How can I protect literary work from copyright infringement? 3 Answers as of December 22, 2010

I was wondering if I were to send a piece of my literary work to a magazine or newspaper to ask if they would publish it, how would I legally make sure that my work is protected from copyright infringement? How can I make sure my work stays in my name and is not plagiarized by someone else?

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Mark S. Hubert PC
Mark S. Hubert PC | Mark Hubert
File a copyright with the US Copyright office - it costs $40 and you can do it online.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 12/22/2010
DANIEL NESBITT | Hasse & Nesbitt
You are concerned about "policing" your copyrighted literary work. One can never ensure that copyrighted works will never be used by others without permission. You might consider using a digital technology program that is designed to monitor the Internet for unauthorized use of your literary work, such as, or Google.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 12/21/2010
Fish & Associates, PC
Fish & Associates, PC | Robert D. Fish
In theory, copyright protection attaches as soon as the work is created, or in legalese,as soon as an original work is reduced to a tangible medium of expression. However, in practice in the United States, that right is only enforceable upon registration.

Registering the copyright is easy. Go to the copyright office website, and fill out form eCO. The fee is only $35 per registration. Many law offices, such as ours, will help you with registration for $100.

Copyrights are not self-enforcing. To stop someone from plagiarizing your work, you need to first identify the plagiarism, and then hire an attorney to pursue them.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/21/2010
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