Once you have created some type of work that is in “tangible form”, you have automatically been granted the protection of copyright. Simpson, describes ”tangible form” as a work that is written on paper, painted on a canvas, saved to disk, recorded on tape, exposed on film, or has used any other method that creates a permanent record of the creation (p 21). As long as there is a record of your work your work has been copyrighted.
However, if you believe that your work is something that could be taken from you, or that your copyrights may be violated, you should register your work.
In order to sue for damages should your copyrights be infringed, your work MUST be registered with the Copyright Office.
Simpson, C. (2005). Copyright for schools: A practical guide. (4th ed.). Worthington, Ohio: Linworth Publishing, Inc.