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Copyright myths that can affect original work

If you’re a digital creator or business owner, copyright protection is crucial because it helps guarantee that you have exclusive rights to your original work. Unfortunately, you can risk losing ownership of your software code – and other works of original authorship – by basing your decisions on the many misunderstandings and myths surrounding copyright protection.

Therefore, it’s important to educate yourself and dispel any misconceptions you may have about copyrights. A false sense of security can leave your work vulnerable to infringement. Having accurate information about copyright protection can help ensure you have the right to use your original work for profit. This way, you can fully benefit from your creative efforts.

Myth: Registration is just a formality

Since copyright protection begins the moment you create an original work, one may tend to believe that registration is nothing more than a formality. In reality, simply creating an original work does not automatically protect it. Even if it exists in a tangible medium, you can benefit from registering your original works. Without registration, you may have a hard time exercising your rights in court if someone infringes on your intellectual property. However, when your works are registered, you can be eligible for statutory damages.

Myth: Adding a copyright symbol is sufficient

Another widespread misconception about copyright is that adding the copyright symbol (©) to your work is sufficient protection. Of course, the symbol accompanies many digital works that have been copyrighted. However, it’s crucial to remember that it does not protect your work if you don’t have it formally registered. The symbol can actually deter infringers from using your work without your authority. However, you may not enjoy the benefits of registration if someone decides to infringe on your work anyway.

Myth: A poor man’s copyright is effective

You’re likely aware of the “poor man’s copyright” concept. It is a widespread belief suggesting that mailing a copy of your work to yourself provides protection. The principle behind this myth is that the postmarked envelope can serve as evidence of the creation date. In reality, courts do not recognize this method. The surefire protection that’s recognized under the law is registration.

Familiarizing yourself with copyright law is the first step towards protecting your original work. Believing these common myths can leave you vulnerable and unable to benefit from your creative efforts fully. Registering your work, respecting the rights of others and seeking proper legal guidance are essential steps in safeguarding your intellectual property accordingly.