I am Canadian. The moment I started typing, my work was protected by copyright law. I did not know this at the time.
I was a smidge paranoid about letting anyone read, see or hold any part of or all of my manuscript. Why? Because it is a scary world of pirates out there. Waiting to pillage and plunder my work and call it their own. Over the top? Maybe, but it happens, so there is no harm in protecting myself.
Even though my work, as per my countries law my work is protected, I still registered it anyway. I got a lovely certificate in the mail three weeks later. It’s awesome and makes me feel super official.
-not my bit- “Copyright is a legal right created by the law of a country that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights for its use and distribution. This is usually only for a limited time. The exclusive rights are not absolute but limited by limitations and exceptions to copyright law, including fair use. A major limitation on copyright is that copyright protects only the original expression of ideas, and not the underlying ideas themselves.” (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright)
This is why everyone under the sun is writing about vampires, werewolves, and zombies. The vampire, or concept of them, is an underlying idea. The story written about them is the expression of the idea. So ‘Billy the Zombie goes to the zoo.’ is copyrighted, but the idea of zombies, in general, is not.
Which is good for me because I write about superheroes. Not in a strictly traditional comic book sense, but essentially that is what they are. The story idea is mine; the concept of people being superhuman in some way is not. I LOVE stories that take something that is taken for granted like… um, oh I know! Necromancers, take the idea of necromancers and challenge the underlying idea. Why not? Who says they have to be dreary and dark-minded people? Or that vampires are all powerful and romantically dangerous? Maybe vampires are weak and like Miniature mosquitoes, easily squashed. Maybe one day you will read a story I wrote called, “The necromancers Miniature pet pirate vampire.” Who knows it, could happen.
My advice about Copyright law.
If you don’t know the copyright law or your countries copyright laws, I suggest you look them up. Mimicry is a form of flattery. However, if you are using someone else’s underlying idea, be careful/considerate that you are not taking their original expression.
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