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If you are a poet or a writer, copyright registration is an important subject to consider. Here are some basics that all poets should be aware of.

Copyright takes affect the moment your piece of work is created. Therefore, if you are the author, you can automatically claim copyright. However, if you want legal protection for your writings, paintings, ideas, ect.., you must get the work copyrighted.


In order to get your work registered, you must take the following steps: (These instructions are geared towards poets)
1. Complete form TX for published or non-published literary works. (You can download the forms at )
2. Send a check for $30.00 for the registration fee.
(This fee is good until June 30,2002).
(The fee is non-refundable, so you're not getting the money back.)
3. Send a copy of your manuscript. Poems may be sent individually, but it's better to send them as collection in the form of the book. The poems will be classified as part of the book, not as individual poems. Your poems will not be returned either, they will be kept on record at the Library of Congress.

4. Send your form TX, check, and your manuscript to:
Copyright Office, Library of Congress
101 Independence Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20559-6000.

5. Make sure you alert everyone that has a printed form of your poems by putting the copyright symbol on your poems.
i.e. My Poem (c)2001

6. Send your package by certified mail and get a return reciept.

7. Copyright registration is effective the date your work is recieved in their office.

8. Learn more than you ever wanted to know about copyrights
at their homepage:

Click here to go directly to the copyright page


You can not copyright titles, slogans, or band names.

If you want to sue for copyright infringement, your work must be copyrighted.

The US Copyright office is the only place that can issue copyright registrations.

It usually takes 8 months to get your certificate back.

Your copyright is good for your lifetime plus 70 years after your death.

You are allowed to use quoted portions of a work for
commentary, criticism, news reporting, and scholarly reports.