January 2016 3. Ringtones Created from CDs and Copyright Infringement Ringtones created from CDs or other published sources of music are not copyright infringement if the person who creates them only uses them for their own phone and in no way publishes, promotes, or benefits financially from the created ring tone. However, if you seek to share, promote or profit in anyway from the ring tone you created without permission, it is an act of copyright infringement. While laws could change, for now, creating a ring tone from a song for personal use is no different in legal significance than quoting a sentence from a published source, and is permissible under the "Fair Use Act." How Long Does A Copyright Last? What Do Copyright Laws Protect? Why And When Should I Register A Copyright? 4. The Poor Man's Copyright Some people still believe that simply mailing yourself a sealed envelop showing proof that you created a work is sufficient to protect your rights to your own works. This practice is often referred to as the “poor man’s copyright.” It is anything but reliable, and may or may not offer evidence in a court or law should legal action result from your claim to ownership. The United States Postal Service (USPS) neither requires, nor checks, to see if an envelope is sealed before it is mailed. Because envelopes can be tampered with and documents can be exchanged, “self-sealed mailings” should not be relied on as solid legal evidence of your copyrights to any form of expression.