Original Poetry Forums

The Poets Briefcase/Poem Evidence LAB

04-19-2010 at 07:12:46 PM

The Poets Briefcase/Poem Evidence LAB

I am NOT A LAWYER and have no basis to give you legal advice from this website that you can deem safe to use in a court of law. The information and links that you find below are for you to choose whether you wish to acknowledge as correct or not.
Why do I need to protect or register the copyrights on my poems and poetry?
In this Internet age, we can all publish our work instantly and globally with a few keystrokes. Songs and poetry on MySpace, pictures on FACEBOOK...

While in theory, your poems are copyright protected the moment pen hits paper, or more recently, data hits disc, you still must be able to credibly prove when that happened...


HOW TO COPY RIGHT A POEM-------------------------------------

You own the copyright of anything you write, regardless of whether you register it with the U.S. Copyright Office in Washington, D.C. However, you cannot win a copyright infringement case unless your work is registered. Many publishers will copyright in your name when they accept your book for publication, but you may prefer to fill out the form and send it in before submitting your work. You can download forms from the Library of Congress at .

A Direct Link To The Libray of Congress


For more information, see Brad Templeton's A Brief Intro to Copyright.


Things You'll Need:
2 envelopes
2 postage stamps
Copy of poem
Step 1Request a copyright application by calling the U.S. Copyright Office, (202) 707-3000, or write to U.S. Copyright Office, 101 Independence Ave. S.E. Washington, D.C. 20559-6000. The forms can also be obtained at its website.

Step 2Make a photocopy of the poem you wish to copyright.

Step 3Prepare a check for a $45 payment.

Step 4Complete the copyright application.

Step 5Mail the application, a copy of your poem and the payment, to the return address specified in the copyright registration application form.

If you read poetry or write poetry, you need to understand the basics of how copyrights work. A copyright protects the rights of the poet who put his or her labor into creating this work of art.

First off, a copyright exists AS SOON AS YOU CREATE YOUR WORK. There is no need to register a copyright with any office, or to label your work in any special way. You don't have to put a copyright symbol on it. Once you have finished typing your work, or putting it on your website, or however you choose to use it, it is yours and it belongs to you. You hold the copyright.

The only reason a poet would need to REGISTER the copyright is if the owner wished to file a lawsuit against someone else regarding the work. That way the rightful owner now has it on record that he or she went through the steps to prove the work belongs to him or her.

Some people believe a "poor man's coypright" exists where you mail yourself your work. This is an urban legend. You always own your own copyright. If you wish to take legal action against someone else, you have to legally file your copyright papers first. Those are really the only two situations that exist.

Works created after 1987 are owned by the author and his/her estate for a full 70 years after the author's death. Works before then started with a copyright length of 28 years from publication, and then could be renewed from anywhere from another 28 years to another 67 years, depending what year the item was published in.

A general rule of thumb is that works before 1987 were protected for around 100 years from publication date. Any old poetry published more than 100 years ago can be put onto websites and used. Since the minimum before 1987 was 28 years from publication date, any poetry written after 1975 is definitely under copyright! And pretty much anything written since 1903 is most likely still under copyright. This includes song lyrics.


Unofficially (and for just the cost of postage) you can copyright anything by putting it in a envelope, addressing it to yourself, apply postage, and send it through the mail. The next day when you receive it, DO NOT OPEN IT! It will have a post mark on it PROVING you wrote it on or before the postmark.

Another answer
In many countries a creative work is protected by copyright from the moment it is first written down. In the United States, this is also true, but you will need to register your copyright before you can effectively enforce it. In fact, there are other valuable reasons to register it immediately after you first publish it. There are simple forms to file and moderate fees involved, so you should consider registration for any valuable works.

Sending yourself a copy in the mail (unlike registration) does not notify the world of your ownership so that people can contact you for a distribution license or commission additional works. grin

**I would also , add a hair from your head in there, and get your fingerprints all over it.
Also scotch tape all corners.**

Here is a link that describes this process in great detail:

Copyscape is dedicated to protecting your valuable content online. We provide the world's most powerful and most popular online plagiarism detection solutions, ranked #1 by independent tests. Copyscape's products are trusted by millions of website owners worldwide to check the originality of their new content, prevent duplicate content, and search for copies of existing content online.
Copyscape provides a free service for finding copies of your web pages online, as well as two more powerful professional solutions for preventing content theft and content fraud:


Turnitin’s Originality Checking ensures originality, as well as use of proper citation.


This is the most important:
Handwriting identification is based on the principle that, while handwriting within a language tends to be alike to the degree that we can meaningfully read it, there are individual features that distinguish one person's writing from that of another.

So Keep your Poems in a journal, and in a safe place...



There is a date on files saved, so keep a copy

Get the words out


Have lots and lots of Character witnesses

This will cause arguements for people in the future that have nothing better to do

Embed your poem is sapp


Many people think of plagiarism as copying another's work, or borrowing someone else's original ideas. But terms like "copying" and "borrowing" can disguise the seriousness of the offense:

According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, to "plagiarize" means
to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own
to use (another's production) without crediting the source
to commit literary theft
to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.
In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else's work and lying about it afterward.

But can words and ideas really be stolen?
According to U.S. law, the answer is yes. The expression of original ideas is considered intellectual property, and is protected by copyright laws, just like original inventions. Almost all forms of expression fall under copyright protection as long as they are recorded in some way (such as a book or a computer file).

All of the following are considered plagiarism:
turning in someone else's work as your own
copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit
failing to put a quotation in quotation marks
giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation
changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit
copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not (see our section on "fair use" rules)

All of this info is from:
Latin centō, patchwork.
In poetry, a cento is a work wholly composed of verses or passages taken from other authors; only disposed in a new form or order.
But credits are do to the original author.

Are YOU infringing copyright?
Remember: falling foul of thievery will probably never happen to you. If it does, it will probably be small scale and you will hopefully be able to sort it out without too much trouble. It may even be an accident or just an act of absent-mindedness on the part of the “thief” – which is why you need to be careful, too – it’s very easy to infringe on the copyright of others without even realising it.
Make sure that whenever you quote someone’s poem or use someone’s picture, you credit them. A great many bloggers trawl other sites to find cool photos, anecdotes, links or even poems to accompany their articles, but if you do this, you should always, always, always link back to the artist’s own page. Most people will be cool with you linking to them and displaying their work with the correct credits - it’s publicity after all! However, you should always ask their permission, because there might be reasons why they don’t want their poems to go beyond their personal site.


Originally Posted by papapaczki

Ok, to get us going... we had some suggestions:

1. Limiting copy/paste within the site. There are pros and cons to that. Cons being that you have to type everything into the web site. This isn't a bad thing, but not always ideal. Some poems are very long, and too type them twice would be quite an under taking. Pros would be obviously they can't copy/paste another person's work. Maybe somewhere there is a balance to this.

2. If you see a poem that is plagirized, click on the Flag Poem link, and enter a short report. We'll get it, and take care of the situation.

3. Please remember never to take the law into your own hands. Always contact support (or myself directly) and we'll help you handle the process properly from an ethical and legal stand point.

Ok, I saw a lot of emotion. Let's see some of it turned into ways to help protect everyone.

-Papa Paczki snake

Originally Posted by dahlusion

For MAC users: hold down the "option" key then press "G": ? and there you have it! ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Originally Posted by Phoenix9

For all those who may be looking as to how to put a copy right symbol on there work I found a easy way to do it and the only legal form of the symbol that is recognized. all you have to do is hold down the ALT key and on the number pad on the right of your keyboard type in 0169 and the symbol will appear, this works for windows. ie; ? wow nifty, hope this helps some. Rick (PHOENIX) wink tongue wink cool cheese excaim

Originally Posted by lightcourier

I really imagine that a "poet" could post a couple hundred poems from well known poets that were included in a published anthology and no one here would probably know the difference.

It is possible to post several poems by william carlos williams, or Dylan Thomas, or Vachael lindsey or our own National poet laureate....who was that? or any of a few thousand lesser known minor poets and no one would know the difference. Poor Vachael wandered all over the country performing his poetry in the streets, trying to get a new poetry form going (think rap in the 19th century) but he never rally gained much for his efforts.

Personally, I would hate for them to copy and plagarize my poems cause they would probably gain lots of fame and fortune, loud accolades and probably bucketloads of cash that they could wave around in my face and put me down making me feel oh so browbeaten! Money and fame that could havebeen mine! Dammit, i could have been a contender! LOL

I think it is safe to say that for the majority noone really wants to plagarize your poetry....and if they do, they probably won't get anything out of it....and if they do (which is highly unlikely) you could feel slightly uplifted that you were so honored.


05-29-2010 at 09:08:06 AM

Fight For Yours Rights, By Learning the Types of Plagarism

Plagiarism is derived from two Latin words; plagiarius which means an abductor, and plagiare which means to steal. According to Random House Compact Unabridged Dictionary, plagiarism is defined as "use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work." It is also considered as violation of scholarly ethics and intellectual property by many academicians.

Different Types of Plagiarism

Academic and journalistic plagiarism is an age old practice. However, Internet plagiarism is now rampant with the advent of the Internet, and plagiarism has taken many new forms. Now it is just about cut, copy, and paste, or a little rephrasing. But copy it is!

Full Plagiarism: Content that has been presented as own, without any changes made to the language, thoughts, flow, and even punctuation is known as full plagiarism. Many academicians believe that is generally the work of people who are incompetent in the particular subject, or are just plain lazy to make an effort.

Partial Plagiarism: When the presented content is a combination of two to three different sources, where the use of rephrasing and synonyms is rampant, then it is known as partial plagiarism. Here, the author uses some originality, but inadequacy of knowledge on the particular subject is a common reason for the occurrences of partial plagiarism.

Minimalistic Plagiarism: Here, the plagiarist authors someone else concept, ideas, thought, or opinions in their own words and in a different flow. Although many do not regard this as plagiarism (probably the one's who do it!), it is considered as stealing someones study or thoughts. Minimalistic plagiarism involves a lot of paraphrasing.

Source Citation: When complete source information with quotes is provided, it does not amount to plagiarism. However, the definition of a complete source citation varies vastly. Some writers quote the source's name, but give no other accessible information. While some conveniently give false references, some just merge their information with an original piece of writing. A ghost writer is a perfect example of a plagiarist. Here the writer feels free to source information and reproduce it as their own.

Self-plagiarism: This form of plagiarism is perhaps most contested as "it is " and "is not". Using one's own work, fully or partially, or even the same thought and re-writing it, is known as self-plagiarism by many. Publishing the same material through different mediums without referencing it correctly is a very common habit among many writers. The content on many websites are perfect examples of self-plagiarism.

According to professor Paul Brian's opinion posted on the Internet Humanist Forum, "self-plagiarism, or the recycling of an old work in a new guise is also a theft since the author leads the book-buyer to think that there is a new book of his on the market. The author is misleading his/her readers." "Self-plagiarism is fraud if not outright theft".

Plagiarism is a personal ethical issue. Knowing what it is, and learning ways to not only detect and prevent plagiarized content, but also how self-plagiarism happens will a go a long way in promoting and preserving authenticity and originality.

BY:Loveleena Rajeev




1."The Ghost Writer"
The writer turns in another's work, word-for-word, as his or her own.
2."The Photocopy"
The writer copies significant portions of text straight from a single source, without alteration.
3."The Potluck Paper"
The writer tries to disguise plagiarism by copying from several different sources, tweaking the sentences to make them fit together while retaining most of the original phrasing.
4."The Poor Disguise"
Although the writer has retained the essential content of the source, he or she has altered the paper's appearance slightly by changing key words and phrases.
5."The Labor of Laziness"
The writer takes the time to paraphrase most of the paper from other sources and make it all fit together, instead of spending the same effort on original work.
6."The Self-Stealer"
The writer "borrows" generously from his or her previous work, violating policies concerning the expectation of originality adopted by most academic institutions.
Sources Cited (But Still Plagiarized)
1."The Forgotten Footnote"
The writer mentions an author's name for a source, but neglects to include specific information on the location of the material referenced. This often masks other forms of plagiarism by obscuring source locations.
2."The Misinformer"
The writer provides inaccurate information regarding the sources, making it impossible to find them.
3."The Too-Perfect Paraphrase"
The writer properly cites a source, but neglects to put in quotation marks text that has been copied word-for-word, or close to it. Although attributing the basic ideas to the source, the writer is falsely claiming original presentation and interpretation of the information.
4."The Resourceful Citer"
The writer properly cites all sources, paraphrasing and using quotations appropriately. The catch? The paper contains almost no original work! It is sometimes difficult to spot this form of plagiarism because it looks like any other well-researched document.
5."The Perfect Crime"
Well, we all know it doesn't exist. In this case, the writer properly quotes and cites sources in some places, but goes on to paraphrase other arguments from those sources without citation. This way, the writer tries to pass off the paraphrased material as his or her own analysis of the cited material.


There are many more: I just searched these for our education:

05-29-2010 at 09:16:39 AM

A Poets Siren

I have noticed a lot of modern barbarism.
Sirens go off, meaning people/poets pm telling me what they find.
Then I ask them is your poem copyrighted?
If so then don't worry about it, but there is something to worry about,
and that is who came up with the original idea first..
Some times, things are coincidence, but still awareness needs to be known.
Before I go, and point anyway word swords, I want to state that my stuff is copyrighted, in all forms known in the above knowledge.
So I want to advise you to copy right your work, you have to.
There are thousands of non-OP, subscribers reading your work.
Learning, and taking from us. So please copy-right your work.
Now I have been influenced, by Madelynn, RHPeat, Dahlusion ( he even has said that I used his format, into which is possible, because his work is like a tattoo, it sticks with you, great work, so that's why you have to be careful, of what you write as well, furthermore that's the magic of a good poet), and many more on here.
Ok here is my deal, it's no biggy, because I fly right, and have proof.
But I just want to show you, how my sirens work, and swift they are:
My Poem. Maddi's Grin, was posted on WS1, for a night, twice by the way.
But I took it down, for heartfelt reasons, but I posted it back up,
just to prove my point.
But, it's posted on my second id here:
You have to scroll down
it's near the bottom
and it's on other websites:, and it sits, on the Library of Congress shelf,
and better yet, my Shelf-Jurrasic Park Style.

The poem is posted for you to read, so you tell me what you think?

This to me is Minimalistic Plagiarism: as discribed above or ."The Potluck Paper"
I’ll let you decide


Last edited by WordSlinger 05-31-2010 at 11:20:13 PM

05-31-2010 at 12:37:55 PM

RE: The Poets Briefcase/Poem Evidence LAB

I' am coining the term Mosquitoe Writers to Plagarisists. (Mosquitoes)
A Poets' Voice' ~~~all in favor Say Word"""""

06-04-2010 at 08:56:28 PM

RE: A Poets Siren

Originally Posted by WordSlinger

This to me is Minimalistic Plagiarism: as discribed above or ."The Potluck Paper"
I’ll let you decide

That is a bit harsh isn't it wordslinger?

06-04-2010 at 09:03:56 PM

RE: The Poets Briefcase/Poem Evidence LAB

You made your call, maybe you should have read the whole post,
and the whole thread.
Do you think, I' am looking out for myself, or all of ours?
No harm done, only if you take it that way.
Thanks for speaking your mind. WS

Last edited by WordSlinger 06-04-2010 at 09:04:44 PM

06-04-2010 at 09:16:01 PM

RE: RE: The Poets Briefcase/Poem Evidence LAB

Originally Posted by WordSlinger

You made your call, maybe you should have read the whole post,
and the whole thread.
Do you think, I' am looking out for myself, or all of ours?
No harm done, only if you take it that way.
Thanks for speaking your mind. WS

I did read the whole post and the whole thread just because you think I'm a newbie due to the screen name doesn't mean I really am I've been on op for over a year and am very familiar with peoples writings and forum postings. I think implying it as an attack against you when I asked a simple question is a bit much.

06-04-2010 at 09:22:09 PM

RE: The Poets Briefcase/Poem Evidence LAB

Understandable, I never assumed that though, never crossed my mind.
This still doesn’t answer my question, well maybe it does.
Glad you enjoyed the post, thanks. WS

06-04-2010 at 09:35:27 PM

RE: RE: The Poets Briefcase/Poem Evidence LAB

Originally Posted by WordSlinger

Understandable, I never assumed that though, never crossed my mind.
This still doesn’t answer my question, well maybe it does.
Glad you enjoyed the post, thanks. WS

Ok to answer your question fully (let me know how far off base I get) I will use me as the example I have scraped 6 poems of mine that I felt pretty good about due to the fact that after I had written them certain country songs all written by Kris Kristofferson came to mind and I was then very uncomfortable with my writings even though for me at the time of writing they were original however after hearing the songs I could easily see how someone could say I plagerized Kristofferson when in fact I didn't. What I'm saying John is that there is so much stuff in the world that there are 1000's of things that appear to be similar and I think most of the time it is no fault of the writers it goes back to the old adage great minds think a like I'm sure I could go to your page (I'm not picking on you but you and me are conversing so we will be my two examples) and find things that would be similar and remind me of something I have heard before so to wrap up this long drawn out post is plagerism is an ugly word and when it is used I just like 100% accuracy, that's all didn't mean to offend you.

06-04-2010 at 09:45:00 PM

RE: The Poets Briefcase/Poem Evidence LAB

Understandable again, I am truly not worried about the poem like mine,
I 'm just showing how my system works by the tools listed above.
You haven't offended me, and you are welcome to go through, all of them.
And the possibilities are there. Also I don’t term with avatars’ that say
a year but technologies says different, so what other id do you have then?
It’ s ok WL, just another example in how the system works.
Thanks again for reading.

Username Member since City/state Comments Friends Alternative
thecross 03/25/2010 Oneida, Ne 7 56 Yes

06-04-2010 at 10:02:12 PM

RE: RE: The Poets Briefcase/Poem Evidence LAB

Originally Posted by WordSlinger

Understandable again, I am truly not worried about the poem like mine,
I 'm just showing how my system works by the tools listed above.
You haven't offended me, and you are welcome to go through, all of them.
And the possibilities are there. Also I don’t term with avatars’ that say
a year but technologies says different, so what other id do you have then?
It’ s ok WL, just another example in how the system works.
Thanks again for reading.

Username Member since City/state Comments Friends Alternative
thecross 03/25/2010 Oneida, Ne 7 56 Yes

That is why I left the initials WL in my quote because it is mine and I posted it everywhere wink I signed my first watash legend account up in may of last year so I guess I was incorrect. Is a little over a year suitable? This profile is messed up it is actually Oneida, New York but I can't correct it. I am the first to admit I for one am glad you are showing how your system works I just wanted to give another point of view that's all.

06-04-2010 at 10:09:24 PM

RE: The Poets Briefcase/Poem Evidence LAB

06-04-2010 at 11:01:48 PM

RE: RE: The Poets Briefcase/Poem Evidence LAB

Originally Posted by WordSlinger

I told you I wasn't picking on you man, trust in thecross. smile

Poetry is what gets lost in translation.

Robert Frost (1875-1963) American Poet.