I want to submit a manuscript to an agent and but am afraid that someone will steal my work. How do I protect myself?

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Question:  I have been preparing demos of my singing work that I am getting ready to distribute to talent agents and record label companies. I want to submit a manuscript to an agent and but am afraid that someone will steal my work and claim it as their own.  How do I protect myself?

Response: Although you usually don't need to worry about an agent stealing your work, there are legal protections that extend to all creative works including your manuscript.  Under U.S. copyright law, your written manuscript became protected as soon as the words attached to a tangible form.  However, if you want to take extra measures to perfect your rights, you can simply fill out a copyright form with all the pertinent information regarding your manuscript including title and author.  Under Section 106A, you have rights of attribution and integrity which include the right to claim authorship of your work, to prevent any intentional distortion of that work.  Although you don't need an attorney at this point, if  your work is accepted and you enter contract talks, you may want to consult with an attorney to explain your overall rights to your intellectual property as well as issues of royalties and copyright derivations.

Answered by Sharon Cullars

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