Be honest. How many of you have considered, or at least thought about, writing the next great American novel, or perhaps documenting your life and experiences in a memoir? If so, it has probably crossed your mind that you need some way to protect your creative effort from unwanted copying. This is the point where the law of copyright steps in and where confusion surfaces. Attorney Stephen Fishman, a recognized expert in the field of copyright, has created The Copyright Handbook: What Every Writer Needs to Know to help would-be writers navigate this somewhat puzzling area of the law. Readers will learn about:

  • the basics of copyright law, including what it is, what it protects, and how is it created;

  • notice requirements;

  • the importance and value of copyright registration;

  • fair use;

  • infringement; and

  • copyright permissions.

The Copyright Handbook also has many useful sample letters and forms as well as references to the pertinent sections of the Copyright Act, found in Title 17 of the United States Code

Before you put the proverbial pen to paper, it might be a good idea to sit down and read The Copyright Handbook first. Even though as Oscar Wilde so correctly observed that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” you might want to ensure that your words are not copied verbatim without the needed protections and requisite permissions.