Monday, March 29, 2010

Protect your work and yourself

I was compelled to write this post because I am always careful of what I write or who I quote. A few days ago, a fellow writer asked me about getting credit for her small contribution in a book. I couldn't give her the nitty-gritty on this subject. So, I decided to do some research of my own. The moment you write your story, play, book, etc., it is yours, therefore it is copyrighted. The gist of it as one of my mentors put it, titles, phrases, words, cannot be copyrighted. Your work, on the other hand, can be. If you don't want to do it the long way through the Copyright Board of Canada then just mail your work to yourself and DO NOT open the envelope. This simple action makes it your own and yes, copyrighted. Also make sure that you do not confuse "trademark" with "copyright". The definition of both is: "A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols or designs, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. Trademarks, copyrights and patents all differ. A copyright protects an original artistic or literary work; a patent protects an invention."
Both copyrights and trademarks can be registered with the government, but neither is required to be registered in order to be valid. No notice of copyright is legally required on a creative work. A copyright exists as soon as a work is created, and automatically belongs to the creator.
Even though registration of copyrights and trademarks isn't legally required, it is highly recommended. Registering makes proof of ownership easy to identify. It prevents confusion and protects a claim, especially in court.

For more information on this, visit Copyright Board of Canada at:

For the Canadian Copyright Act visit:

No comments:

Post a Comment