How to Copyright – Common Law and Statutory Law Compared

It is widely misunderstood that one must file a copyright with the Copyright Office in order to secure a copyright. While acquiring a registration does indeed have its advantages, a registration within the Copyright Office is not required to secure rights. Instead, under common law, a copyright is automatically created when it is fixed in a tangible form for the first time. As long as it is an original work of authorship, you may claim ownership and protection and even place a copyright notice, including the “small c with a circle” symbol, on the particular work. Although a notice is not required any longer, should one desire to use it, it is important to follow the convention of using the © symbol followed by the year of the first publication of the work followed by the owner of the copyright and the work.

While creating and maintaining common law copyright … Read More