Now in our 26th year of inspiring poets and readers. Established 1998.

Copyright Information For Poets Submitting Poems
To This Site and for Users of This Site

In submitting a poem to this site, the author is stating that the poem is his/her own original work. Readers and users of this website therefore must apply the same principles of fair use to these works that they would to a published, printed archive.

Poems published here are protected under the U.S. Copyright laws regardless of whether they are registered with the copyright office. It is not necessary for the symbol ©   to appear beside a poem for that poem to be protected by copyright law. All work published on poetsonline.org are copyrighted one time only and then the copyright reverts to the authors.

Your submission grants this site (poetsonline.org) first electronic rights at time of publication. Your poem will be archived online. However, all rights revert back to the author. If you subsequently have your poem published elsewhere, we ask as a courtesy that that you cite Poets Online as the place of original publication.

None of the creative work published on the site may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the author. It may not be published commercially (in print or electronic form), edited, or otherwise altered without the permission of the creator and/or copyright holder. The materials within this site may be used online or downloaded for personal or educational use, or the URL of a document included in another electronic document (as a link). No other distribution of the texts, images, or recordings is allowed.

If you reproduce content from this site, please follow the guidelines of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License. This means you must give appropriate credit (Attribution), provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use. NonCommercial means you may not use the material for commercial purposes. NoDerivatives means that if you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute (publish) the modified material in any way.

Authors published on this site may print a copy of the page where their poem appears and include the date it was printed as evidence of the appearance of their poem if a question of copyright appears at a later date.

All other interest and rights in the works, including but not limited to the right to grant or deny permission for further reproduction of the works, the right to use material from the works in subsequent works, and the right to redistribute the works by electronic means, are retained by the holders of copyright in the materials.

Any poet who wishes to have their poem(s) removed from the site, or any user who has a question about the copyright of material on this site, may contact the webmaster at poetsonline[at]gmail.com using the email from their submission and including the title of the poems and a link to the page it appears on.

Can I Submit My Poem Used Here To Other Publications?

That depends on the publication's rules. Many print and online publishers now do not accept work that has been previously published, in print or online. Resubmitting poems for contests and anthologies often waives that rule, and some (Rattle is an example) do not consider self-publishing to blogs, message boards, or social media as publication with respect to this rule. Always read the submission rules carefully for any submission.

About Copyrighting Your Work

You own the copyright of anything you write, regardless of whether you register it with the U.S. Copyright Office in Washington, DC or not. However, it may be difficult to win a copyright infringement case unless your work is registered. Using a partial name or pseudonym ("pen name") on your work may also make it more difficult to establish original ownership. You are not required to file for copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office to secure your copyright. By law, authors are protected from the moment a work is created. When the work is published, the copyright notice is printed on page 2. Authors are granted protection for the duration of the author’s life, plus an additional 50 years after death. You can copyright everything in a book except the title.

The only reason to formally register the copyright or establish a public record of your claim is if you are concerned about possible infringement suits. This registration can be made any time after publication and within the duration of the copyright period.

If you are interested in registering your own work, read the Library of Congress copyright pages at lcweb.loc.gov/copyright
Forms may also be downloaded with instructions at loc.gov/copyright/forms/ or write to: Register of Copyrights, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20559

About This Site and the Poems Used On It

The poems and images included in this site are the property of their creators and/or copyright holders. Poetry that is not in the public domain is owned by the current copyright owner(s) and is offered here either with permission, or else for the purpose of scholarly research and the free sharing of information and art under the auspices of the U.S. copyright acts and the "fair use" clauses contained within.

We make no claims nor do we profit from the use of items to which we do not hold copyright ownership. Poems and images used as a part of the "prompt" are posted for a limited time (generally four weeks) only and are then removed from the site. Their purpose is purely educational.

If links exist to a poet,poem, publisher or other source, those links remain on the archive page for that prompt. This linking does not constitute our endorsement of the content of these websites or of their policies or products.

If you link to any pages that are a part of Poets Online or to the poems therein, you should extend the courtesy of notifying the webmaster that you have done so - though no permission is needed to do so.

We wish to comply with all intellectual property laws and to act properly upon receiving notice of claimed infringement. To the extent possible we have attempted to contact current content copyright holders for permission to reprint or otherwise reproduce those poems used for workshopping purposes.

Content holders who wish us to remove their copyrighted work, provided that we are acting outside the laws of "fair use," should contact us in writing. All such notices should be sent to: the webmaster [poetsonline@gmail.com] and should contain the following information: 1. A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner that is allegedly infringed. 2. Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed. 3. Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity. 4. The address, telephone number, or e-mail address of the complaining party. 5. A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA")

NOTICE: poetsonline.org owns, protects, and enforces copyright in its own creative materials and respects the copyright properties of others. The poetsonline.org web site contain materials of third parties and links to third-party sites, portals, and directories and also transmits and stores such third-party materials. As a result, materials of third parties, not owned or controlled by poetsonline.org are included in or linked to the poetsonline.org web site or are stored or transmitted over poetsonline.org's digital online communication systems. To the best of our knowledge, these materials do not infringe the copyrights of others. Upon receipt of proper notice of claimed infringement, poetsonline.org will respond expeditiously to follow the procedures specified in the DMCA to resolve the claim between the notifying party and the alleged infringer who provided the materials in issue, including, where applicable, removing or disabling access to materials claimed to be infringing or by removing or disabling access to links to such material.

CC This website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Suggested Reading on Copyright and Publishing

Copyright Handbook, The: What Every Writer Needs to Know

Law and Authors: A Legal Handbook for Writers

Copyright and Permissions: What Every Writer and Editor Should Know