Don't forget to REGISTER YOUR BOOK with the U.S. Copyright Office


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Thread: Don't forget to REGISTER YOUR BOOK with the U.S. Copyright Office

  1. #1

    Lightbulb Don't forget to REGISTER YOUR BOOK with the U.S. Copyright Office

    FRIENDLY REMINDER:
    If you are a U.S. author, donít forget to register your book with the U.S. Copyright Office within 90 days of the publication date! I did that yesterday for my latest book (about book marketing tips). NOTE: This step is not required for U.S. Copyright protection, but it does provide evidence if a copyright dispute ever arises in the U.S. For many books, the registration fee is only $35. I like to think of it as cheap insurance. Here's a link to the website where you can register your book... https://www.copyright.gov/registration/


    On a side note, it always feels like my book is "officially" done whenever I complete this step!
    Mikeyboy_esq
    Check out my books for authors including SMART MARKETING FOR INDIE AUTHORS and 14 STEPS TO SELF-PUBLISHING A BOOK.
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  2. #2
    Please explain to people what that does for you.
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    "From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend reading it." - Groucho Marx

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by moderan View Post
    Please explain to people what that does for you.
    Iím happy to do so, but not sure what I can add to the explanation above where I said, ďNOTE: This step is not required for U.S. Copyright protection, but it does provide evidence if a copyright dispute ever arises in the U.S. For many books, the registration fee is only $35. I like to think of it as cheap insurance.Ē

    In other words, U.S. copyright registration helps you prove that you are the rightful owner of your book in case there is ever a dispute. I should add that works created in the US are automatically protected by US Copyright law.
    Last edited by Mikeyboy_esq; December 29th, 2018 at 02:33 AM. Reason: Add sentence

  4. #4
    That last part is what I wanted.
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    "From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend reading it." - Groucho Marx

  5. #5
    Have you ever heard of poor man's copywrite?

    I've done this a few times with previous work. Basically, you seal a copy of your material in a package, address it to yourself from yourself, then mail it. When you get it in the mail, you hold on to it. The only time you open it is in court, to prove your work is yours. The markings placed on the package from the post office act as an official date of the product (because it includes the date and it's from a government organization). Since the product remained sealed, that displays no tampering.

    I've never actually had to use this in court, and I think an official copywrite would be best, but if you are low on cash....

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by DRK View Post
    Have you ever heard of poor man's copywrite?

    I've done this a few times with previous work. Basically, you seal a copy of your material in a package, address it to yourself from yourself, then mail it. When you get it in the mail, you hold on to it. The only time you open it is in court, to prove your work is yours. The markings placed on the package from the post office act as an official date of the product (because it includes the date and it's from a government organization). Since the product remained sealed, that displays no tampering.

    I've never actually had to use this in court, and I think an official copywrite would be best, but if you are low on cash....
    I'm not sure if the mailed manuscript would help to prove your case, but it won't help you get a court appearance. If I recall correctly, in order to file for copyright infringement in the US you need an official copyright.

  7. #7
    Sounds like another way to be nickled and dimed, just like an ISBN.

  8. #8
    Yes, I've heard of a poor man's copyright registration where you mail yourself the document that you created and don't open it. In theory, it might be used as evidence in a copyright infringement case, but I don't think it is as strong of evidence as doing a copyright registration (which is not much more expensive... they cost about $35 or so in the US).

    To address something stated above, copyright protection is automatically applied in the US. There is NO requirement to register your book to get copyright protection. Registration of your copyright simply gives you additional proof in case there is ever a challenge that you are the rightful owner. As I recall, I also think copyright protection provides additional money damages to you in the event that you win your lawsuit for copyright infringement and you registered your copyright.

    As a side note, I've heard of at least a few authors who had their book pulled from Amazon b/c someone complained to Amazon that the book belogned to someone other than the author. To resolve the issue, the author simply submitted a copy of their copyright registration and then Amazon reinstated their book listing. So registration can be helpful in this way too.

    I hope this info helps.
    Mikeyboy_esq
    Check out my books for authors including SMART MARKETING FOR INDIE AUTHORS and 14 STEPS TO SELF-PUBLISHING A BOOK.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by DRK View Post
    Have you ever heard of poor man's copywrite?

    I've done this a few times with previous work. Basically, you seal a copy of your material in a package, address it to yourself from yourself, then mail it. When you get it in the mail, you hold on to it. The only time you open it is in court, to prove your work is yours. The markings placed on the package from the post office act as an official date of the product (because it includes the date and it's from a government organization). Since the product remained sealed, that displays no tampering.

    I've never actually had to use this in court, and I think an official copywrite would be best, but if you are low on cash....
    Sorry, but the mailing thing really isn't correct: https://blogs.findlaw.com/law_and_li...copyright.html (several other sources available)

    For the US, the copyright office provides the surest proof of copyright.

  10. #10
    The problem with protecting your copyright is the expense of bringing an action and the difficulty of enforcing a judgement. It can cost tens of thousands of dollars for even a fairly basic copyright infringement suit, and even if you win you will likely have trouble collecting any damages because the person who stole your work is probably anonymous, living in a foreign country, or so poor there's no chance to collect.

    I've had an entire book stolen, given a new cover and author name, and republished. I found out about it because the thief had stolen a bunch of other authors' work as well, and readers noticed and started digging. It took me one e-mail to Amazon to get the stolen material removed from their site. If they hadn't cooperated, I really wouldn't have been able to justify the expense of a lawsuit.

    And registering copyright really only helps once you get to the lawsuit stage. So... I don't bother registering copyright. I HAVE copyright, because I live and publish in countries that are signatories to the Bern Convention (which stipulates that copyright attaches as soon as the work is written down). But I don't register it.

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