Saturday, January 25, 2003
Dear Neil:

Should unpublished writers starting out worry about copyrighting material before sending it out to publishers and agents? It takes so long and with so many short stories the cost can add up.

Kevin H. Ohannessian

No, of course you shouldn't.

Technically you own your copyright from the moment you make something. It's yours - go and look at the US Copyright office website FAQs. Having said that, you can't really sue anybody unless you register your copyright. Having said that, you don't have to register your copyright immediately on creating it -- within five years of publication seems to cover you. But when it's sold, or published, make sure it's registered if the publisher doesn't do it for you. (A magazine's copyright normally doesn't cover the individual stories.) (This is under US law -- if you're reading it somewhere else, google to check your local copyright laws. (For example is the UK copyright law FAQs.)

Still at Angouleme. Currently feeling pretty manky with the cold, so have taken myself to my hotel to rest for a little.

Looks like the French will go from famine to feast on Sandman stuff: Delcourt will be publishing all the trade paperbacks, while Norma have just published "Sandman: DREAM HUNTERS" in a french language edition.