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Thread: A question for the "real" authors

  1. #41
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    I have a question now for the professionals. It has to do with copyright. Is it true that all one has to do is mail your manuscript to yourself and leave the envelope sealed and that work is protected under copyright law? I'm afraid I don't have a clue how to protect my ideas and stories from "rip-off". Quick story. In college. Assigned creative writing assignment. Wrote haunting ghost story with a twist (of Lime?). By college journey's end two years later, my story is included under professor's name (complete with character name changes and setting differences) in text book. Now I'm terrified to let go of stories ever since. How do we protect our ideas legally, folks? Some guidance please?

  2. #42
    Senior Member Hearing Voices ozmosis7's Avatar
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    Now days, your stories, artwork, photos, etc are protected the second they are made by the digital millennium copyright act. Mailing it to yourself gives you just that same amount of protection, so it's kind of pointless. An actual copyright to a story can end up being costly, but if you can afford it, it is worthwhile.

    I've read of an actual case of multiple plagiarism that has been going on for a while. I know a group is suing the guy, but haven't heard of the outcome yet. Last I saw he had taken and used more than a half-dozen or so pieces from other writers and used them as his own.

    Having that actual copyright will make it easier in court if such a thing happens to you, but the DMCA seems to do the trick well enough as long as you can prove the piece is yours. That isn't hard to do with most writers or artists as we become crazy about backing things up. If you don't, I would work out a system where you back things up to CDs or DVDs that you store in a fire safe. This is the same thing as mailing your story back to yourself. It has a time stamp, and that is the key.

    Hope this was helpful.

  3. #43
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    Hey thanks Ozmo! So all these writable CDs when downloaded become time/date stamped automatically by the internal workings of my computer or do I have to apply a time/date myself?

  4. #44
    Senior Member Hearing Voices ozmosis7's Avatar
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    Every time you write anything in word or any other program it gets a time date stamp. When you save it to a disk it gets another. So a history of these is what protects you. So the old rule is save often, backup frequently.

  5. #45
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    Oh and I thought the old adage was, Save backup and often frequently. I had it all wrong. lol

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