Writer Habits: To Copyright or Not to Copyright?

Just a few quick questions for thought:

1. Wattpad offers a copyright in the story section, but do you only use this or do you prefer to write your own copyright page?

2. If you write your own copyright page, how do you go about it?

3. Do you include an email or contact in your copyright page (if you write your own) so that people can contact you about using your material?

4. Do you feel that reinstating the copyright on your book deters more possible plagiarism or do you think it just gives you a little peace of mind?

Just a quick poll too, for the fun of it!

  • I use the Wattpad copyright (in story settings) and ONLY that copyright.
  • I write my own copyright page.
  • Copyright? What’s that?

0 voters

Food for thought!

I don’t think anyone who wants to plagiarize will be stopped by a copyright page - they already know they are doing something wrong and they probably don’t care. Weirdly, I think people will be more tempted to copy if you do put a warning. It reminds them that they can do it because others might do it too, maybe.

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Interesting, but I see what you’re saying there. I’d always thought reinstating it might in some way remind people that the work is copyrighted, but like you said, it might weirdly make more want to plagiarize simply because they’re being told they can’t.

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I write my own copyright page just because it makes me feel better having it since I was plagerized once before. It won’t deter them from stealing, it just eases my mind knowing it’s there.

As for what I write, I just take the standard copyright page available for self publishers and use that. I’ll change the date and title to get it customized to my book but that’s it.

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I do the same thing. I use it for peace of mine, and personally, it makes me feel like my book is somehow that much more official. :blush:

I can’t remember where I pulled mine from. Is there a specific page you pulled yours from?

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Honestly it’s been so long since I got it I don’t remember where I got it from. It was a website that gave a couple different variations of copyright notices for people to use in their self published books. I think there were about 5 of them all together.

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Should have have option ‘Both’ since I state in first chapter and use WP setting. I never filled a DMCA though : /

But to answer your question.

Both.

I actually forget but you can check my stories for it :joy: Though I should add that only I can do it and no one else. But I do add dates. Not helpful but it does show when I wrote it (I know anyone can edit but I still choose to show when I published it)

No. As much they can contact through only my gmail I honestly don’t want that since gmail is my private and personal. I would just say to PM me. If I have social media then I would add there.

It gives a little peace but truthfully thieves will always thieves. It’s like I hold a :cookie: and say ‘this is mine and no you cannot have it!’ that won’t stop a savage beast (I meant humans) to tackle me and steal my cookie. :joy:

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Thieves will always be thieves…

One thing to keep in mind about the Wattpad setting is that you have other licenses there too, like public domain and creative Commons. You need to be careful with those too…

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If someone is determined to plagiarize your work then no kind of copyright thing is going to deter them. Technically, the copyright thing is unnecessary because a work is considered copyrighted as soon as the idea is put down in a physical form. It’s proving it in a court of law that presents the biggest challenge I think.

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I agree.

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Agree with you =]

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I affix an ISBN to each new novel I post here and I record it in the National registry. That is my proof of copyright.

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  1. I usually find a template, and try to make it short (after all, readers don’t want to really read a copyright page). I’ll also try to summarize in plain English, kind of for peace of mind.
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Just so that it’s definitely clear in case anyone doesn’t know:

All works created are automatically protected by law, by default. That’s not a Wattpad rule, that’s a copyright law rule. You don’t have to “copyright” or claim anything or make any statements. Just by putting it somewhere people can see it, it’s definitely yours and protected by copyright law (though I’m not a lawyer and this does not account for what I’m sure are the super weird fringe cases that exist somewhere, so this is in no way legal advice).

Which means anything you do (copyright page, getting a logo, who knows) is entirely for peace of mind or your own habits, whatever they might be. The copyright section on Wattpad isn’t us offering copyright, it’s just you displaying to people which one you want your story to fall under, which is why if you don’t select anything it defaults to All Rights Reserved. You have to state otherwise for it not to be.

Anyways, I have also never seen any evidence copyright pages do anything to remove or reduce copyright infringement, though I have not extensively tested that theory in any substantial way. They can cause some reader friction as people just want to get in the story but the general reasons people copy content (don’t understand copyright, think credit alleviates, think minor changes to names alleviates, just want to share with people who can’t afford, think more people should know) pretty much ignore or misunderstand copyright anyways.

And, just to be super clear on the plagiarism front, plagiarism is legal, it’s just generally unethical or frowned upon and depends very much on how much people feel the idea is unoriginal. But ideas and concepts are in no way protected by copyright (if they were we would’ve run out of things to write about a long time ago), so if your worry is that someone might steal your idea or concept, well that’s just kind of the world of writing. Your story is probably eerily similar to a story you’ve never heard of, halfway around the world. The entire concept of ownership of ideas and even copyright is all a very modern concept in human culture, it’s not something we really cared about much before (if anything the opposite was promoted). I don’t know if people know that or not, I just see the word plagiarize and copyright used interchangeably when they are very different things.

Anyways that was mostly for clarity purposes, and most people here are talking about the peace of mind it brings them, which is totally a fine reason to do any things you do. Just want to make sure nobody has misunderstandings around copyright applications.

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1. Wattpad offers a copyright in the story section, but do you only use this or do you prefer to write your own copyright page?

I use the Wattpad-provided copyright in the story section. I don’t really feel the need to emphasize that this is a copyrighted work twice.

2. If you write your own copyright page, how do you go about it?

Not applicable.

3. Do you include an email or contact in your copyright page (if you write your own) so that people can contact you about using your material?

Not applicable.

4. Do you feel that reinstating the copyright on your book deters more possible plagiarism or do you think it just gives you a little peace of mind?

I think it only gives me a little peace of mind. IMO, if pirates are going to plagiarize my story, then they’ll do it with no regards towards the copyright. Companies copyright their games all the time, but that doesn’t stop people from creating illegal copies or pirating their games. It’s just part of the life cycle of producing a work.

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I think you’ve covered it pretty well. This is exactly how I’ve understood copyright as well. Peace of mind is good but spending a ton of time on it really isn’t necessary.

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I think my biggest fear is that after spending months, maybe even years banging my head against the wall and burning a hole in my brain to create some masterpiece. then someone comes along and is like “oooh, that’s nice” snatches work “hey guys! Look what I made!!” :neutral_face: :expressionless:

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Wattpad doesn’t allow copyright infringement or pirated stories. The stories which have been published illegally are taken down immediately whenever they are reported or discovered. You can read this article for more info-
(https://support.wattpad.com/hc/en-us/articles/216192503-Copyright-FAQ)

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I use the Wattpad-provided copyright and somebody still ended up stealing my story. :woman_shrugging:t4: I don’t think stating that it’s copyrighted makes any difference to be honest. The type of people who go around stealing other people’s work probably aren’t going to be deterred by it.

That’s true, but my story got stolen off Wattpad and uploaded to a completely different site, which means Wattpad can’t do anything about it. :frowning: