How To Copyright a Poem?

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Discover How To Copyright a Poem and Protect Your Poetry From Theft!

Avoiding copyright infringement in any field is tricky. Whether posting your poetry on a website or planning to publish a collection of poems, you should get the basics of copyrighting your work.

One fact you should take note of is that according to the United States copyright laws, any poem you write down on paper or document digitally has a default copyright protection.

How To Copyright Poetry for Free

The way copyright works in the U.S. grants you automatic ownership over anything you create and put in a tangible form.

This means that your poetry is already copyrighted free of charge.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) supports this rule, and having DMCA protection means that:

  • You are the only copyright owner of your poetry, and that copyright protection lasts during your lifetime and an additional 70 years
  • Only you can copy, sell, and distribute your work
  • No one can create derivative works based on your poetry without your permission

Using a Copyright Notice To Copyright Poetry for Free

If you want to include an additional layer of protection, you can add a copyright notice to your work.

A copyright notice is a short text that you can add to the footer of the website hosting your poems or to your book of poetry (on the covers, first page, last page, or before or after the main content of the book).

The purpose is to scare away potential content thieves and let the general public know that your poems are copyright protected.

An additional benefit is that if someone does steal one of your poems, and you send demand letters to them, they cannot claim in court that they didn't know your poems were copyrighted.

Copyright notice usually includes the symbol ©, the year of publication, and the copyright owner's name.

What Is the Cost To Copyright and Register a Poem?

If you want a protection guarantee that will hold up in court, you should consider registering your poem with the U.S. Copyright Office.

This is not a free option, but it comes with a list of benefits:

  • Serves as a public record of ownership
  • Allows you to file a lawsuit against copyright infringers
  • Makes you eligible for statutory damages, attorney fees, and lawsuit costs

The cost of registering copyright varies based on whether you want to register online or via mail and on the nature of your work:

$35This is a price for registering one work online with only one author who is also the owner.

Another condition is that the poem has not been made for hire

$55 The fee covers all other online filings
Up to $125Various paper filings fall under this price

How To Copyright a Group of Poems

The cheapest option to register a copyright is to do it online, but only for a single work.

While it may seem like a problem if you have many poems, it isn’t. You can still register your collection or poems and pay a single fee.

Here are the rules:

  • If you published a collection of poems, you can register it as a single form for a single fee as long as they are all owned by you
  • In case you have unpublished poems, you can register up to ten of them as a single form for a single fee as long as they are under one title and owned by one person

How To Get a Copyright on Your Poetry Online?

The easiest and cheapest method of getting a copyright certificate for your poetry from the U.S. Copyright Office is to fill out the form online.

Here is how to do it:

  1. Visit the U.S. Copyright Office website
  2. Click on the Register tab
  3. Select Literary Works
  4. Click on the Register a Literary Work link
  5. Create an account or Log in if you already have one
  6. Go to the Copyright Registration option
  7. Select Register a New Claim
  8. Click on the Start Registration button
  9. Fill out the form
  10. Pay the fee
  11. Submit the required number of copies of your poem—one for published work and two for unpublished poems

How Can You Copyright Your Poetry via Mail?

The U.S. Copyright Office allows you to register copyright via mail if you're not a fan of the internet.

You can do this by sending a printed version of your copyright application, together with the required number of copies of your work, and the filing fee to 101 Independence Ave SE, Washington, DC 20540, United States.

Did Someone Steal Your Poem? Fight Back With DoNotPay!

Once you put your content online, there is a chance someone is going to steal it.

With poetry, it doesn't have to be a copy/paste theft, but, as many copyright infringement cases show, people do love to repost content without asking for permission.

In case you find your poems on a website, and you didn't put them there or give anyone permission to do that, you can report copyright infringement to the Internet Service Provider (ISP) hosting that website.

You can ask the ISP to remove infringing content by sending them a DMCA takedown notice.

This is where DoNotPay steps in.

We create professional copyright infringement notices that will help you remove stolen content from any website.

A takedown notice has to consist of specific sections and include jargon to be effective. DoNotPay—the first virtual lawyer in the world—is the perfect tool to achieve that.

Follow these steps to file a DMCA notice with our app:

  1. Access DoNotPay from your
  2. Click on the DMCA Takedown feature
  3. Give us the title of your poem or collection of poems
  4. Enter the link to the website hosting the poems stolen from you
  5. Paste the link to the website where you posted the poems originally
  6. Click on the Sign and Submit button

That's all you need to do because we take over from there. You can stay tuned by checking the results in the My Disputes tab.

DoNotPay Is an Ally in Your Creative Process

If you decide to publish your poetry, you should know some additional details.

DoNotPay is a virtual assistant app created to make any administrative process simple and effective. We can provide you with relevant info on how to copyright a book if you decide to publish your work.

If you decide to add visual elements to your work, we will teach you how to copyright artwork and what image copyright laws will allow you to copyright an original image from your book.

We can also teach you how copyright works on other media, why copyright claims are so important for the YouTube copyright system, and how to avoid copyright infringement when using someone else's content.

Access DoNotPay from your and check how we can assist you with:

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