How to Copyright Online Instantly Just About Anything

How to Copyright Online Instantly Just About Anything

Copyright itself is really simple. All you need to do is to comply with International, Copyright Law – no matter  where you live or work in the world. And no matter where you are, there's a little town in Switzerland that's known throughout the world as the ‘Home’ of Copyright... it's called Berne.
what is copyright
Berne is where the very concept of copyright was established way back in 1886. The International Law that was enshrined there is known as The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. And ever since then, changes to that agreement have been made to include stuff that didn't exist back then, such as electronically recorded works and digital recording of copyright material.

Now, if you want to get down’n’dirty with the bare bones of Copyright Law, you can take a look at Wikipedia. You'll find lots of info there - but it can be a bit heavy going, I have to say.

What the Convention does establish, to put it as simply as possible, is this: Write down what you want to copyright on a piece of paper – or on canvas or a drawing. If you record it in a studio or in your bedroom... upload a YouTube or print a photo... then it's your copyright.

Even if you write your entire life story on a roll of toilet paper, it's YOUR COPYRIGHT.

That's the Law. And it's copyright not only where you are - (no, I DON'T mean in the bathroom...) - it's copyright in every one of the 164 countries that have signed the Berne Convention.

Now, here's where it gets interesting: in this digital age, when you record an original work into a computing device, be it a PC or Mac, an iPad or Tablet, iPhone or Blackberry... then it's copyright too.

Simple as that.So if you record some original music into a computer, it's your copyright. If you type a story into your Mac, it's your copyright. If you take a photo with your iPhone, it's your copyright. If you sketch a design into your Tablet, it's your copyright.

You can do it free, too at how to copyright

No problem, right?  WRONG. Wrong Big Time. The problem is HUGE. HUMUNGOUS.GIGANTIC.MIND-BLOWINGLY... big. You get my point?

“The BIG Problem” isn’t actually copyrighting your work. The Big Problem is proving  that you copyrighted your work when you claim you did. Me? I’d believe you - you’ve got an honest face! But the Judge just WON’T.

This applies to both a physical copyright - writing down your copyright on paper, for example - and what we might call a ‘virtual’ copyright, recording your work into a hard drive or a memory stick or a storage chip.

And here’s something else important: most countries that have signed The Berne Convention don’t actually offer any system of officially registering your copyrights. There are a few associations and guilds that offer to ‘look after’ the original drafts of their members’ works, but most government offices will simply tell you ‘what copyright is and how it works’ - and what to do in case of theft.

The USA and Canada are the best-known exceptions to the rule. They do have a copyrighting system, as I mentioned before, which is great - provided you can afford it and have the patience to do all that form-filling.

Of course, if you’ve copyrighted your work using the US Copyright office method, then ‘The Big Problem’ won’t apply. However - and let’s get real here - unless you’re making shedloads of money from your copyrights, there is just no way you’re going to be able to use that route for everything you create.

And besides, it’s pretty labor-intensive, with a load of forms to fill in, and even the new (2012) online service is really clunky - and it takes 3 to 8 months! (I thought ALL online stuff was instant? Not according to the US Government, it ain’t!)

Let’s assume that you, like me, either can’t (or won’t) apply for a US Copyright for everything you create. I think  that’s a reasonable assumption. So we need an alternative solution...

Somebody to WITNESS the fact that you copyrighted your work when you claim you did.

What the US and Canadian Government Copyright does is to effectively provide you with ‘witness testimony’ to the fact that you copyrighted your material on a specific date.

That’s something that you could probably do yourself: if you were to show (for example) your copyright work to someone you can trust, such as your Grandma, your lawyer, your local Holy Man (of whatever religion) a local Notary, or a local politician... (okay, scrub the last one...) and then get that person to testify that he/she had witnessed the existence of your work on a certain date... then you might well have a credible, ‘Third Party Witness’ whose word a Court of Law might accept.

But in the real world, that’s really not at all practical and anyway, you couldn’t guarantee that the person would be willing to go to court for you.

So how can you get someone to easily ‘bear witness’ to your copyright? does exactly that. All you need to do is to register a few details and click ONE button. Your work is instantly registered, recorded, copyrighted and witnessed in 164 countries - online, instantly, with a click.

And it’s free.

how to copyright


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