Ideas are “.” I.P. includes print-based material like and articles and scripts, and , and also and names. As authors, speakers, and thought leaders, we make our living from our , and we rely on protections to ensure it isn't stolen.

applies mostly to written work (including sheet ), and and recordings. is technically granted at the moment of creation, but in the case of a conflict, it helps to be able to prove that you came up with an idea first.

In , you can copyright a melody but not a chord progression, which means a musical artist can create a different melody to a popular song and copyright that as their own. A number of large lawsuits have dealt with determining whether one song is a copy of another or not.

In the US, most authors copyright a or printed work by filing a copyright application with the Library of Congress at for US$35.

Some authors mail a printed copy of their work or a flash drive to themselves, which gives them a sealed, post-marked envelope that documents the of creation. This “poor man's copyright” is cheaper than a formal copyright but could be more difficult to defend.

If you post frequently on a , website, or social media, it's unreasonable to file multiple copyright applications daily. It could be worthwhile to send yourself a quarterly database backup on a flash key that would document the of your 's creation, though a dishonest challenger could manipulate the dates of their own files. Be sure to claim copyright over all your material somewhere on every page of your website.

This at least alerts others that you claim ownership of your ideas, and do not give your consent for others to “borrow” them.