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Passions in Poetry

Digital Passions
Poetry Magazine

Digital Passions #5
published September 10, 2000


Editor's Column by Poet deVine
Rambles from Ron
Power of a Poet by Poet deVine
How to Copyright by Denise Snyder
Interview with Balladeer by Marge Tindal
Abraham, Martin, and John by Balladeer
Vistor Feedback (with poem)
The Final Word by Poet deVine

* Bonus Features

I Know You by Ron Carnell
How to Write Sonnets by Nancy Ness
Lots More Visitor Feedback
End Notes / Unsubscribe

Read It All (one big page)

Power of a Poet Interview with Balladeer

How to Copyright Your Work
by Denise Snyder

A Copyright is secured automatically at the time of creation.

Publication and registration with the Library of Congress is not a prerequisite to securing a Copyright.

A work is "created" when it is fixed in a copy or phonorecord for the first time. An author's thoughts, whether on paper or computer are automatically protected by the Copyright law.

Use of a copyright notice on an author's work is no longer required by the law but may be beneficial as it informs the public the work is protected by copyright. It shows the year and name of the author thereby eliminating the possibility of "innocent" infringement in the event of an infringement suit.

Registration of Copyright with the Library of Congress is not necessary but is highly recommended. It establishes a public record of the author's claim to copyright. If registration is made prior to any infringement of the work, the author will have available the right to claim statutory damages and attorney's fees. Without prior registration the author can only claim actual damages and profits made by the defendant. This alone makes prior registration advisable. In the event of an infringement issue, registration must be made prior to a suit being filed in court, but if an author waits until an infringement has occurred before registering, the availability of suing for statutory damages and attorney's fees is lost.

The fee (for copyright registration) is $30

You may submit your collected works as one, with a title and index to the Library of Congress. The fee is $30. It is recommended that the material be sent certified or registered with a return receipt requested (certified is the more affordable option) if the author wants to be assured that the material was received by the Library of Congress and the date of receipt since the Library of Congress cannot give that information out over the phone. The date of receipt will be the official registration date and a certificate of registration will be issued in approximately 8 months from the date of receipt.

To speak with an information's specialist or to order registration forms, you may call the Library of Congress at (202) 707-3000 or TTY at (202) 707-6737, Monday through Friday (8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. ET). They may also be contacted at:

or at their mailing address:

Library of Congress
Copyright Office
101 Independence Avenue, S.E
Washington, DC

There are also links in the FAQ section of Passions at  for anyone desiring further information about Copyright, registration and International Copyright issues. I strongly recommend that every author check out these links.

Protecting the exclusive rights to your work is probably the most prudent step that an author can take in avoiding possible infringement issues in the future.


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