Blogs by Randy Young
Copyright In and Outs
4/29/2008 9:28:23 AM
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I had someone send me an email today asking about copyright. I figured that everyone knew this, but I am going to repeat it, just in case.
Any writer wonders about the same things. They are afraid that someone can steal their idea. Actually, Ideas can be stolen. Ideas are not protected by copyright.
That is right. Ideas can not be protected. If you look at all of the writing in the world, most of it comes from the same basic ideas. Most stories are based on the basic idea of good vs. evil. Think about it. It is true. They all come from the same basic ideas. See how an idea can not be copyrighted? If ideas could be copyrighted, the book world would be very small. It has to be something presented as unique work and then it can be considered protected.
If you talk with someone and give them an idea and then they use it, you do not have a leg to stand on. Ideas are pretty much free to use. I would caution you about talking about ideas that are not in a written form.
Some people apply for a copyright. Please, do not send in a manuscript with a copyright on it. That is considered very amateurish. Publishers will laugh or want to laugh and toss it into the slush pile. This is a big "No No." You must be as professional as possible.
When your work is written down, it is copyrighted. This is automatic. This is also true of published and unpublished work.
When your work is published, the publishing company will take care of the copyright.
When a work is copyrighted, the copyright lasts for life plus seventy years. After that time, it enters public domain.
In public domain, anyone can use the work. The author's heirs do not get anything out of it. It is as stated "public domain."
Sorry, got to run. More later.
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