Whether you just finished the next bestselling novel or you maintain a blog online, the things you write are protected from infringement by United States copyright law. If you write professionally or for a hobby, one of the last things you want is for someone else to copy your words and pass them off as their own. It can be helpful, therefore, for you and other Nevada writers to understand how a copyright works.

The U.S. Copyright Office asserts that anything you have written yourself, whether or not you register it, is automatically protected under copyright law. This has not stopped plagiarists from stealing others’ writing, unfortunately. With the ability to post online blogs and self-publish e-books, it is potentially easier than ever for a fraudster to copy your work and say that he or she wrote it. Despite your work being protected, it could be difficult for you to prove that you are the original author. If you self-publish or post your writing online, you might consider registering your work with the U.S. Copyright Office.

If you have a publisher, your work will generally be officially copyrighted once published. Many publishing contracts contain clauses that outline the legal steps the publisher will take if your work is plagiarized. Since, after publication, your publisher owns the rights to your work for a period of time specified in the contract, it is usually in your publisher’s best interest to defend the copyright against infringement. Protecting copywritten work may be a complex legal process; therefore, this information should not replace the advice of a lawyer.