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Why You Should Copyright Your Work

Copyright can be confusing. On one hand, the instant a literary work is put into tangible, readable form, it is considered to be copyrighted. You own that work. Here's how the copyright process works. Part of the application process is that you send a copy of the finished, printed book to be kept on file at the Library of Congress. This is the part that confuses many people who don't realize that their book is copyrighted the moment itt is created. That is why you can make use of the "©" symbol to be printed on the copyright page. Something to the effect of "© 2000 (or MM if you prefer Roman numerals) - John Doe, All rights reserved" usually works.

Next, you can download FormTX from which is the form you use for registering most books. to view and print this form you will need a PDF reader such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, which can be obtained for free from This download is four pages and contains the instructions for filling out the form, plus the two page form itself. The fee for filing Form TX is about $45.00.

Finally, after your book is printed, send Form TX, the $30 fee (not cash) and two printed copies of your book to the Library of Congress, Copyright Office, 101 Independence Avenue, S.E., Washington, DC 20559-6000.

If your registration needs are different than that of a standard book you can look through the information contained on the Registration Procedures webpage at

Registering your book with the Copyright Office is going to give you a better legal edge if someone infringes upon your work. Unfortunately, in a world where information can be distributed instantly, copyright infringement is not just a concern for the larger publishers. It can, and does, extend to the smallest of independent publishing companies. Registering your book removes all doubt of ownership.

Larry's Note: I received a note from Ms. Brooke Pierce, a teacher, who often uses this page in her business classes. One of her students, Matty, found another interesting site that is a great addition to this page. It's called, "The Copyright Information Guide." Thanks, Matty.

Larry's Note: I received a note from Ms. Kristen McNeill, a teacher, who often uses this page in her classes. One of her students, Ben, found another interesting site that is a great addition to this page. It's called, "Patents, Trademarks & Copyrights." Thanks, Ben.

backSo You Are Writing a Book, eh?

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