Self-publishing is a great way to get your work in front of people without forcing you to deal with the hassle of finding an agent and securing a publishing contract. But protecting your work without the backing of a big name like Penguin, TOR, or Random House can seem confusing if you’re just getting started as a content creator. Luckily, copyrights to your work can help preserve your interest and keep others from using your work as their own. Here’s what your Nashville copyright attorney wants you to understand about this unique legal protection.

self published copyright

Your Work Is Automatically Copyrighted

With trademarks, you need to make sure your creations and business ideas are completely unique and not in use by someone else. And once you determine that your business is unique, you’ll need to register your trademark to make it legally enforceable. With copyrights, things are a bit simpler. Your work is legally protected by a copyright as soon as you start creating it. You don’t have to do anything formal or research your competition for your copyright to be valid. As long as the content you’re creating is unique and not a direct reproduction of someone else’s work, copyright applies.

How Copyrights Protect Your Work

As a self-published author, copyrights protect your ability to reproduce and distribute your work throughout your life and for 70 years after your death. That means the only person who can reproduce your work, unless you sign an agreement with a publishing house to the contrary, is you. No one can legally produce your content and use it as their own. If they do, you can take legal action against them.

Registration Further Protects Your Work

Though copyrights happen automatically and are considered a standard part of content creation, you can register your copyright with the government. Doing so further protects you and can make it harder for others to dispute the originality of your work. That said, registration isn’t required. Your work is still copyrighted as soon as you start creating it.

If Someone Steals Your Content, You Can Pursue Legal Action

If you’ve noticed someone reproducing your work without your permission, you can and should take action. Your copyright protects your work and entitles you to take legal action against the person reproducing your work or claiming it as their own. But to do that, you’ll need to partner with an experienced Nashville copyright attorney. They’ll help you figure out the extent of the violation and can help you send cease and desist letters as well as taking the offender to court if needed.

Schedule a Free Consultation Today

If you’re worried about your work and have seen some suspicious use of your content, don’t ignore it. Reach out to schedule a consultation with Brassel Law today. Whether you’re a self-published author, musician, or other type of creator, protecting your work is essential to your long-term success. Our firm has years of experience helping Nashville creators keep their work safe and preserve their financial interests.