I keep seeing people online talking about registering their copyrights which has me scratching my head. You see you automatically have copyright the moment you write it down. Well, that is true in my own country of New Zealand. That isn't true of every country. For instance China doesn't recognise copyrights made outside of China. You have to register it in their country and be a citizen etc before it counts in their country. That is how you can get a lot of knock offs because it isn't actually illegal in that particular country. The thing is if someone is going to steal your work they can do it legally with these loop holes. Which leads me to the whole registering process.
I mean it doesn't help you as an author. If someone stole my stuff A. There is usually little I can do if they are in those countries without the usual copyright laws. B. Thanks for the marketing. C. I can prove the work is mine so if we ever ended up in court I could easily have a screen shot of the original version of my manuscript with the date and helpfully verified by Microsoft and Amazon. I don't even need that little c in a circle though pretty it is.
So why do I need someone to write down that something is mine and then charge me for it?
I figured out the reasons and none of them are really strong points.
Point one: The government makes money or in the case of New Zealand a third party. Yes, there are vultures out there and that includes the people who are supposed to govern us. I mean even if you check their sites they don't really care if you register or not but they'll happily take your money. The benefits aren't even that great. Which leads onto point two.
Point two: You can get more money. Okay, you only get more money if someone actually copies your stuff. Seriously, the only time you would have to care is if you are famous, otherwise the extra money is pocket change. So by registering you are stroking your own ego thinking well I might be famous enough for someone to steal my work.
Point three: Scaremongering. Everyone is super scared someone is going to steal their work. I have people who only share their Beta version in PDF as they don't want others to steal it. I roll my eyes, I'm not a hacker and even I can easily steal text off a PDF. This again is pride. Even the government (US in this case) is guilty of scaremongering. Saying they are the only ones able to give a public record of your work. Unless one of your beta readers steals your book then there already will be a record. The way technology works everything is time stamped. Literally to the minute.
Point four: You used to have to. The USA is shockingly recent to have changed the laws. Including my own country. It used to be essential to register. Not anymore people. Technology both makes it easier for people to steal your stuff and easy to prove it is yours. If you are registering because that is what you have always done I think you need to do some research.
Pretty much everything leads back to someone wants your money and you want to preen. I don't think people looked at the small print. That registering doesn't stop those loop holes. And yet I guarantee I will see another person on line touting the benefits of spending money on something you already have.