How can I prove originality in my work?


Quick Answer

An original creative work can be protected by registering the work for official copyright protection via the U.S. Copyright Office, or by putting a notice of copyright on the work at the moment of creation. A copyright provides individuals with legal protection in the courts, and protects both published and unpublished works, according to the U.S. Copyright Office.

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Full Answer

Copyright protection is available for original works such as books, film scripts, plays, songs, software and architectural drawings. The author of the work owns the copyright automatically. It helps to attach the notice of copyright with a date. Including the date is important. Should a person need to file a court claim to prevent another person or entity from using the work, the date is helpful in proving the work was created before anyone else attempted to claim it.

While it is not necessary to register a work with the U.S. Copyright Office, formal registration typically results in having a certificate of copyright registration from the government. It also creates a public record of the existence of the work. The public record gives the originator an extra level of legal protection. Some individuals believe that mailing an original work to oneself is a way to establish legal copyright. However, it does not provide extra copyright protection.

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