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Will a poor man’s copyright protect your song or script?

On Behalf of | Jun 15, 2022 | Entertainment Law |

The entertainment industry offers high-profile success to those who want to perform. Musicians and actors can make as much money as celebrities with endorsement deals as they make singing or putting on live performances. 

There are other support professionals who help provide the creative aspects of the modern entertainment industry without all the personal attention. Whether you are a musician penning new songs or a writer putting together a script for a new television show idea, you want to protect your creations. 

Is mailing yourself your work for a “poor man’s copyright” a good solution? 

Mailing your creations to yourself does nothing

For decades, writers and other creative professionals have told each other that they can mail finished manuscripts to themselves. They would claim that this creates a formal record of when they created the work that allows them to enforce their copyright later. However, the United States Copyright Office debunks this myth on its website. Mailing original works to yourself does not grant you copyright. 

You have general copyright protections as soon as you publish your original creation. You can also send paperwork to the U.S. Copyright Office to establish a formal copyright that will be relatively easy for you to enforce. Either of these steps will offer more protection than simply mailing an original work to yourself. 

If you don’t understand when you have intellectual property protection, you might be at risk of losing control over the creations you have invested so much time and energy to produce. Learning more about intellectual property rights can protect those trying to break into the entertainment industry as creative professionals.