The Right to Your Copy
One of the questions I hear constantly, is this: If I post my (story, chapter, essay, excerpt, poem, or other written work) online, can someone steal it from me?
Of course the answer is yes. It’s as easy as mark, copy and paste.
But this does not mean that your work is not protected.
Copyright law very clearly states: Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.
But what about registration of my copyright? I can still do that, right?
Yes. It currently costs $35 to do so, and it can be done online at http://www.copyright.gov/register/
I have written elsewhere that this is not really necessary, because you own the copyright of your work automatically (above) and if you believe that you only have one or two good ideas, you’re probably in the wrong business