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Copyrighting: Why Poets Should Take It Seriously

By Edited Jan 11, 2016 0 0

When it comes to poetry, copyrighting is very important for any poet, especially one who is doing it for a living.  Poetry, just like any other creative work, should be protected. It is crucial for a poet to keep his rights, and that means copyrighting his poems properly.

If you write a particular successful poem, people might want to buy the poem from you, and you could end up making some good cash. I have a friend who is very talented in writing poems. Even though he rarely writes new poems, he recently entered a contest to write a poem for a local cards company, which shall remain nameless. He was very happy when he won a $1000 award for his poem and soon saw it on Christmas cards, but he later discovered that he had been tricked.

My friend had not licensed his work. When the company used the great poem to sell millions of cards, he realized that he wouldn’t get anything because the license of his poem now belonged to the card company.

If you love poems, licensing can be bad for you.  Some ways that you use poems could be illegal. For example, posting your favorite poem on your blog, if you are caught doing this, it could cost you thousands of dollars in legal fees. If you use it for commercial purposes, for example in a new book, the charges could be worse. Never use other person’s poems without their permission.

When you, as a poet, protect your work by copyright, it becomes easier for a potential client to find you and legally get the permission to use your work for commercial purposes. A copyright on your poems can also help you should a client fail to pay for poems that they have already used.


There are, however, uncopyrighted poems on the internet, put here by their authors so that you can read them and maybe discover other works done by the same author. Among artists, this is usually a popular way to get known by new fans, who could otherwise not have known if your poems were not freely available.

I believe that, at the end of the day there are many factors that a poet should consider before copyrighting their work, but I am for the idea that copyrighting is a must for anyone who wants to make the most out of their poems.



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