're on much safer ground.

Offline wuzzle

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Re: To copyright or not to copyright first??
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2010, 04:08:41 PM »
Thank you all for your feedback. It has set my mind somewhat at ease.

Wuzzle

Offline phmoisan

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Re: To copyright or not to copyright first??
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2010, 04:35:40 PM »
Mine too.