Now that I have created this blog, I wanted to find out a bit more background information regarding copyright.
Interestingly, according to the official website of the US Copyright Office, the minute something unique is created, it is protected by copyright. So, no formal registration is needed, meaning that every time I set pen to paper, and every time my students write something, we have protection.
However, to act on that protection (for example, take someone to court for copyright infringement) we must register our work with the US Copyright Office. To register a work, you need $35-$45 depending on the method of submission, an application form, and at least one NON RETURNABLE copy of the thing you are getting a copyright for.
Minors can apply for a copyright, which as an educator is important for me to know, but evidently different states may have laws which infringe on the rights of minors as it pertains to copyright.
So, in theory based on my preliminary findings, every piece of writing that I or my students have created is protected by copyright, but until I register my work, I have no legal means of recourse if my work is plagiarized.
More to follow later on copyright infringements from unpublished works...once I find some cases and articles!
U.S. Copyright Office. (September 2008). About Copyright. Retrieved September 29, 2008,