Works posted on DarkPoetry must be the original work of the author. Under no circumstances may you, as a member, post any works that you did not personally invent. Violations of this rule usually result in the violator being completely banned from DarkPoetry, and we really don't want to ban you, so take care to be original.
Copyright is supposed to be very simple. When you write something, it is copyrighted. Yes, right then, nothing else need happen beyond the creation of a new, unique work.
But it's never so simple when there's a financial interest in what you create.
There are two ways to formally protect your work. The first is very easy, if not officially sanctioned and the second costs $30 and possibly other fees.
Poor Wo/Man's Copyright
If you wish to use this method outside a court of law, perhaps mailing yourself several of these is a wise choice.
Registering your work with the U.S. Copyright Office costs $30 and takes 4-5 months for your certificate to arrive. You can pay them $325/hr for expedited service but that is rarely worthwhile for our purposes. [more info on fees]
If you write only for pleasure, maybe all this trouble is not worth it for you.
If you haven't copied someone else's work, and nobody on DarkPoetry has copied your works, good! But if you're in that unfortunate situation, here's how we deal with it.
We will provide any information requested by a court of law, or at our discretion another party which acts to mediate a dispute. Information not immediately relevant to the dispute may not be provided to protect the privacy of our members unless it is required by a court of law.
Generally you will get the best results handling the problem yourself. Every work on the site can be commented on, and a comment pointing out that a work is used without permission or unlawfully often is all it takes to shame the posting person into taking it down.
If this is not the case, you have made attempts to contact the offending party, and not had any satisfactory response within a week's time we may get involved. Our criteria for removing a work on this grounds will be based on the following in order of importance:
On satisfying the standard of proof, the work will be removed and other disciplinary action may be taken at our discretion, typically a long-term ban on the user's account.