Learning about Copyright is a topic authors ask us about.
This is about copyright as it pertains to authors. It is a subject to take up with an attorney. We are certainly not attorneys, so we hesitate to give any advice. But, authors are interested in learning how to protect their work. After reading this article, be sure to go to the ultimate source to learn more, and visit the United States Copyright Office.
The Importance of understanding all about copyright to protect your work
Our understanding about copyright law is that once you state that your work is under copyright, you protect your work to an extent by the Copyright Act of 1976. If someone steals your work, you can sue and receive a small amount of money for their infringement. (Small claims court.) However, if formally submitting your work for protection, then you can sue the person or entity for a great deal more because of the infringement.
Clients ask us frequently about copyright, as we print and consult about books for self-publishers. We do not own any ISBNs, nor do we hold copyrights on books we print for publishers or authors. Thankfully, no authors we work with have had the unfortunate experience of having their work stolen.
We first advise clients to speak to an attorney, as what we have to say may be out of date or wrong, especially in a Court. We feel that if you think your book may be a bestseller, then you should certainly file the forms and pay the fee to protect your work. Do it right! If you are just printing a few books, and your work is not likely to be groundbreaking or a bestseller, then why incur that extra cost when one is already covered to a lesser extent under the 1976 Act? You decide.
More about copyright pages … The page for the text below, follows the title page. It is a left-hand page. It should have a statement similar to this:
© [YEAR] by [HOLDER]. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, scanning and recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system without prior written permission of the [PUBLISHER OR AUTHOR OR BUSINESS].
Learn more at the USA Office, or consult an Attorney
In conclusion, if your work is valuable enough, protect it. Don’t put it out in the public unless you are comfortable that it can be protected, and you can act on any infringement. Also, all situations are different. These are our thoughts only, and not to be taken as legal advice. Get all the facts and expert advice. Don’t forget to get a book printing quote, and maybe a book design quote too.