Is there a way to protect my work from being copied for free? 6 Answers as of March 07, 2013

Is there any way to stop people from copying my work for free? I need it to be free, copyright is not an option. I would use copyright, but I am making a web application which would be updated often, resulting in huge fees. Are there any other ways to protect my work for free?

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Mark S. Hubert PC
Mark S. Hubert PC | Mark Hubert
Your work is covered for free. As per the latest Copyright Act (1978 i believe) there is automatic copyright protection in your work. No fees required - however before suing someone for infringement you must file your copyrighted material with the US Copyright Office. You may want to look on their website under infringement and remedies for a full explanation.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 3/7/2013
Law Office of Kirk Buhler
Law Office of Kirk Buhler | Kirk A Buhler
If you performed the work yourself the US government will still require payment of fees to file, review and issue or register your work. Even if there was something for free, if someone copied your work, your only recourse would be to sue them for infringement. The law suit would also require some money.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/7/2013
Barton Barton & Plotkin
Barton Barton & Plotkin | Maurice Ross
Yes. Copyright protection arises automatically-even without registration. Registration is necessary only in advance of enforcing your copyrights against infringers. Further, most web-designers rely on their trademarks as much as copyrights, and trademark rights arise from use in commerce. Notwithstanding this, it is wise to register both your copyrights and trademark names. The copyright office allows registrations of works as collections (for example, newspapers). Thus, you can file one registration periodically (for $35) to cover various versions of web application as it changes. This keeps down the costs and provides reasonable collection. I can tell by your question that you do not understand many of the basics about intellectual property law. I provide private "small business tutoring" on intellectual property law issues at reasonable cost. Most of my clients find that a two-three hour session with me adds tremendous value and often keeps them from making costly mistakes. In any event, if you are in the web application business, you need to educate yourself about the basics of IP law-otherwise, you are going to face gigantic problems and costs which are avoidable.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 3/7/2013
Ochoa and Associates
Ochoa and Associates | Susan Ochoa Spiering
I am not aware of a free service that is available for protection of your work. I have heard of a group in Austin Texas that helps artists to obtain TM and Copyright protection for their work, but I do not know how to reach them. I am also not sure if the group consists of attorneys helping artists or non-attorneys who have gone through some form of registration / litigation process. If you call the copyright helpline (you may have to leave a message and they'll return your call), they may be able to guide you. The USPTO has an office: see website: www.stopfakes.gov, which if you go to the website has phone numbers to call. It may be that someone in this organization can help you.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 3/7/2013
Tran & Associates | Bao Tran
You should get patent application as soon as you can to prevent others from copying you. This is important as we move into the First to File era. I would recommend the use of software from PowerPatent.com called ProvisionalBuilder. A feature summary is at http://www.powerpatent.com/prwelcome THe software helps you organize information, and through your summary description, brings back sample patents in the same field for you to use as example
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/7/2013
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