i need to copyright a new magazine soon to come out in june need direction - steps -- costs so i can prepare corectly
3 Answers from Attorneys
That is beyond the scope of this forum, so you need to see a lawyer who handles these matters.
First step, retain a good intellectual property attorney, business attorney and tax advisor. They will help you determine the next steps.
You cannot use a lawyer to copyright your work. Due to a ridiculous treaty and resulting change in U.S. law, your magazine is copyrighted automatically the moment it is in a tangible medium of expression even if that was not your intention (unless you express a different intention right at the moment of you fix it in a tangible medium of expression). In other words, by the time you take it (or e-mail it) to your lawyer, it is already copyrighted.
You may be referring to copyright registration. Registration is not required, but has its benefits. If you want to sue for infringement in federal court, have it registered -- $30, the last time I registered anything (a recipe, to be specific).
You can register your work online without a lawyer using the Copyright Office website, copyright.gov. Still, you might want to hire a copyright lawyer to walk you through it, such as, for example, to figure out how best to protect each issue and any online version. But the best place to start is by going to the Copyright Office for initial guidance. See http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ01.pdf for a really good and simple overview. Use the Copyright Office's information for the simple stuff, and hold onto your cash to pay a lawyer for the harder stuff.
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