Worried About Plagiarism? Copyright Your Original Work

19th March 2009
By mgordon in Copyright & Trademark
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When you have finished a piece of work there is always a sense of achievement. You sit back and look over it and think "this is as good as it can be, and I have worked at it until it is finished". But in some ways, finishing the work is only the beginning of the end because if you want the piece to be watertight you need to make sure that it is identifiable as being your work. The crime of plagiarism is worryingly prevalent - one has only to look at the world of music to see examples of bands having a huge hit that turns out to have been ripped off from a less well-known act who never really got the attention their hard work deserved.

To avoid falling victim to plagiarism it is often necessary to register your work for copyright. The "blogosphere" - a world where people from all over the world can put their writing in the public sphere for reaction, credit and criticism - has its own way of copyrighting work via "time stamping". A blog "client" - generally the medium through which you put your writing into a domain - will put a date and time on the work, so that if someone decides that your writing is so good that they want it for themselves, they can easily be identified as having stolen it.

Other fields of work are less automatic in terms of avoiding plagiarism, however. An author who finishes a book will be well advised to send it for copyrighting before submitting it for publication, as there have been unsavory stories of publishing houses liking people's work so much that they decide to send them a rejection letter but keep their work and amend it, publishing it under a different name. Anyone who has fallen victim to the act of plagiarism without having recourse to a method of proving this will be able to confirm that there are few things more frustrating and galling than being ripped off and not being able to prove it.

The reason that it is important to register for copyright even if you have largely incontrovertible proof of the originality of your work is that it gives you rights under the law to bring a case in a civil lawsuit. This is important in terms of claiming damages and protecting the legal integrity of your work. It will also enable you to claim your legal fees if any are accrued in the course of pursuing your case. As time goes on, the more successful you become in your chosen field, you will not have to register the work yourself, as the publisher will do it for you. But early on, it is important to make sure you are doing everything you can to protect yourself, as no-one is going to go to the bother of doing it for you.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.

LegalBuffet.com is a complete online resource that compares the legal services offered by various online companies. If you need help on how to copyright your work, find the best company for you at http://legalbuffet.com/copyright-services /.
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Source: http://www.goinglegal.com/worried-about-plagiarism-copyright-your-original-work-829712.html
About the Author
Melissa Gordon is the publisher of LegalBuffet.com, a complete online resource that compares the legal services from various online companies. Find the best company for your LLC formation needs at http://legalbuffet.com/llc-services /.
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