Friday, 19 November 2010

I want to know everything about Copyright, what about you?

I have read many blogs and sites on Copyright and I must say I've found mixed information on this topic. Some say you should always copyright your work, others say it's not necessary, that the moment you write something it is yours. I'll always remember reading an agent's blog (Jane Judd) where she joked about our work probably not being that good to steal anyway, and even if she was joking, she is most likely right. However, as a writer, this issue affects me and I want to know I'm covered in the face of any events. I want to have all the details confirmed and the facts verified by a reliable source, that is why I'm going to keep a close eye on Jane Smith's blog who has declared an official Copyright day over at her place:

I encourage you to visit it if you have as many doubts on copyright as I do.


  1. I did a post on copyright a long time ago. As soon as it's in 'public domain' then it is considered under copyright. But make sure you keep all drafts in stuff to cover your butt :)

  2. Sarah, I agree: there's a lot of conflicting advice about copyright out there but it's important for writers to know how it really works. Nicola Morgan's blog post on the subject (there'll be a link to it from my blog post soon) is an excellent start.

    Nicole, you're wrong about "public domain", I'm afraid.

    As soon as you write something or create something, you own the copyright to that thing and people are not allowed to use it without your permission. Even if you never publish your work, you own the copyright to it; and that copyright endures for as long as you remain alive, and for a fixed term after your death (depending on where you live--it's around 70 years).

    Works in the public domain are works which have come out of copyright because their authors died so long ago (for example, I think the works of Virginia Woolf are about to come into the public domain). But if things appear where the public can read them, that's NOT considered "public domain" and has no bearing on the copyright of the work concerned.

  3. One thing that fudges the issue is that copyright laws are different in different countries, and as the WWW is a global village, it's sometimes hard to know what applies to you personally.

    The rule of thumb (and I know I'm preaching to the converted here) is just not to use anything that doesn't belong to you unless you have permission from the owner.

  4. I know you're not necessarily discussing work on the internet but your post made me think that every time we post our writing onto the internet we're leaving ourselves wide open to having it stolen. How can we possibly keep an eye on everything, everywhere to ensure that that doesn't happen?


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