5 Reasons Why You Should Register Your Copyright: Advice from the IBPA Advocacy Committee

The new Copyright Claims Board makes it more important than ever to officially register your copyright.

In December 2021, the U.S. Copyright Office will formally open its Copyright Claims Board, which will allow individual authors and small publishers an alternative to federal court for trying copyright infringement claims. In light of this, the IBPA Advocacy Committee thought it would be helpful to remind IBPA members of five reasons why they should formally register their works with the U.S. Copyright Office:

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Adventures Of A Feral Wild Tiger

Surprisingly, lately, I found myself sitting on a pasture with the greenest grass I have ever seen. (Not that I saw too much grass in my life, but that’s beside the point).


I saw that movement from the corner of my eyes and instinctively crouched lower, sneaked closer, and with every single step, I felt the grass blades below my feet.


Again I discovered the movement… and then I saw it. It was actually smaller than I thought it would be. In a flash of brown, gray, and pink, it disappeared into the ground.


Carefully I tiptoed closer and found the entrance of its house. I was a bit irritated. Why crossing my path and then disappearing? It smelled, in an odd way, intriguing. I used my nose, felt my muzzle move from one to the other side, my whiskers trembled. I had barely ever realized how wonderful my whiskers are. My ears turned forward and back, trying to catch that shooing sound it makes when it walks. Still crouched, I decided to wait at that hole for a while, my nose and ears working constantly.

Picture courtesy of Dreamstime.com

And then it shot out of another spot in the ground, not even six feet away, and ran. It was fast… I jumped up and followed… there was no more hiding. I sprinted after it. My feet were feeling every single crumb of dirt, every bumpiness. My eyes registered how fast the surroundings passed; it was like a blur. I stretched, gained speed. And then, it started panicking and turned to the right… just when I took another angle, it changed back, even speeding up. I jumped forward, a leap, another leap, calculating where it would be next.


And then, when I took the last leap, I knew I had it. I jumped, further than I ever did, higher than I ever did….. and I dove down on it. I could see it. I could almost taste it, only half an inch, the fraction of a second…


And then I woke up…


Mommy laughed and then picked me up, hugged me, and caressed me. She’s always sweet. She takes good care of my two sisters and me. But she can’t replace the glorious adventure of hunting a mouse.


And that’s, what Mommy said, makes her laugh… when I sleep, with my ears turning forward and back, flat to my head, with my nose twitching, my whiskers trembling, my feet moving… to her, I’m just fidgeting, but to me, in my head, I’m instinctively checking my surroundings, following my prey. I’m on a hunt. Maybe only in my dreams. I’m still glad Mommy feeds me. I’m not sure I would know what to do with the mouse once I catch it. But it’s nice to imagine anyway, to be an instinct-driven, feral, wild tiger.

(Short Story Copyright A. J. Alexander, May 2021)

A Halloween Poem – Written By Mark Egan

Even though there is no Halloween Poem Contest anymore in 2020, I got sent a beautiful Halloween poem that I would like to share with you, with the permission of the author, Mark Egan.


Picture courtesy of: http://preventioncdnndg.org/


‘Don’t Go Outside’

                                                            Mark Egan 2020

‘Don’t go outside’, the girl she said

And said twice more, ‘lest we be dead’

She feared a sprite this Hallows Eve

With an endless hunger for souls to feed

To garner strength from lives ashriven

From the essence of the living

‘Don’t leave me here’, the girl she begged

‘Tis a darkling night, one full of dread

A spooky, creepy graysome night

I fear that I might die from fright

And then I’ll pass beyond the veil

Myself a spirit who’ll moan and wail’

‘Don’t make a sound’, the girl did whisper

I feel it’s close, my hearts a jitter

I hear it’s tread, it’s cloven gait

It’s funeral march, it’s wicked hate

It’s gaping maw, it’s jagged teeth

It’s claws and arms, stretched out in reach’

‘I think it’s here’, the girl did say

Her voice a ghost, yet quiet and fae

I smelled her breath sour and sweet

I felt her heart a fearsome beat

‘Don’t go outside’, she once more said

She laughed and lunged, then I was dead.


(The copyright of this poem is with Mark Egan, please respect this poem as his property)

Summer 2020

The sun burns hot, but there’s a breeze

in the yard I can hear the hum of the bees.

The ocean, it never is very far away

the sun is shining, here I want to stay.

**

Temperatures are hot, the air, it sings

We know already what the next day brings

more blue skies, more light and sun

Southern California is home and fun.

**

This summer things are different though

the danger is omnipresent, that we know.

But still, I need the sunshine and the air

I’ll go outside and I take care.

**

The sunsets still are so one-of-a-kind

I have a hard time to get them off my mind.

The colors, the clouds, and the palm trees

swaying in the summer breeze.

**

And even when the times are hard

when we are in crisis and hold up our guard

There’s still the beauty of nature to roam

outside our window, in our hearts, we call it home.

*****

(Copyright: Aurora Jean Alexander, July 2020)

Picture Courtesy of Google.com

 

A Small Hunting Friend – A Riddle


I’m gorgeous, and I’m useful, colorful and small

even though my feet are short, I’m still good at brawl.

My main food is insects, small reptiles, mammals, and more

from carrion I keep away, I prefer a wider soar.

**

I’m unusually fast in moving, the wind carries me around

When I hunt, I’m very silent, but when I court, I make my sound.

I’m known to be quite talkative, my cry can be heard from far

to every student of ornithology, I’m a famous star.

**

We are migratory fowl, in fall we are moving South

we spend the winter in Central America where we live in routh.

Back home up north ’till Canada, we return to breed our young

we sing, we dance, and so we court, we all act as sprung.

**

We breed in caves, in old trees, and sometimes we use a nest

but to be honest, we don’t like to build, nestboxes are the best.

There we raise a couple youngsters, sometimes they’re also more

normal it is we have six babies, but rarely only four.

**

I mentioned we are useful to many farmers in the countryside

we hunt vermin, critters, insects on their ground from far and wide.

we protect the crop with what we eat and they love our call

That’s why they love us hunting there, even though we’re only small.

**

From Canada to Texas we are widely known and often seen

we’re not endangered, that is good, and we have never been.

I know it’s hard to guess my identity and that’s the game

That’s why I’ll tell you – American Kestrel – that’s my name.

*****

(Copyright: Aurora Jean Alexander, May 2020)


 

Picture courtesy of: https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/american-kestrel

 

A Trace Of Danger In The Mountains – A Riddle


I am death on four paws

I have no smell and no race

My food is meat in the raws

I’m not betrayed by a trace.

**

I’m not in danger to go extinct

My color protects me in every case

I solely live on my own instinct

I have a territory, not a personal space.

**

I’m a silent lethal danger,

I’m always hidden and calm

I can’t be discovered by some stranger

when I approach you, say your last psalm.

**

My prey is often bigger than me

but I’m smart and I’m strong

Your size it can’t save you, you’d see

don’t believe to outrun me, you are dead wrong.

**

I do exist from Canada in the North

through the Americans all the way

in the Andes in the south and so forth

where I am I always find my prey.

**

I’m gorgeous and secret I sneak on silent sole,

respect me, I’m hidden and I don’t feel shame

I’m not by many names, but I’m no evil soul

Call me Moutain Lion, Puma or Cougar – and it is my name.

*****

(Copyright: Aurora Jean Alexander, February 2020)

Picture courtesy of ThePressDemocrat.com

 

Winter 2020

Gray it is, the sky above

what we need are scarf and glove.

Boots are a necessary thing

we can barely talk and sure not sing.

**

It’s wintertime, the world is white

a gush of wind feels like a bite.

Snow is falling, romantic to behold

but in truth it is heavy and cold.

**

Danger lies in the cold air

snow is wayward, that I swear.

cold and wet turns into ice

snow beauty comes with a high price.

**

Many people enjoy the glory in white

skiing, iceskating, snowboarding are right.

But carelessness turn into cries and moans

screams, tears and too often broken bones.

**

Avalanches, rockfalls, accidents and drives

every winter cost numerous lives.

Not many respect the white snow’s cold breath

as dangerous, uncontrollable death.

**

But if we’re careful and observe the line

we can read on the very next warning sign.

Then snow and winter, no matter what clime

can be to all of us, a wonderful time.

*****

(Copyright: Aurora Jean Alexander, December 2019)

Picture courtesy of: https://www.yourhealth.net.au/

How To Help Stop Somebody Stealing Your Blog Posts – Written By Hugh W. Roberts

On Hugh’s Views and News I found an important blog post about how to help stop somebody stealing your blog posts. Thank you very much for all your efforts to help us bloggers! We really appreciate it!


I recently stumbled upon a blog where the author had copied and was using my blog posts. No pingbacks or mention that I was the original author, just plain copy and pasting of some of my posts and images. It left me feeling angry, yet I also felt honoured that my work must be good enough if somebody wanted to copy it.

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

Unfortunately, with the internet being such a vast and open space used by billions of people worldwide, the chances of that happening to any one of us who publishes anything on the internet is a distinct possibility. Whether it be photos, fiction, reviews, poetry, recipes or gardening tips, everything faces the chance of being copied and somebody else taking full credit for your hard work.

Read the entire blog post HERE