Geoffrey Philp has a cautionary tale on the dangers of unregistered creative property:
… a few years ago, my son and I were walking through Blockbuster and we saw this movie, XYZ, that was set on a Caribbean island, so we decided to rent it.
As we settled back in our seats, a sickening feeling overcame me. This was my movie. A few changes had been made, but it was my movie. I’d been ripped off.
I called all my friends and then we contacted a lawyer, who after reviewing the case told me that because we couldn’t prove a “material connection” between he agent and the production company, we couldn’t bring a law suit. Plus, he added with the costs of expert witnesses, etc, the costs made it impossible to win.
I asked him about “Poor Man’s Copyright.”
After he finished laughing, he basically informed me about what is now found in Wikipedia: “There is no provision in copyright law regarding any such type of protection. Poor man’s copyright is therefore not a substitute for registration. According to section 408 of the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, registration of a work with the Copyright Office is not a prerequisite for copyright protection.”
Here’s my thought. This is all very well and good, but I’m not American. I don’t live in the USA. What substitute is there for me?
Presumably if one wants to publish in the US, one ought to copyright through the US? Seems a bit of a scam, to tell you the truth. I feel a bit of a rant coming on …