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As a non lawyer im involved with a literary society and we have original papers that we wanted to publish having no clue as to how to or what to this book helped us to comply with the law as well as protect our intellectual property. Before this statute all writing was considered for hire and ownership was debated privately without formal regulation today in the us new work is protected by copyright law as soon as it is fixed in a tangible medium eg paint to canvas pen to paper. Youre also violating copyright laws if you copy another persons work and try to sell it online as an original creation webmasters routinely have to combat people stealing their work since it is easy to copy and paste content to another site it can be a struggle to protect your work online and many writers choose to work with lawyers . A writers guide to fair use by howard g zaharoff january 18 2001 this article appeared in the january 2001 issue of writers digest just how much of another writers copyrighted work can you use without running afoul of the copyright law 10 percent 250 words the lesser of 10 percent or 250 words the greater of 10 percent or 250 words. Column by chuck as well as wd co editor brian klems please note that these guidelines below while helpful should not take the place of formal legal advice we are editors not attorneys imagine youre at a writers conference youre getting ready to pitch that great novel idea to a