How to Copyright Your Work
Copyrights are 100% necessary.
They allow you to own your work: meaning you're the only person who can use it, sell it, or copy it.
This protects your work and your bottom line from copycats.
Here's how to get started copyrighting your work...
What is a Copyright
A copyright protects your work.
It means that your art, photos, ebooks, and online courses can’t be stolen.
Without a copyright, it’s hard to stop people from stealing your work.
With a copyright, you’re the only one who can sell it, use it, or copy it.
That means more profits for you and fewer sales lost to copycats.
So you need to copyright your work asap.
1. Review your work
You can copyright your artwork, designs, photos, website, books, online courses, music, video, product packaging, and source code.
Here are the works to avoid:
No Plain Text
It's hard to copyright a few words or a short phrase.
The copyright office says that plain text doesn't meet the legal requirements for creativity in a work.
You want to add design elements to make it unique.
You cannot protect a business idea, fact, formula, or invention. The best way to protect an idea is through strong branding.
No Names, Logos, Taglines
You can't protect your business branding with a copyright. You'll need a trademark for the strongest protection.
2. File your copyright application
You'll file an application with the United States Copyright Office.
Once you file the application, you can start protecting your work right away. That means you can send cease + desist letters and stop copycats.
It takes about 6 months to be approved. The copyright office will issue a response and you'll need to work with them to meet the legal requirements.
If there are no issues, your copyright will be approved!
3. Stop Copycats
The best part about having a copyright is that you can stop copycats from stealing your work.
You can start shutting down copycats as soon as your copyright application is filed.
If someone is using your exact work or a similar version, you can demand that they remove it or face legal consequences.
Once you see a similar work, you can send a Cease + Desist letter outlining your legal rights and demanding they remove the work.