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How A Copyright Is Secured

The method by which a copyright is
obtained under the revised acts of Congress is as simple and
inexpensive as can be reasonably asked. All unnecessary red tape is
dispensed with, and the cost to the author who is seeking thus to
protect himself in the enjoyment of the profits of his work, is so
small as to be scarcely appreciable. This is an example of cheapness
and directness toward which all branches of public administration
should tend, if a government is to fulfill its proper mission of
serving the people without needlessly taxing them. Directions have
lately been issued for the guidance of persons wishing to obtain
copyrights; and, as many of our readers may not be conversant with the
subject, we give a brief abstract of the process.

The first thing necessary is to send a printed copy of the title of the
work, plainly directed to "Librarian of Congress, Washington, D.C."
The copyright law applies not only to books, pamphlets and newspapers,
but also to maps, charts, photographs, paintings, drawings, music,
statuary, etc. If there is a title page, send that; if not, a title
must be printed expressly for the purpose, and in both cases the name
of the author or claimant of copyright must accompany the title. Use no
smaller paper than commercial note.

A remittance of one dollar must be made along with the application.
This is the whole charge--half of it being for the entry on the record,
and the other half for your certificate, which the Librarian will send
you promptly by mail. You will of course prepay your postage.

Within ten days after your book, or other article, is published, you
are required to send two complete copies of the best edition to the
Librarian, addressed as before, prepaying postage; or the Librarian
will furnish "penalty labels," under which they can be sent free of
postage. If this deposit of copies is neglected, the copyright is void,
and you are liable to fine of $25.

The law requires that on the title page of a copyrighted work, or some
part of the drawing, painting, statue, or whatever it may be, there
shall be printed these words: "Entered according to act of Congress, in
the year ----, by ----, in the office of the Librarian of Congress, at
Washington;" or, if preferred, this briefer form may be used:
"Copyright, 18--, by ----." To this may be added, "Right of translation
reserved," or "All rights reserved;" but in that case the Librarian
must have been duly notified, so that he may include it in the record.

Any person who prints the copyright notice on his work without having
obtained a copyright, is liable to a penalty of $1.00. The original
term of a copyright runs for twenty-eight years, and it may then be
renewed for a further term of fourteen years, either by the author or
by his widow or children, application being made not less than six
months before the expiration of the right. Trade marks and labels
cannot be copyrighted under this law, but are provided for by a
separate act, relating to matters of detail, which cannot here be
recited, but in regard to which, the Librarian at Washington will give
the needed information whenever required.

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