incrediBILL - 6:00 am on Feb 13, 2012 (gmt 0)
The US doesn't recognize "sweat of the brow" copyright or UK-style stylistic copyright.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding your comment, but in the US the minute you create it, it's copyrighted. Period.
For instance, the minute you take a picture, it's a copyrighted image, nobody can publish is without permission unless they want to be a copyright infringer.
However, there are no legal penalties such as statutory damages unless you file for a legal copyright, just basic copyright infringement only.