I put links to the artists' or writers' websites, where possible, hoping that it will generate more interest and traffic for them - leading to purchases? If I don't put links, it means the work is unattributed.
Imitation...the sincerest form of flattery?
There's always that dilemma when posting your creative outpourings online - and here my experience is with screenplays, but it could just as well apply to anything you've ever written.
Looking for ways to protect your work? Here's the bad news!
You can't...not really.
Sure, you can register it with Writers' Guild of America or copyright it - but even so it's not difficult for someone to take it, change it (or not) and claim it as his own.
I've seen it happen.
By the way, forget that urban myth that you can prove ownership by sealing it up in an envelope and posting it to yourself.
"As the copy you post remains in your possession, the other party can easily show that you had ample opportunity to tamper with the contents, and of course once opened it could not be used as evidence in any future claim or appeal."(The UK Copyright Service)
Counter-intuitively, the very best way to ensure that your work isn't used without your permission is to post it in as many places as possible. That way, the ownership and date it was written is very visible and verifiable.
A number of screenplays I know of, written by friends of mine, have been used without their consent and appeared elsewhere on the internet, either as screenplays with the author's name changed or as completed films on YouTube. Not the end of the world, but seriously annoying and unnecessary.
The crazy thing is that if 'the thief' had only emailed the writer, permission would almost certainly be granted without a second thought! Writers are invariably delighted to know their work has met with approval.
Tomorrow's blog - a brilliant tip which allows you to keep track of your work online, thought up by Techie-Meister Tim Coxon, Number One Son, of whom I am so proud. It really works!