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View Full Version : Protecting My Work (Not wanting to be rude...)



scottishpunk
04-04-2009, 03:13 AM
Ok. I'm interested in getting some beta-reading and editing for my finished fantasy novel, and I'm excited and interested that this option is available here on AW, but I'm... hesitant. No offense to any of you (you all are great), but, well, this is the internet, and not knowing you personally makes me uneasy about sending my unpublished baby out for others to read/take for their own. What measures can I take to protect my work from intellectual-property theives? I'd love to share, but I want to make sure my bases are covered first.

This isn't a matter of my not trusting you all... or maybe it is...

Medievalist
04-04-2009, 03:15 AM
You are covered by copyright the minute you started writing.

scottishpunk
04-04-2009, 03:16 AM
Really? How do I back that up/prove it? I mean, if someone else claims that they wrote it, how do I prove it's mine?

kikilynn
04-04-2009, 03:24 AM
Me personally, I have every note i've written to myself, every piece of research i've done, and numerous rough drafts of everything. It's pretty easy to prove it's your work when you keep track of it.

TheIT
04-04-2009, 03:29 AM
Read the stickied threads at the top of this forum (especially "Protecting Yourself and Your WIP"). Might answer some of your questions.

scottishpunk
04-04-2009, 03:34 AM
Thanks :)

Matera the Mad
04-04-2009, 04:13 AM
Get aquainted with the people you are considering as betas. Visit their blogs/websites, read their posts, especially threads they started. Participate in those threads. Critique their SYW posts and see how they react. Stalk 'em all over the internet if you want to. It's no crime to Google names and such.

Niki_G
04-05-2009, 02:20 AM
I agree with all of the above.

If you're worried about protecting your work, document everything. Documentation is the key to all things legal. :) Save copies of all emails sent to others and those that they send you; especially when/if you send attached files to people. Yes, fixation is the moment from which you are protected. This is all mentioned in the stickies, I'm sure, but here's the bottom line: the key word is documentation.

mscelina
04-05-2009, 02:22 AM
Every time you save a copy of your WIP, you are timestamping the work you've done on it from the first word to the last. I'd worry less about someone plagiarizing your baby and more about the work itself. :)

Samantha's_Song
04-05-2009, 02:42 AM
Each email you send out, with your work on, is enough proof that it's yours, isn't it.


Really? How do I back that up/prove it? I mean, if someone else claims that they wrote it, how do I prove it's mine?

Medievalist
04-05-2009, 03:10 AM
Really? How do I back that up/prove it? I mean, if someone else claims that they wrote it, how do I prove it's mine?

You know the story in a way that no one else can; you also have multiple drafts, and, presumably, some in hardcopy with editorial changes.

nitaworm
04-05-2009, 03:13 AM
Also, if you go online to the copywrite office, you can pre-register your work there for $35 if you like. ;)

Cathy C
04-05-2009, 04:41 AM
Really? How do I back that up/prove it? I mean, if someone else claims that they wrote it, how do I prove it's mine?

What Medievalist said. But if you want to read it for yourself, go here. (http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/) By the time you get done reading, you'll know all the answers. :)

Good luck and I hope some people take you up on the beta request. :Hug2:

scottishpunk
04-05-2009, 10:47 AM
Thanks again, everyone. :)