As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, at one point I was posting rough drafts of my work online. This practice can be found on any number of websites, including, but not limited to: Authonomy, Figment, Inktip, Scribd, and Scripped. Authors can find numerous places to share their work online. While we’d like to think that no one would ever plagiarize our property, there is opportunity to do so almost everywhere. Although copyrighting your work can be done (easily? I’m actually not sure – I’ve never tried), the method I prefer is through the Writers Guild of America. Am I a member of the WGA? No. Does the WGA allow non-members to register work – of nearly any kind – not just screenplays? Yes, they do. For a mere $20 (or close to that amount), any author can register their work with the guild. Would your registration protect you in a court of law? I’m not sure – my work has never been challenged. Does the investment of $20 make me feel like I’m committing something towards protecting the integrity of my ideas, words, manuscripts and screenplays? Yes.
So, reader, how do you protect your writing? Do you send a copy to yourself in the mail?
This was the urban legend of copyrighting back in the day. Do you take things a step further and hire someone to register your completed manuscripts?
*As a side note, I am also proud to mention a former producer I worked for, John Wells, was at one point the President of the WGA. Now, that’s a writer!