C Tann-Starr's Outside Blog


Get familiar with the new electronic forms at the Copyright Office http://www.copyright.gov/register/

Get familiar with the new electronic forms at the Copyright Office http://www.copyright.gov/register/

Time to quote the government:

"Advantages include: * Lower filing fee of $35 for a basic claim (for online filings only) * Fastest processing time * Online status tracking * Secure payment by credit or debit card, electronic check, or Copyright Office deposit account * The ability to upload certain categories of deposits directly into eCO as electronic files * Available 24 hours a day, except for routine maintenance every Sunday from 12:00 midnight to 6:00 AM Eastern Time Processing Time: Ninety percent of online filers should receive a certificate of registration within six months of submission. One-third should receive a certificate within ten weeks of submission. Whatever time is needed to issue a certificate, the effective date of registration is the day the Copyright Office receives a complete submission in acceptable form. You do not need to wait for a certificate to proceed with publication."

Why are we having this conversation? Because your intellectual property rights should mean something to you. If you plan on passing them along to the people you love then why not go one step further and consolidate your body of work into a formal collection? Feel free to self publish your books if you have to. There are a lot of companies that run digital printing on demand.  Go play in a search engine and select the vendor of your choice.

Better yet, print your stuff out, poke holes in it, fill up the binders and mail them off as a collection. I'm thinking it's time to update my will... just in case... You never know...


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Comment balloon 24 commentsC Tann-Starr • May 23 2010 03:52AM


Hi Carolyn, hope all is well with you. Thanks for all the great info.

Posted by Susie Blackmon, Ocala, Horses, Western Wear, Horse Farms, Marketing over 10 years ago

This is great stuff (another bookmark for me so I can keep up with my homework assignments:).

Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Thanks for the helpful info! I am bookmarking this as well!


Posted by Tom Ramsey (Century 21 Northland) over 10 years ago

Thanks C...

This is great info and I'm bookmarking this for reference!

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) over 10 years ago

C, thanks for posting this valuable information for us. I'm bookmarking with all the other valuable information from AR

Posted by Bill Travis, Broker/Owner (Captain Bill Realty, LLC) over 10 years ago

Carolyn, what a GREAT idea. It IS your property and you SHOULD copyright it!

Posted by Marney Kirk, Towson, Maryland Real Estate (Cummings & Co. Realtors) over 10 years ago



I just applied for some copyrights last month,  had to email Lenn Harley for some assistance on the forms but they are complete.





Posted by Sacramento Grapevine (SacramentoGrapevine) over 10 years ago

Sindee, Lenn is amazing!!! I love the way her mind works.  :-)

Marney, I've got a lot of stuff to turn into PDF. I am sorting them by month and year, making folders for them so I can burn data discs.

Val, Richard, Tom, Charita, you all are very welcome. :-)

Susie, taking the kids to Mamapalooza. There is also a Pow-Wow (Stephen likes to drum - LOL).  All is well. Taking life one day at a time and am determined to enjoy it. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 10 years ago

Thanks for the info, I have stuff that needs to be submitted right away & now I have now excuse, thanks to you!

Posted by Jenna Dixon, 55 & Over | New Constructions | Horse Farms (Momentum Real Estate Group LLC) over 10 years ago

I know the site well. I have registered both of my books but have not bothered with photographs.


Posted by Tom Branch, Broker, CDPE, SFR, ACRE, Plano TX Ambassador (RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs) over 10 years ago

This is great stuff and worth a reblog.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) over 10 years ago

Jenna, you are very welcome. I am a motivated writer to get this done. My Google alerts hipped me to a site that stole pictures of my kids. They informed people they were images from my site but they never requested permission to use them and did not link back to the source.

I am very particular about where my kids show up in cyberspace and how their images are used. People think they are stock photography models because they are so cute. Those are my boys... Just because they work for M&Ms doesn't mean people can swipe them willy-nilly because they do not take bloggers seriously. As a writer, I aim to make people take me very seriously regarding my body of work. It's my virtual collection. My kids will be inheriting it. People should not be scraping content to fill their websites and generate advertising revenue off of our work. Ever since I started my digital day job the theft of my articles has risen. The more readers I get the more pictures and content I have to chase down and demand to be taken down.

The last person who swiped an entire article from me was a tax attorney. He or his webmaster copied the source code and even swiped my sponsored advertisements from my other site. I was amazed. They stole everything right down to my one typo that I corrected but they missed so it was taken within the first hour of publication. Go figure... My girlfriend wants me to leave it up because all the links are working and he is driving traffic to my other articles embedded there. I may give them permission to use it but the point is people should be asking for permission and not taking what ever they see on the Internet that suits them. Some people have harmless intentions while others do not. As a copyright owner we have to decide what is permissible and what is not permissible. Only the creator, the content copyright owner, can decide this.

Carole's untimely death made me realize I can not put this off another day. Our last conversation was about copyrights...

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 10 years ago

Tom, the visuals are just as important as the written word. I am working on getting my son's collection and mine together to submit as soon as possible. Looks like 4 DVDs should hold them all. I need an external drive to transfer my copyright collection to so I don't mix them up with my personal collection of photographs and videos.

Thank you, Joe. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 10 years ago

I am not sure I quite understand this yet. Could you elaborate a little more? I am not aborad the boat yet and trying to get this because it looks good/important. I always hear nice things about you. You have been in our area I hear.

Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com) over 10 years ago

Hi Cheryl, I love Maryland and have been poking about quite a bit down there. My fabulous four year old thinks he is supposed to be with "the chocolate car" every weekend. Poor Margaret Rome - she's been adopted by a crazy baby (LOL). If I didn't have Mamapalooza and a newbie writer to mentor we'd be on our way. :-)


This link is to their frequently asked questions and answer page. I am going to quote four points of order off of this page. Ready? Here we go:

"What is copyright? Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works."

"What does copyright protect? Copyright, a form of intellectual property law, protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section "What Works Are Protected."

"How is a copyright different from a patent or a trademark? Copyright protects original works of authorship, while a patent protects inventions or discoveries. Ideas and discoveries are not protected by the copyright law, although the way in which they are expressed may be. A trademark protects words, phrases, symbols, or designs identifying the source of the goods or services of one party and distinguishing them from those of others."

"When is my work protected? Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device"

It is very important for original content creators to understand that their work has value. This is why I always advocate taking your own pictures and writing your own stuff because each time you do this you are creating something that has the potential to be monetized down the road. You can not sell what you do not own. Taking a picture or article from a blogger to be used on another website without permission is a big no-no. It doesn't matter if the site is or is not generating money based upon your work, it can potentially open up a serious can of worms for the people involved in the content theft if the copyright owner decides to do something about it.

Perfect example: a website stole a picture of my artwork and put it for sale for twice what my gallery advertised it as. Their goal was to drive traffic to their site and find a buyer before my gallery did so they could skim a profit. (1) That is fraud because you can not sell (a) what you do not own and (b) obligate an artist to turn over the work (personal property) that you have no business relationship with. (2) If I select an exclusive representative then no one can say they represent me except for the person I give agency to.

If content creators do not monitor their on-line reputations they may be unaware that unauthorized websites are scamming the public by claiming to be affiliated with you when they are not.

How would you feel if you discovered someone was selling your content without your permission?

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 10 years ago

Good information.  I always looking to learn more about copyright and the laws.  Thank you for sharing.

Posted by Mark Watterson, Utah Real Estate over 10 years ago

C, thanks for the info. I was going to just save it in "the folder" with a billion other things, but then I read that you're saving things to pdf, and putting them on a disk. Brilliant idea. I think i'm going to start doing that, also. It's going to take a while to sort everything, but in the end it'll help immensely! Thanks for the tip.

Posted by Eric Michael, Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519 (Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI) over 10 years ago

Hey C -- I haven't thought of it this way before, not sure my stuff warrants it, but it's worth considering.  Thanks for the info.  What a complex world we live in today.

Posted by Chris Olsen, Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate (Olsen Ziegler Realty) over 10 years ago

Carolyn, I just had a conversation with Lenn recently about copyrighint my photographs - I have one that is on two websites that were stolen off Google. Lenn explained it to me and I went to the website, but didn't quite understand how to go about doing it. I'll check out your link and see if I can figure it out. I really want to get that photo off their site, but want to be smart about the best way to do it.

Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) over 10 years ago

Great blog, so glad I finally met you.  Isn't this a great place to meet people and get so much wonderfully useful information.  If Margaret Rome says watch your blogs, I say, "you must be something special".  This is the first blog of yours I've read but did read what you posted on my site.  Thanks so much.  Like people who tell it like it is.  I did submit my club membership request, thank you.  I'll see what happens. :) With Warm Regards, Gail

Posted by Gail C. Harris, Reach the BEACH with Gail C. Harris (cell: 703.868 (Resource Network, LLC SFR, AHWD, ACRE, SMAR Board Director) over 10 years ago

Imagine my surprise when I received a mailing from a competitor that featured MY photo.  It is very distinctive, taken at a specific time of year and time of day, so the shadows on this view of a local golf course prove it is my photo. This and a few other similar situations have convinced me that filing for a copyright is a must, and it's something I intend to do with my entire body of local photos - sooner rather than later.  Thanks for this info about the new easier filing and low fee.

Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) over 10 years ago

I did this last year and it was pretty hassle free. I'm still waiting for the official paperwork though - they said 9 months for a hard copy back to you.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) over 10 years ago

C ~ Great information.. this is a wonderful concept to understand  "Whatever time is needed to issue a certificate, the effective date of registration is the day the Copyright Office receives a complete submission in acceptable form. You do not need to wait for a certificate to proceed with publication."

Once you get the receipt and the dated information you are good to go... I have been waiting over 9 months for an original certificate on something but they assure me it will come and that my receipt is all I need.

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) over 10 years ago

I have my hands full working on those PDFs. I am glad you guys found the info useful. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 10 years ago

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