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fear of work being stolen : FAQs • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

fear of work being stolen

Frequently asked questions. Go HERE and read the first thread.
lilmisswriter
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fear of work being stolen

Postby lilmisswriter » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:33 pm

I am currently in the process of writing my novel, however i would like to get some feedback as i go along and would like to join a critique group etc . However the problem is i am fearful of someone stealing my writing.. i am not saying that i am this great writer or w/e but i really can't help it , i am not good with trusting people and strangers i don't know , and also a friend of mine sighss. how do i know my work won't be stolen? what do i do ? how do i get over this fear , sighsss

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robjvargas
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Re: fear of work being stolen

Postby robjvargas » Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:22 pm

Think of it this way:

There is still a LOT of work between where you're at and making any money on it. So why would someone want to steal it? Do you *really* think some thief is going to take 500 or 1000 or even 10000 words, and then go to all the trouble of writing the rest of it, trying to keep the style consistent, and then try to get it published? I think you're more likely to win the Powerball lotto. Twice.

Other sites like have password-protected areas. This stops those automated "bots" that run around the Internet reading and archiving. If you opt for something online, you probably want to look for that.

Trust your instincts, though. That fear is going to pop up, probably no matter what anyone says. But if you pay attention to that inner feeling, I think it's actually in there, telling you what to really feel.
Last edited by robjvargas on Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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pls
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Re: fear of work being stolen

Postby pls » Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:46 pm

Your work is automatically copyrighted as you write it. Retain dateable copies for your protection.

FYI the critique section on this site is not accessible by bots.

And third - you have vastly more worries about getting your word published than stolen. Trust me on that one.
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mammamaia
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Re: fear of work being stolen

Postby mammamaia » Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:54 am

lilmiss...
the best [and most court-admissible] proof that you wrote something is all your earliest handwritten notes and ideas, plus the first rough draft of the ms and a couple of hard copies you added editing comments/changes to... so, save those in a safe place... no one else will have that clear a paper trail...

paul...
as for 'datable' copies, i don't think there is such a thing that can't be faked...
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pls
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Re: fear of work being stolen

Postby pls » Tue Sep 10, 2013 1:54 pm

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Les And
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Re: fear of work being stolen

Postby Les And » Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:05 pm

The question in this topic is a genuine possibility indeed. It is not so much the actual written piece being stolen but the concept of the storyline. I have seen this happen twice in writer’s clubs and once by a so called relatively well known critique and editor.

The concept of a story is almost impossible to protect because no can prove that he or she was the only person on earth to have the idea or story concept in their mind. If the concept of the story is a rare, original story line, then the idea is like tasty bait for the non-scrupulous literary thief.

As for written work that is on dated hard copy, yes our copy write laws do work: if you have the money to take your infringement to a court of law.
Your writing must create a full colour movie in your reader's mind.

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mammamaia
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Re: fear of work being stolen

Postby mammamaia » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:18 am

what do you think would constitute a 'dated hard copy' that would be admissible as evidence in court, les?

and the 'copyright' [copy write = writing copy] laws stipulate that you must have registered your existing copyright with the us copyright office a specified length of time before bringing suit...

learn what all writers need to know here:
www.copyright.gov
www.uspto.gov
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DrG2
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Re: fear of work being stolen

Postby DrG2 » Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:09 am

I have a fear of no one wanting to steal my work.

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pls
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Re: fear of work being stolen

Postby pls » Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:17 pm

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Les And
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Re: fear of work being stolen

Postby Les And » Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:23 pm

Your writing must create a full colour movie in your reader's mind.

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