The copyright office has a new program for online copyright registration, with online forms, uploading of digital files, and credit card payments.

All copyright registration packages must go through a screening process to check for Anthrax and explosives. Registration takes a lot longer than it used to. This screening process sometimes results in damage to submitted works.

The copyright office does not actually store most of the works sent to them for registration, which should be an interesting problem if ( more like when ) the noxious Orphan Works Bill passes. So you may want to save yourself some postage and the cost of the books and register online.

If you have ever been unfortunate enough to witness a message board discussion about copyright or trademark, not only does the false information circulate faster than the accurate information, but you could save yourself a lot of time and trouble by not going to message boards to get your info. Go to the official copyright and trademark offices FAQs pages on line. Most of your questions about copyright and trademark can be answered there for free.

The copyright FAQ page is here.

For answers on trademarks and patents go here .

This was reposted from the old website, and I hate losing some of the great comments from readers. But here’s one I just couldn’t say goodbye to from Arlnee:

I just got through reading about this girl who is SUPER obsessed with a certain anime series and its main character in particular, so much so that she claims she “owns”it. Her proof is an autograph by the character’s ENGLISH DUB VOICE ACTOR under the words “(Anime character) belongs to (girl’s name)”.

I can’t count how many levels of pathetic I found this, either the idea that she could believe the voice actor had ANY rights over the character he’s voicing, or that she thought others might believe it. I’ve heard of similar stories through fandom through the years but none so egregious. And yes, apparently she is over 18. sigh

I’m afraid there are plenty of crazies out there with weird ideas about copyright and trademark, and we can’t do much about them. But, they confuse matters with their online nattering. There are also plenty of well meaning types out there who post disinformation and really, really don’t have a clue what they are talking about.

Make things easy on yourself and go directly to the official information resources.

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