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Copyright, Registration, and CreateSpace

Created on: Nov 4, 2010 10:48 AM by CreateSpaceResources - Last Modified:  Jul 31, 2012 11:06 AM by CreateSpaceResources

Your blood, sweat and tears have gone into creating your book, music or film - now how can you be sure your work is protected through copyright? Copyright is a subject that usually creates many questions among independent authors, filmmakers and musicians. Perhaps one of the reasons copyright is so difficult to fully comprehend is because there is not one answer that works for everyone. Every artist's situation is different, and copyright laws and registrations can be complex. As a self-published artist, it's up to you to ensure you are protected as you desire. For that reason, CreateSpace will not register or submit your work for copyright protection under any circumstances.

A basic understanding of copyright is important as you decide what level of copyright protection is right for you. Within the United States, copyright laws are determined by the U.S. government; if you wish to register your work in another country, connect with the applicable government to obtain additional copyright information.

The following frequently asked questions, pulled directly from, pertain to U.S. Copyright law:

What is copyright?
Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works.

What does copyright protect?
Copyright, a form of intellectual property law, protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section "What Works Are Protected" [p.3].

When is my work protected?
Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.

Do I have to register with your office to be protected?
No. In general, registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. You will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. work. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section "Copyright Registration" [p.7].

These four frequently asked questions are just the tip of the iceberg. To learn about copyright and copyright registration, and for the most up to date information, please visit

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