How to Copyright a Text, Song, Book, Screenplay, Manuscript Or Photos

The intellectual property that may relate to getting your next song, book or screenplay protected:


Each original work of authorship fixed in a tangible or electronic form, including text, graphics, and pictures can be the basis of one or more copyright applications. As a reminder, you should always include a notice on all web pages in the footer and all documents available on the website fixed on paper or in an electronic form, such as © 200_ Full Name/Company Name. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Note if multiple authors or designers are contributing to the work and a single person or entity desires to own the collective work then the authors or designers must transfer their rights to the single person or entity via an assignment/work-made-for-hire agreement; otherwise, each contributor is owed a ratable share of the profits realized from use, license, or sale of the work.


Ownership rights should be clearly defined in an Assignment /work-made-for-hire agreement or set forth as clauses in authorship service agreements requiring agreement on intellectual property ownership by all parties participating in creation of the work.

Please do not take any shortcuts or casually skip over and of these steps. Too often, a business idea or product really takes off in the marketplace and there are no contracts in place as to which parties are responsible for having controlling rights of the product. In turn, money comes in and the courts end up deciding who should get it. Do not let this happen to you!