Copyright Your Works
Before Sending Submissions
How well it will hold up in court, seems to be the question.
difficulty. It does not support Google Chrome, and Firefox 2.0 users must jump hoops to use the US eCO. Before I started this blog today, I logged on to the US Copyright Office hoping this problem had been fixed, and sadly it has not.
QUESTION: With such a “clunky and dated” system how secure will my copyright be?
You can, however, use the Copyright Registration Service, or CRS, ( also known as Intellectual Property Rights). It is automatic and easy. I will use them until the US Copyright Office can get their act together.
About The CRS: It is an independent, non-governmental organization with an international scope covering all nations which are signatories to the Berne Convention. It was first established in the United Kingdom as a for-profit enterprise, but is not affiliated to any particular nation state and provides copyright protection on an equal basis to the citizens of all Berne Convention countries.
The IP Rights Office seeks to use the power and increasing prevalence of the internet to allow the creators of original work to protect their rights more easily and in a more internationally standardised fashion than has traditionally been available.
Notice two key words about the CRS: non-governmental and for-profit. Could be why they are so much more efficient. You can print out your copyright certificate and number in a matter of minutes, and their retrieval method is easy. If you forget what works you have copyrighted and which ones you have not, the retrieval is a very nice feature.
I am a member of a Linkedin writers group, Writer’s Hangout. I recently asked the group how they copyrighted their works. The results were fairly even with the US Copyright Office leading the pack.
So to SUMMARIZE, if you don’t use a Safari or Google Chrome Browser, and don’t mind plowing through the governmental quagmire of the US Copyright Office’s website and its inefficiency, and if you don’t mind waiting three to five months, go American. It’s only $35.
One fellow writer wrote about the CRS—he uses the poor man’s copyright—U.K. law is the same as US law. If we want a higher level of security we register with the U.K. Copyright Office. This creates a public record of ownership which is useful if ownership of the copyright is disputed in a court of law.
The CRS is more expensive than the US. It costs:
$45– 4 years
$80– 8 years
$112– 12 years
$125– 15 years
The US Copyright Office is $35 for all time.
Even though the CRS is more expensive, I see advantages. I copyrighted my first novella. Then revised it extensively. At this time, I can not go back and re-copyright the revised novella. But with CRS, in two years I can let the old copyright expire and copyright my revised version. With the US Copyright, that copyright on that work is for life.
I would love to hear from you on copyright—your opinion, your experience. What method of copyright will you use?