Posts Tagged ‘write’

Do you know? How long does copyright last?

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

The answer to this question is more complex than it seems. The short answer is, it depends. Generally, the term of copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus seventy years after the author’s death for works created after January 1, 1978. But for early works the duration of copyright protection depends on if the work was published and, if so, the date of publication. Additionally there special rules for anonymous and pseudonymous works, as well as works made for hire.

Click here to access a helpful chart to determine whether a particular literary or artistic work may be under copyright protection. [Source: Cornell University]

[© 2011 Tonya M. Evans. This post may be “shared socially” and republished provided this post is copied in its entirety and copyright and byline information is included for attribution. “This post is republished with permission from Copyright 2011 Tonya M. Evans”]

Click here for more info on copyright from Legal Write Publications

Copyright for Writers on the Internet

Monday, May 16th, 2011

[Excerpt from Chapter 13 of Copyright Companion for Writers © 2007 Tonya M. Evans. This excerpt may be “shared socially” and republished provided this post is copied in its entirety and copyright information is included for attribution]

Revisions and Updates

Problems of registration emerge when a Web site is updated frequently. The question arises as to whether it is necessary to register the site after each update. For individual works the answer, technically, is yes because there is no comprehensive registration to cover revisions published on different dates. Therefore, each daily update would have to be registered separately. As an attorney, I recommend that you do register each update to be fully protected. I recognize, however, that this would require much work, and I acknowledge that most people don’t follow this practice because they find it to be impractical. If you are like most people, then I suggest that you make it a practice to register your Web site every three months. If you do that, then you will be entitled to statutory damages and attorney fees if you ever have to sue someone for infringement. A different rule governs automated databases and serials because they qualify to use blanket registration (see below).

E-Newsletters and Other E-Serials

Electronic versions of newsletters and serials are also protected by copyright and can be registered with the Copyright Office in a single registration covering multiple issues published on different dates. Group registration is available for works published weekly or less often (serials) and for newsletters published daily or more often than weekly, including those published online. The requirements vary, depending on the type of work. See Copyright Office Circular 62 for more information on serials. Note that group registration is available only for collective works, such as a collection of articles or an anthology, and not for electronic journals published one article at a time.


The rules of copyright also apply to posts on blogs – both the blog owner’s posts and comments by visitors. The owner holds the copyright to the post, and visitors own the copyright to their comments. There seems to be at least some implied license granted by a commenter to the blog owner to display the comment, but it is not clear how far that implied license reaches. But this implied license does not work the other way; nonetheless, reports from blog owners about rampant cut-and-paste infringement from their blogs for unauthorized posting to other blogs are far too common, and present a troubling development in the blogosphere.

To protect your blog and yourself from potential infringement claims from bloggers, always post your copyright information and instructions on how bloggers can use your posts, if at all. At a minimum, require that the post be copied in full and that it keep your copyright information intact. You may also want to ask for a link back to your Web site or blog. Of course, you should also consider registering blog posts; if your blog is a regular series (i.e., serial), then follow the registration guidelines for e-serials.

Need more information?

Description: Through clear and concise explanations and dozens of useful forms, this manual debunks myths such as the “Poor Man’s Copyright” (aka the “mail-the-manuscript-to-yourself” theory of protecting copyright) and examines the difference between fair use and public domain, the definition of infringement and how to avoid it, how a writer may assert a claim, and how to obtain permissions to use copyrighted works such as song lyrics, pictures, and quotes. Also included in this edition is a chapter on Freelancers rights.




Copyright Companion for Writers ($22.95)

Contracts Companion for Writers ($19.95)

Literary Law Guide for Authors: Copyright, Trademark and Contracts in Plain Language ($22.95)

ALL FOR ONLY $44.95 (+ S/H)

Did you know? … Who owns what when you collaborate?

Sunday, December 5th, 2010

When two or more writers or other creative people collaborate to create a copyrighted work and intend that their individual contributions be combined into a single interdependent work, by default, all of the contributors share equally in ownership of the copyright. This is true even if the participants contribute different parts to the whole or exert unequal effort (as when a celebrity lends her name to a project but the writer actually creates the manuscript).

Of course, the collaborators can (and should) enter into a written agreement that details specifically who owns what; how much money (if any) each contributor will receive; who is responsible for what; what happens if a collaborator dies becomes disabled, or does not stay with the project to its completion; how the credits will appear; and in what name or names the copyright will be registered. Remember that unless the collaborators agree otherwise, they will all share joint ownership of the copyright.

[Excerpt from Contracts Companion for Writers]

Download a sample collaboration agreement

More important contracts for writers

Contracts Companion for Writers (sample forms, deal points, explanations and more!)

© 2010 Legal Write Publications.

June 15th Teleclass … still space available so join us!

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Just sixty minutes and $30!

Get your most pressing legal questions answered from the comfort of your home or office!

We will have a few spaces available for tonight’s engaging and informative teleclass Copyright for Writers on the Web so register now.

Send your question in advance to have it added to the top of the Q&A cue and be guaranteed to have your question addressed live during the class!

Here’s what a recent attendee had to say about our teleclasses!

“Your teleclass answered so many questions. It was worth every penny and more.” – Sandra Allen

After attending this class you will understand:

  • Copyright basics (how, what, when and why)
  • What is protected on the Web and what’s fair game
  • The critical difference between “public domain” information and “fair use”
  • How to protect your work on the Web
  • Some of the biggest myths writers believe that can lead to infringement
  • How to lawfully link to and share the work of others

Click here to register for a Legal Write Publications Literary Law teleclass today!