Should I copyright my poetry?
It probably already is. Copyright is automatic under U.S., and your work is inherently protected the moment it is created and put in tangible form (In a book or on PoetrySoup, etc.).
However, you may want to register a copyright if you wish to file a lawsuit alleging a copyright infringement. By registering a copyright, you are potentially entitled to greater damages if and when you go to court. Registration is not a condition of copyright protection.
United States Copyright Office (External link)
All Poems submitted to PoetrySoup, by the poet, are published as the poet’s original work and under the poet’s copyright. PoetrySoup may display and publish any poem submitted to this site, by the poet, always as the poet’s original work and under the poet’s own copyright.
All poetry by famous poets, not submitted by the poet, is provided for educational research only. The Copyright Law of the United States Of America (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research."
PoetrySoup adheres to copyright laws for intellectual material (literary and artistic material, music, films, sound recordings and broadcasts, including software and multimedia). For the procedures of publishing, duplicating, distributing and listing of the poems published on PoetrySoup.Com in any other media, US copyright laws, international copyright agreements and other relevant legislation are applicable. Such procedures require the permission, not of PoetrySoup, but of the Poet. The one concerned with such requests, is not PoetrySoup, but the poet. The poet holds the publishing rights to the poems posted on PoetrySoup. The fact that a poem is being published on PoetrySoup.com does not mean that the poet (or their representative) agrees to have this poem be published on all sites on the Internet.
Copyright, according to US law, vests upon the creation of a work. The copyright notice under each poem at this Web site is an indication of this, not of a registration by a member of her work with the Library of Congress.
By registering, entering, or submitting a poem to PoetrySoup, the person/poet concerned agrees that the relevant poem can be published by PoetrySoup, always as the poet’s original work and under the poet’s own copyright.
The rights of all the other writings, materials, pictures, methods, codes and figures in electronic or physical media on this site, belong to PoetrySoup. These materials cannot be duplicated or used without prior written approval.
PoetrySoup has a publishing policy that strictly adheres to the US copyright laws and the international copyright rules.
Please write or email PoetrySoup with your questions on the rules of publishing rights. PoetrySoup may serve as a representative of the Poet if the poet so chooses.