MYOWS is a fairly new site (still in beta at time of writing) where you can upload your original work and manage it’s copyright protection.
How does it do that?
By uploading a piece of work you are agreeing it is yours and giving it a creation date (the date you uploaded it). You then get an online certificate proving the work is yours which can be made accessible to anyone, eg. a court or someone that has violated your own copyrights.
I suppose it’s like sending your lawyer a date-stamped, recorded envelope with your original work to remain unopened until such times that proof is needed. However, this is free and a lot easier.
I won’t go into it in much detail, suffice to say; it’s super easy to use, it’s free, supports multiple file formats and is valid for the UK.
You get 500MB of space. If that means nothing to you, then howabout this conversion. I’ve got an 80,000 word novel, double spaced in Word on 320 pages – all this equals about 1MB (less if you convert it into a PDF).
So a free account would be plenty for JK Rowling but Barbara Cartland may have to stump up for a premium account.
The beauty for writers is that our text documents don’t take up much space so we can upload virtually everything we’ve ever written plus all the previous drafts and still not fill up a free account. Graphics, photos and movie files are the ones that suck up memory.
I uploaded all my stuff yesterday and it was a total cinch. You can then add an image to any work confirming your ownership and copyright. I’ve added an image to the bottom of this short story so you can see.
I’m not someone who’s ultra paranoid of people nicking work or anything but bumping into this service and then seeing for myself how easy it is and free, why not use it? Sending work out in the real world or posting it online always leaves you open to some extent so having this little backup might prove useful one day.