Be aware of what you can protect in terms of your written work. As soon as your written work is put down on paper, it is copyrighted from that moment forward. Your written work does not need to be published in order to be protected and you do not need to place a copyright symbol on your written work for it to be protected. However, you may want to consider copyrighting your work with official bodies, such as the Writers Guild of America and the U.S. Copyright Office, to ensure it is protected in the event of a legal dispute.
- Copyrighting your work allows you to protect your execution or expression of your idea. This could be in the form of a short story, a novel draft, a script, or a film treatment. So while you cannot protect your ideas, you can protect your written stories through copyright.
- If you end up in court over your copyright, you will need to prove that you possessed your expression of the idea before someone else and that there are enough similarities between your execution and someone else’s execution to suggest your execution has been stolen. Registering your work for a legal copyright is one way to prove this. You should also collect evidence to show that you conceived the execution of your idea first.