Many of you who visit sfsite are writers or want to be writers. This forum is to share tips about open markets, links to stories you would like critiqued, and any other posts on the subject of writing and selling science fiction.
While I have written two very-minor non-fiction books, I find the struggle of writing fiction a strenuous one. I have often contemplated writing online (either on my own site or at some high profile site like fanfiction.com). However I have never really felt safe about doing so in case someone nicks my work.
I just wonder whether anyone has actually done online writing and can provide advice in this matter.
By the act of writing, you have a copyright to the work. Proving it may be another matter -- which is why people register copyrights with the Library of Congress. By registering, you can actually prove you write what you say you wrote -- unless somebody else can prove they wrote it first.
My impression is that most people are too busy writing their own stuff to want to steal yours. If they steal something, it will probably be from somebody like Ray Bradbury rather than from you. But you never know.
admin wrote:If they steal something, it will probably be from somebody like Ray Bradbury rather than from you.
I'd have thought people would be more likely to plagiarise "unknowns" than major authors - both because they're less likely to get found out, and their victims will probably have less money to take them to court. But as admin says, you never know.
There are, as best I can tell, only two reasons to steal someone else's story. One is a desire to see one's name in print without actually killing anyone. The other is money. A story plagerized from an unknown is unlikely to sell, and so unlikely to accomplish either of those goals.
The worst story thieves are in Hollywood, where people with no ideas and no talent are in a position to "buy" anything they can pass off as their own work. So, if somebody in Hollywood reads fiction you've posted on line, you can kiss it goodby.
A lot of people worry about the copyrighting of their writing but I don't think its much to worry about. It is very easy to pick an unusual phrase from your work and google it to see if it turns up somewhere.
Try googling this word and you will see what I mean: Xixthian
If your work is really that good then you will get recognized and people will want more from you, not just to steal one work from you.
If you want some inexpensive, and legal ways to protect your work you can establish the date of creation by sticking a printed version in an envelope and sending it to yourself via registered mail. Or you can email it to somebody and ask them to save the email.
You can also put it up on a website and wait until the wayback machine gets it. But that is sketchy.
Make sure you always have the term copyright with the little c and the words all rights reserved on the work and on the webpage. that is sufficient to claim copyright. Gotta have that little "c" symbol.