1.1 Question: Do I need a lawyer to register a copyright?
Answer: No, registration in Canada or the U.S. is fairly straightforward. Visit the Canadian Copyright Office (cipo.gc.ca) or the U.S. Copyright Office (www.copyright.gov) for registration information, forms and fees. Note that registration is not required in most countries, including Canada and the U.S., however it can provide additional copyright protection than that in unregistered works, and advantages should you ever have to initiate a legal action for copyright infringement. (2006-2)
1.2 Question: I have an idea for a television show which I would like to submit to a TV producer. If they like my idea, are they obligated to hire me to write the show or may they hire a different writer?
Answer: Generally, a TV producer will only accept your idea submission from an agent or lawyer, and the producer will ask you to sign a release form. The release will state that you are submitting your idea with no obligation and that it is possible that ideas similar to yours are already in the works by the producer and that the producer is under no obligation to you. So, yes, the producer may create and develop a show similar to your idea, using a different writer. (2006-4)
1.3 Question: On December 1, 1975, I composed a song on my piano with lyrics. On December 1, 2007, I put the lyrics and music on paper. From what date do I have copyright protection?
Answer: Automatic copyright protection begins in most countries from the time the work is first “fixed” in some manner. This would include recording a song in analogue or digital form, and writing it down on paper. In this situation, the copyright protection began on December 1, 2007. (2007-4)