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Copyright Law Act The Copyright Law Act of 1976 The Copyright Law Act of 1976 is the basis of the United States copyright laws. The Copyright Law Act states the rights of copyright owners, the doctrine of the fair use copyright laws and it changed the term life of copyrights. Before the Copyright Law Act the law had not been revised since 1909. It was necessary that the copyright laws be revised to take into account technological strides that were being made in radio, sound recordings, motions pictures and more. The Copyright Law Act of 1976 preempted all previous laws that were on the books in the United States, including the Copyright Act of 1909. The Copyright Law Act of 1976 defines ?works of authorship? to include all of the following: * Musical works * Literary works * Dramatic works * Pictorial, sculptural and graphics * Motion Pictures and Audiovisuals * Sound Recordings * Choreographic Works and Pantomimes * An eighth work which falls under ?architectural works? was later added in 1990. What is unique about the United States copyright law is that it is automatic. Once someone has an idea and produces it in tangible form, the creator is the copyright holder and has the authority to enforce his exclusivity to it. In other words, the person is the owner of the creation. It is not necessary that a person register their work. However, it is recommended and it can serve as evidence if someone ever violates a copyright. It is interesting to note that when an employer hires an employee to produce a work that the copyright is given to the employer. Violations of US Copyright Law are generally enforced in a civil court setting. However, there could also be criminal sanctions brought against someone who violates US copyright law. Someone that is in serious violation of US Copyright Law such as counterfeiting can find themselves on the inside of prison looking out. People need to understand that the copyright symbol is not a requirement. Someone may have a copyright, yet their work may not have a copyright notice or symbol. US Copyright Law covers a wide range of things that are derived from artistic expression, intellectual or creative work. This includes things such as literary works, music, drawings, photographs, software, movies, choreographic works such as ballets and plays, poems, paintings and more. The law covers the form of expression, not the concept, facts or the actual idea of the work. This means that someone can use another person?s idea or concept and produce their own take on it. However, copying another person?s work is a violation. It should be noted that some things may not be copyrighted but they may be protected by a patent or trademark. Individuals who have a copyright on a particular piece of work can do with it what they will. They may choose to copy it and sell it. They may display their work or perform it in public and charge admission, or they can assign or sell the work to someone else. Individuals who have a copyright can also choose to do nothing with their work, if that is their desire. However, if someone comes along and takes the work and tries to use it in some way, that person is still in violation of the owner?s copyright. The Copyright Law Act covers published and unpublished work.

Everywhere You Look There are Creative Writing Prompts (creative writing prompts) As glamorous as creative writing prompt sounds, it is nothing more than they start of an idea for your writings. A prompt could be virtually anything from a picture to a dream, whatever gives you that ?Oh that would be a great story? feeling is your prompt. Like a movie preview it gives you a taste of what is to come or a sample at a store that makes you want to buy the product. It could be a single word or a collaboration of words. Whatever it takes to get the story into your head and then onto the paper would be considered a creative writing prompt. The need of finding creative writing prompts often stems from having writers block. If coming up with your own prompts has become difficult don?t worry. There a literally millions of prompts out there. You just need to find the right ones for you. Take the Internet for example. Do a search for creative writing prompts. You now have pages and pages of story starter?s right at your fingertips. You have many options available while searching for prompts. From one or two words starters to a brief synopsis of an idea they are available to you. Some sites offer daily prompts. They will even email them to you. There are many books available with nothing but lists of prompts just waiting to be turned into great stories from your mind. There are a lot of writers that feel that using lists of prewritten prompts by someone else is cheating. They feel that all prompts used must be their own. But truth be told, there is not a creative writing prompt that has not been wrote about. It is the creation that comes after the prompt that makes the writing your own. The prompt is not what your creative writing is all about, but a springboard for your imagination. It is merely what opens the portal to your imagination, to your passion, and to your thoughts. Sitting at your computer and staring at the blank page will most likely give you a headache before a great idea. Go outside, close you eyes, and clear your mind. Listen to the sounds around you. What do you hear? Children?s laughter, neighbors chatting, or ever the birds chirping. Let those sounds drift away and your mind float. Slowly letting things come back into your mind, your last trip to the beach, your kids at the playground, your spouse cooking dinner any of these can be an idea jogger that gets the creative writing flowing. These thoughts alone could spark a hundred ideas just waiting to be words on your canvas. It also may help to keep a notebook with you at all times. That way whenever you have a great idea you can jot it down before it escapes you. Many writers only use creative writing prompts from outside sources. They are given to them by editors and publishers telling the writer what they want you to write about. Some writers work better this way being given the idea and running with it. Others prefer using their own. Creative writing prompts not only help initiate ideas, they also help spark your memory for you to write about your own past experiences and adventures. You can use them for writings on your website or blog. Whether you use outside sources for your inspiration or use your own it does not affect the integrity of the words that complete the idea. The story behind the prompt is the vision of your creative abilities, not the prompt itself.

The Ins and Outs of Free Writing Contests (free writing contests) Free writing contests are available by the thousands. They are virtually a dime a dozen on the Internet. No matter what your niche is in the writing community there is a free writing contests out there for you. How do you know which ones to enter and which ones are legitimate? That?s simple. You do what you do best-- research. While providing the story for the free writing contest will probably be the easy part, researching the thousands of available contests will be a daunting task. If this is un-chartered water for you, you have the start at the beginning. Finding what free writing contests are available. Grab a notebook or start a word document and list the contests that are available. Beside each contest name you will want to put what kind of writing they are looking for and when it needs to be done by. By doing this first you will be able to eliminate any that do not coincide with your writing niche or with your schedule. Now the free writing contest research begins. Finding out if a contest is worthwhile and legitimate is comparable to running a background check on a person. First check the contest website. Do they have all contact information available? Do they tell you what company is hosting the contest? If they are not, you will have likely found warning number one that it is a scam. So scratch those off your list or at least move them to the bottom until you can find out more information on them. Start asking around to colleagues and writers groups. Search the writing forums and the Internet scam sites. The Better Business Bureau is also a good place to look. Once you narrowed the free writing contests down to the legitimate ones, read the contest rules and regulations. Some contests require you signing over all rights to a story even if you don?t win. Are you willing to do this? Giving up rights to you writing is a lot easier to do when you are getting something in return. After you enter there is no going back, so make sure this is what you want to do. The final thing you need to look for is if the contest is just a cover up to get you to buy services or products. This does not necessarily mean they are a scam or don?t actually award winners. It simply means that they will try to entice you to use their critiquing services or offer you a book at a reduced fee that your work will be published in. Being published sounds like a great deal but is it a book that carries prestige that people are going to see? Many authors think that writing contests will launch their career into a successful endeavor. This is not the case, especially for free writing contests. Even winning the grand prize of a smaller known contest is not going to affect your literary journey. Even though they may not springboard your career, there are good reasons to join writing contests. You will get unbiased opinions and valuable feedback from the judges. If you make it into the higher rounds, editors could also see your writing. Ultimately whether you enter a free writing contest the choice is yours. Just ask you self if the time spent writing and researching the piece you choose to enter is worth writing for free in most cases. The critique and feedback may be the most worthwhile thing you receive from the contest. But then again the judges opinions are a dime a dozen just like the contests.