Monday, March 26, 2012

To Copyright Or Not To Copyright?

Last week, I sat in on a short workshop geared for high school students that discussed what it takes to become an author.  I am always interested to see what other authors talk about, especially when their message is targeted at children.  The facilitator of the workshop informed the students of many basic steps one must take to become an author.  As I listened to his presentation, the thing that jumped out at me most was his emphasis on copyrighting.  He told the students that it is imperative to copyright their work before they send it out because it is possible for a publisher to like their work, take their work, and publish it through someone else.  Further, he used an example of Sophia Stewart, an author who claimed that she wrote the Matrix and that it had been stolen from her.

After doing a little research myself, I only found conflicting information about whether Stewart’s claim is true or not, and whether she did, in fact, win a lawsuit concerning her claim.

With all that said, I remember hearing somewhere, some time ago, that writers don’t need to copyright because since their idea is theirs, it belongs to them.  But after hearing this facilitator’s message, it has made me question, is it necessary to copyright your work before you send it out to editors, agents, and publishers?

 What do you think: To copyright or not to copyright?


  1. This is an interesting question. Almost everything I read tells me it isn't really necessary, but then I met a local author who actually copyrighted a piece of her work and won a lawsuit when someone else appropriated it! I just don't know, but it is surely something to think about. I'd be curious to know who was teaching the workshop.

  2. Hi Rosi!

    I can't remember is name, but I think he is a local author. AND, I believe his books have been published with Simon & Schuster. If I think of his name, I'll let you know!