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Thread: Intellectual Property Rights Office / Copyright Registration Services

  1. #1
    Moderator In Name Only AW Moderator Roger J Carlson's Avatar
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    Intellectual Property Rights Office / Copyright Registration Services

    I don't see a thread devoted to this "service", so I thought I'd start one.

    Copyright Registration Services

    Aside from the fact that a copyright is rarely required before a work is published (see this FAQ. Look under "Do I Need to Copyright My WIP?"), there are a number of plain lies about this service.
    1. From the CRS Registration page: "Use this page to register your work for international copyright protection. To begin the registration process, please enter your email below:"

      From the Library of Congress website: "There is no such thing as an 'international copyright' that will automatically protect an authorís writings throughout the entire world."
      .
    2. And then there is the CRS bizarre payment schedule:
      Curriculum of Charges
      The IP Rights Office makes a small administrative charge for all works registered through the CRS. The amount charged varies according to the length of registration required, and the various fees are outlined below in US dollars, British pound sterling, Euros, Canadian dollars, Australian dollars, and New Zealand dollars. You can make payment in any of these currencies, regardless of your local currency, and the currency exchange will be handled for you.
      .............4 yrs 8 yrs 12 yrs 15 yrs
      USD ($) $35...$60 ....$80 .......$90

      According the the Library of Congress: "A work that was created (fixed in tangible form for the first time) on or after January 1, 1978, is automatically protected from the moment of its creation and is ordinarily given a term enduring for the authorís life plus an additional 70 years after the authorís death. "

      The cost? $45.
      .
    3. CRS says you can register on-line

      According to the Library of Congress, this is the procedure:

      Original Registration

      To register a work, send the following three elements in the same envelope or package to:

      Library of Congress
      Copyright Office
      101 Independence Avenue, SE
      Washington, DC 20559-6000
      1. A properly completed application form.
      2. A nonrefundable filing fee* for each application.
      3. The deposit requirements vary in particular situations.
    The fact is they are NOT registering your copyright with the Library of Congress. They are registering it with themselves. Basically, you're spending $90 for 15 years of nothing.
    Last edited by Roger J Carlson; 04-09-2007 at 06:58 PM.
    --Roger J. Carlson

  2. #2
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    From the fine print, a.k.a. "Registration Terms and Conditions" (bolding is mine):
    Registering your Work with the IP Rights Office Copyright Registration Service provides supporting evidence intended to help prove your ownership of copyright. It does not provide statutory protection, nor is it a formal copyright. The Registrant remains responsible for proving copyright ownership and the IP Rights Office will take no part in any legal proceedings, other than to provide the Registrant with supporting documentation and a copy of the registered Work upon payment of the appropriate retrieval fee via the online retrieval system.
    In other words, it's useless. In countries where there is registration, this is no substitute. In countries where there isn't registration--which is to say, the majority of Berne signatories--it isn't necessary.

    This would appear to be a blatant effort to profit from of writers' incredibly common, but completely unreasonable, dread of theft.

    Thanks for posting about this, Roger--seems like it's worth a WB blog entry.

    - Victoria

  3. #3
    Preditors & Editors Requiescat In Pace DaveKuzminski's Avatar
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    P&E will be glad to give them a plug, too.

  4. #4
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    It's Poor Man's Copyright, updated to the Internet Age!

  5. #5
    I grow my own catnip JulieB's Avatar
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    ...and costing a heck of a lot more!

  6. #6
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    I came across that one on the Internet a couple of years ago and promptly ignored it.

    It's a good idea to start a thread on them, Roger, because I'm sure a few beginning writers would fall for it.

  7. #7
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    ICAO
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  8. #8
    Likes picnic with roast beef. Eirin's Avatar
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    Thought I'd bump this thread since they're advertising right here. Please remember the disclaimer folks. This service is playing on new writers' fear of having their hard work stolen:

    The Intellectual Property Rights Office has estimated that thousands of writers every year are unwittingly handing their work over to con-men posing as literary agents, book publishers, and competition organizers. Amazingly, the vast majority appear to be doing so without taking out any copyright protection for their work, leaving the material in which they have invested so much of their time and effort at the mercy of crooks and fraudsters.
    Shady agents and publishers want to make their money directly from the author. Skinning an inexperienced author is easy - selling books is hard.
    Last edited by Eirin; 11-03-2009 at 08:33 PM.

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  9. #9
    practical experience, FTW c2ckim's Avatar
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    copyright fees have gone up to $65.00 if you mail in your book to them. If you go online its only $35.00
    www.roguephoenixpress.com 3/25/09 The Darkness Within July 25, 2009
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  10. #10
    Likes picnic with roast beef. Eirin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c2ckim View Post
    copyright fees have gone up to $65.00 if you mail in your book to them. If you go online its only $35.00
    Your publisher will take out copyright in your name. There's no need for an author to do that for herself; not before the ms is accepted by anyone, and certainly not by a fake register. The registration this service offer is useless. Victoria Strauss blogged about it: Another Service You Don't Need. I recommend reading that, as well as her new Rights and Copyright post.

    I'm a writer. No, really. I type and everything.

    Tolkien wrote Lord of the Rings. I've no idea who that Tolkein guy is.

  11. #11
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Not to mention, the very act of registering an unpublished ms announces to the sharks "this writer has more money than knowledge".

    Vanity pubs especially use the registry lists to target their (e)mailings.
    ICAO
    ---------

    Censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates in the end the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. -- Henry Steele Commager
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

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