Smart People, Not-So-Smart Decisions.
It never ceases to amaze me how many smart people make not-so-smart choices. Many savvy business entrepreneurs believe if you mail something to yourself, that act alone is sufficient for copyright protection?
Dispel the Myth.
Not sure how that myth got started, but it is a myth. Here’s why:
If you invest time and money into creating copyrightable content, e.g., product, books, eBooks, articles, blogs, website content, videos, and photographs, just to name a few, then your intent (I believe) is to make money from it. Right? To make money, you need to create a need and then convince the marketplace that what you offer is worth reading, watching, using, or having. If you create that need and don’t protect it, someone else will come along and steal it, and monetize it. Then you’ll be crying and complaining about how unfair life is that so-and-so stole your work.
So what should you do? Protect your valuable copyrightable work. The best time is within 3-months after you publish.
Protection of Copyright.
Protection does NOT come from mailing a copy of your work to yourself. To get the protection you really need for your valuable art or works of authorship, you need to register it with the U.S. Copyright Office. Mailing it to yourself is NOT the same as a registration. The benefits of copyright registration are many:
- It establishes a public record
- You receive a Certificate of Registration from the U.S. Copyright Office
- It’s easier to get copyright registrations in other countries
- 4. You can sue for infringement
- You may be able to recover money damages (e.g., lost profits, treble (3x) statutory damages, court costs, & attorney’s fees.
With those benefits, plus $35/per application, why would a smart business owner like you NOT register your valuable copyrightable content?
If I were you, I’d run (not walk) to your computer and file your registration online today. And if you don’t know what to do, there are many copyright lawyers just like me, who would be happy to assist you.
Until next time, I’m Attorney Francine Ward helping you protect what’s yours!
Join my conversation on Facebook, Twitter, and on my website.