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Thread: Is it worth copyrighting your work?


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Permlink Replies: 17 - Pages: 2 [ 1 2 | Next ] - Last Post: Jun 27, 2012 4:14 PM Last Post By: gtauthor
edventia

Posts: 3
Registered: 03/04/12
Is it worth copyrighting your work?
Posted: Jun 26, 2012 6:35 AM
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Hi, I haven't published before and I'm wondering if it's really worth getting a copyright on my book as everything gets plagiarised/copied regardless.

Will I be protected in any way simply by going through either KDP or createspace, or do you need to be with an actual publisher for that or apply for an actual copyright?

I've put a lot of work into it and would like it to be as safe as possible before release. I'd hate to publish it and then see it under someone else's name a few weeks later.

Cheers
diamondlifestyle

Posts: 4,193
Registered: 07/02/11
Re: Is it worth copyrighting your work?
Posted: Jun 26, 2012 6:51 AM   in response to: edventia in response to: edventia
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Once you write it, you own the copyright. It's automatic. However, if you intend to sue someone for breach of that copyright and claim punitive damages through the courts, you need to register that copyright (in the US at least). So the questions you need to ask yourself are...

--> Is it likely my book will be pirated?
Now we all like to think the answer to that is "yes", but honestly? unless you're a bestseller, it's unlikely.

--> If someone breaches my copyright, am I going to sue them?
Because if you're not, then what's the point?

--> Am I prepared for a lengthy and potentially costly legal battle to establish a cause for punitive damages against someone who probably won't be able to afford to pay whatever you're awarded anyway?
Because if not, why bother?

Conversely...

--> Are you going to lose sleep over it if you don't register your copyright?
Because if so, it's only $35. What have you got to lose?
edventia

Posts: 3
Registered: 03/04/12
Re: Is it worth copyrighting your work?
Posted: Jun 26, 2012 7:05 AM   in response to: edventia in response to: edventia
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Thanks for your reply. I'm sure everyone thinks their work is the next big thing.

$35? Do you know the cost in the UK? I thought it was £500.

I'm almost ready to publish a children's book that I also illustrated and I'm working on a novel too.

The children's book, I'm thinking of doing merchandise to go with it. T-shirts, cuddly toys etc maybe a cartoon. So mainly thinking long term on this. Potentially turning into a business if it takes off and I've had good feedback so far.
andresanthomas

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Re: Is it worth copyrighting your work?
Posted: Jun 26, 2012 7:27 AM   in response to: edventia in response to: edventia
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edventia

Posts: 3
Registered: 03/04/12
Re: Is it worth copyrighting your work?
Posted: Jun 26, 2012 7:54 AM   in response to: andresanthomas in response to: andresanthomas
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Thanks. Does it cover UK copyright?
diamondlifestyle

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Re: Is it worth copyrighting your work?
Posted: Jun 26, 2012 11:15 AM   in response to: edventia in response to: edventia
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I'm in the UK but I registered an international copyright with the US authorities. Much cheaper!
propanederek

Posts: 81
Registered: 12/07/11
Re: Is it worth copyrighting your work?
Posted: Jun 26, 2012 12:40 PM   in response to: diamondlifestyle in response to: diamondlifestyle
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As of last year a US copyright was @ $60, you have to submit online now, too.

I remember the days when it was $35 and a one-page mailed form would do it, along with a copy of the document.

It took the better part of 10 months for my copyright to come back - e-filed, mind you,
politeia

Posts: 1,081
Registered: 07/16/11
Re: Is it worth copyrighting your work?
Posted: Jun 26, 2012 1:05 PM   in response to: propanederek in response to: propanederek
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Not my experience. I just registered a US copyright online. Cost: $35. Maybe it costs more for international.

It takes a few weeks to get the paper confirmation in the mail for your records. But the copyright is registered as soon as you make the deposit and pay the fee.
diamondlifestyle

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Re: Is it worth copyrighting your work?
Posted: Jun 26, 2012 1:24 PM   in response to: politeia in response to: politeia
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it cost me $35. just check the 'international' box when it asks where your copyright is applicable. not had my paperwork in the mail, they said it was 3mo waiting when I did it, which was only about 6wks ago, but I've got the email confirmation. my thinking is that dmca is American legislation, so if I'm copyrighted in America that's good enough for most purposes.
skookumpete

Posts: 466
Registered: 07/25/11
Re: Is it worth copyrighting your work?
Posted: Jun 26, 2012 2:39 PM   in response to: edventia in response to: edventia
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Let me be my usual cranky self here and make a few points.

First, why would you even consider publishing a book without first researching the subject of copyright (other than asking a question in a forum largely inhabited by people who don't know any more about law than you do)? There are lots of resources out there on the web.

Second, it's worth reiterating, because at least two people on this thread so far don't seem to get it, that "registering" a copyright is not "getting" a copyright. As stated above, [b]copyright is automatic[/b].

Third, someone asked what you've got to lose by spending $35 on U.S. registration. The answer is, $35. Realistically, are you ever going to enter into litigation with anyone over your book? No e-book distributor, Amazon or anyone else, is going to sell a pirated book or continue selling it after being notified of your rights. And even if your work was pirated, how much would it cost you to litigate? Unless you expect to make $100,000 from your book, I can't imagine litigation ever being cost-effective.

That's just my opinion, and not legal advice, which you should seek in the appropriate place.
diamondlifestyle

Posts: 4,193
Registered: 07/02/11
Re: Is it worth copyrighting your work?
Posted: Jun 26, 2012 2:55 PM   in response to: skookumpete in response to: skookumpete
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to clarify I believe my point was that if the OP is going to start losing sleep worrying that their copyright is being breached then for the sake of $35 it's worth investing in getting it registered. over the lifetime of the copyright I'm sure even the slowest book can scrape up that amount and therefore pay for itself. however, as I also pointed out, unless you intend to drag someone through the courts it is not particularly necessary.
skookumpete

Posts: 466
Registered: 07/25/11
Re: Is it worth copyrighting your work?
Posted: Jun 26, 2012 3:05 PM   in response to: diamondlifestyle in response to: diamondlifestyle
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Right; sorry I did not do justice to your post.
thetimucuan

Posts: 5,125
Registered: 09/14/10
Re: Is it worth copyrighting your work?
Posted: Jun 26, 2012 3:09 PM   in response to: edventia in response to: edventia
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Unless the people who violate your copyright have deep pockets, it simply will not pay to sue them. If you are not going to sue, what good is registration? If a major publisher or motion picture company plagiarizes your book, you will have deep pockets to pick, but the chances of that happening are small.
sharidale

Posts: 489
Registered: 07/24/10
Re: Is it worth copyrighting your work?
Posted: Jun 26, 2012 3:55 PM   in response to: skookumpete in response to: skookumpete
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Nobody has brought up the angle of protecting yourself from someone else attempting to claim copyright. What if the thief attempted to get YOUR work pulled down, claiming the copyright to be his? Then you end up in a pissing contest and Amazon or whoever must decide which one to honor.

It appears to be common that people unpublish/republish and I'm assuming that negates your publish date, and you could be the one labeled a thief of your own work!

I publish with the belief that my books will sell enough to justify the one-time $35 copyright registration fee. For me, the peace of mind is worth it.
politeia

Posts: 1,081
Registered: 07/16/11
Re: Is it worth copyrighting your work?
Posted: Jun 26, 2012 4:02 PM   in response to: skookumpete in response to: skookumpete
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Sorry skookumpete, but I don't recall saying that registering a copyright is getting a copyright.

Perhaps you have someone else in mind. But I assume everyone knows that copyright automatically belongs to the person who creates the work. Registering a copyright is only a way of protecting yourself against claims against your right.
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