How does copyright law affect my work?

Let’s say you may need to make copies of some helpful information you found in a publication, to share with colleagues in the office, for presentation to students in a class, to include in a document you are writing, or to post online. Well, there are basic rules to be aware of regarding copyright law in the United States.

If you wish to use a specific work, verbatim, you must credit the author(s) in a citation right after you present their work or in an endnote or reference list.

Here is more important information on copyright, taken from chapter 4 of the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition:

  • The author of a work possesses copyright (along with various subrights) at the time the work is created. The author can sell, rent, give away, will, or transfer rights to whomever the author wishes. Authors normally transfer some or all of these rights to the publisher in a contract.
  • Copyright protection of a work does not require registering it at the United States Copyright Office.
  • It is no longer necessary to put a copyright notice on a work in order for it to be protected. However, such notices may discourage others from stealing or plagiarizing the work.
  • Anything posted on the internet is “published” in the sense of copyright and must be treated as such for the purposes of complete citation and clearance of permissions, if relevant.

For help in putting your best word forward, go to or contact me at

About The dutty is "the ground," the foundation, the earth--just like words are part of the foundation on which I build my life.

Reason for being: To tell stories and help writers and others with a message to put their best word forward.
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