Do Your Words Need Protection?

Recently, attending a local event, I found myself chatting with a young woman I'll call Pearl. When she learned I was a writer she asked, "I wrote some poems when I was younger and I would like to copyright them. What should I do?"

"You always own the copyright to your work," I explained. "Technically, you can sue someone who copies your work, even if you haven't registered the copyright. The problem is proving it's your work.

"The real question," I added, "is whether these poems have market value. Unless you can sell them for money, or you need these poems for a portfolio, you may not have a serious concern."

Web guru Tom Antion once said the web is a place to share our ideas, not be overly concerned with protecting them. Someone "borrowed" your ebook? Well, if you've done it right, each page has links to your site, so they may be doing you a favor.

When I write articles for my ezine and website, I want them circulated widely -- with my name, URL and resource box. These articles are written to bring visitors to my websites. However, when I write for a print resource, or when a paying site uses my work, I want to get paid -- and I don't want to be copied.

Bottom Line: When your writing is integrated into your business strategy, you design the level of protection that best fits your long-term goals. Then, and only then, you ask, "How do I get there?"

About The Author

Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., is an author, speaker and career/business consultant, helping midlife professionals take their First step to a Second Career.

"Ten secrets of mastering a major life change"

Contact: 505-534-4294

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