Last Updated on December 8, 2021 by Peter Townsend
Copyrights are the only rights to reproduce or publish, perform film, or record artistic, literary, or musical content.
It also permits the copyright owner to allow other people to use the work. The person who wrote the work is automatically the owner of the copyright from the moment they have created it.
Though a writer has automatically acquired the copyright to their work, however, there are many advantages of declaring your copyright to the US Copyright Office. In establishing official evidence of your ownership by having an officially registered copyright and gaining more protection from the law and have greater abilities.
Different countries have their own copyright laws. However, the US strives to maintain good copyright relationships with a majority of nations. This means that a lot of other countries will abide by most of the US copyright laws and regulations in relation to works created by the US. (But don’t be relying on this when you’re in a bind.)
Do you need to copyright your work? When you write an article you automatically have the copyright. But, you must sign your copyright in order to ensure it is legal. By registering at the US Copyright Office earns you legal protections, as being able to seek additional damages in the event of litigation.
What does it cost to copyright an ebook? Registering the copyright for a book is approximately $45. Copyright.gov provides these fees for registering copies of a book:
- Electronic filing Single author, the same claimant, one document not for hire The cost is $45
- Other electronic filings $65
- Paper Filing (Forms PA, SR, TX, VA, SE): $125
What is the best way to copyright my book for no cost?
You automatically own the copyright for your book at no cost the moment you record the text. If you would like to avail yourself of the legal advantages by registering the copyright you’ll need to pay an amount of $45 to the US Copyright Office to go through the procedure. Have you heard of “poor man’s copyright”? It was the case that authors used to send their work to themselves using an agency like the US Postal Service and not open it until they could preserve the data. But, the common man’s copyright is a fable and does not provide any additional legal protection for the writer.
What is the process behind copyright protection function?
Copyright protection, a kind that is part of the law on intellectual property protects original works, such as books and other works of art, and prevents them from being copied or made use of without permission, with the exception of fair usage.
Fair usage is the principle of US copyright laws that portions from copyrighted content can be reproduced verbatim, without consent from the copyright holder insofar as the material is used for:
- The reporting of news
An idea can’t be copyrighted. What is the idea that an idea expresses is what’s copyrighted. The idea must be encapsulated in a “tangible form of expression,” such as a computer document or a book on paper, in order in order to be eligible for protection under copyright.
Do you have international copyright protection?
There isn’t any international copyright protection, which automatically protects the work of an author worldwide. The protection against unauthorized use in a particular country is dependent on the particular laws of the country.
The Berne Convention is an international agreement in force since 1887 which removed the need for copyright registration in the country of origin in the majority of its 164 signatory nations. Many of the countries boast fairly simple copyright laws. The only distinction is in the US.
This article is mostly focused specifically on the United States. For more information on copyrights across other nations, check the hyperlinks below. These links are provided as an additional source of information, not as legal advice. I am not an expert on the international law of copyright.
- Canada Intellectual Property Office
- United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office
- European Union
- South Africa
Here’s how to get an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) for different countries:
Read my article on Self-published Hardcover Books to learn more about ISBNs. (You likely don’t require an ISBN if you’re just publishing through Amazon Kindle.)
Benefits to Copyrighting Your Book
There are more advantages to copyrighting your work than you believe.
Of course, you already have the copyright from the moment you’ve written the book. However, I’m focusing on the advantages of registration of your copyright and making it as legal as is possible.
Here are five benefits of the process of registering the copyright of your book:
- Presume legitimacy. Registration creates a legal presumption of validity that anyone attempting to challenge has to prove isn’t true. The public declaration of this legality is a way to give peace of mind as well.
- Enhance the value of your publishing business. When you register the copyright of your book and create an asset that could be licensed or sold. In the event that you establish an entirely separate business to run your publishing business. In this scenario you are able to transfer or assign copies of your copyright registrations to the company and the copyright registrations will become the assets of your company. When you begin writing novels, you could identify your company as the owner of the copyright at the start. Copyright registration assets enhance the value of the publishing business you run.
- Benefit from tax deductions. The choice of the assignment or license rights directly to your personal publishing company could be a significant legal or tax consequences. Consult with a lawyer regarding this procedure. This way, you will be able to choose the option that will benefit your financial situation. No matter how you do it whether licensing or assigning you must have the copyright registration.
- Prepare yourself for a possible legal action. If you ever make a claim for copyright violation, the court will have to obtain a copyright registration prior to starting the suit.
- Get statutory compensation as well as costs for attorney’s. This is a major issue. Legal damages and attorney’s fees are usually the largest element of the financial awards that are asked for in copyright disputes. You must sign up your copyright in order to be qualified to receive these.
When should you register your Copyright
When is the best time to sign up for copies of your rights? You should register the copyright of your book when the final draft of your book is completed and ready for publication, however, prior to the time you begin the publishing process.
Make sure that your book is finished in draft format because you’ll have to submit the work (physically or electronically) to be registered and deliver the entire final draft.
The copyright application you submit before publication makes it less of an issue to submit your application electronically that is easier and also less costly.
Don’t wait until after you’ve fully registered your copyright before publishing the book. The process of copyright registration takes between 6 and 13 months to register completely and this means money is lost if you do not sell books within that time.
Your book is protected by copyright from the moment you finish writing it. However, you might wish to declare your copyright so that you can establish public proof of ownership.
How to Copyright a Book in 3 Steps
You can obtain author copyright in just three simple steps:
- Create copyright rights.
- Claim a claim and register it.
- Include a copyright notice.
It’s important to note that you hold the copyright for anything you write as long as it’s a genuine idea. The registration of your copyright makes your ownership legally secure.
Step 1: Create Copyright Rights
The first, step straightforward creating copyright rights. You’ll be happy to know that copyright rights for the book you write can be automatically made when the book is written. That’s right, automatically.
When your writing is “fixed in a tangible medium,” that is legal jargon for copyright that means written down on paper, on the computer papyrus, on paper, or any other fixed medium -you, as a writer, have acquired copyright rights for your work.
It’s great to have a legal system that is able to function in a way that is completely automatic and free of cost. Take advantage of this before you move on to the next step… that doesn’t work as automatic and requires costs.
Step 2: Register a Claim
The next step is to file a copyright claim with your local US Copyright Office. This is perhaps the most complex aspect of the procedure and I’ll make it as simple as much as I can.
To file a claim for the copyright to your work:
- Visit go to the Electronic Copyright Office (or eCO) website.
- Log in to sign in if there is an existing account, or sign up for a brand new account.
- On the left you will see “Register a Work,” select “Standard Application.”
- Simply click “Start Registration” at the top.
- Complete the registration procedure to submit the creation of a claim for an literary work.
- Fee for filing a registration ($55 for electronic submission and 85 for filing on paper).
- Send deposit documents in person or electronically (by post).
This is the point where the government goes back to its standard procedures, using a process and a cost, but do not worry about it: the process can be done and the cost isn’t too expensive.
Electronic Registration for Copyright
If you’re registering your copyright, you have to provide a copy of your book. You can send a digital copy through eCO which is the US government’s electronic Copyright Office. Actually, the federal government suggests submitting the document electronically.
Go through these instructional videos available on copyright.gov.
Do you have the right to register your copyright on the internet? You are allowed to sign up copies online regardless of. You are permitted to submit an electronically-copied copy of the copyrighted work in the event that one or more of the following conditions are satisfied:
- The work is not yet published.
- The article has been published in only as an electronic version.
- You’re using the group registration options for non-published work newspaper, serials photographs, newsletters, photos, brief literary works online or contributions to periodicals or for secure test items.
- The eCO is willing to accept electronic copies as a result of the conditions of a grant of relief.
How do you electronically upload copies of copyrighted pieces of work? Here’s how to comply with directions on copyright.gov:
- After payment is completed When payment is completed, you will be able to see”Payment Success” and “Payment Successful” screen.
- Select on the “Continue” button on the upper right corner of the “Payment Successful” screen.
- Select on the green “Select files to upload” button located in the “Deposit Submission” table. A window filled with fields to browse and selecting the files to upload will appear.
- Choose which file(s) to upload to be registered for the work. When they’re selected the names of the files are displayed beneath”green “Select Files to upload” button.
- After you have selected all the files needed for the task after that, select”Start Upload” in the bottom right corner “Start Upload” button.
- After all files have been uploaded to the project, click on”green” to click the “Complete Your Submission” button.
- If you have submitted multiple applications in a row, follow the steps for each application in order to submit an electronically-scanned copy of the work(s).
Physical Registration for Copyright
You have to send books to the US Copyright Office if you’re in the process of registering your copyright. You can also send physical copies of the book however, this isn’t advised.
As per copyright.gov, physical deposits is required via mail if one of the following conditions are true:
- The publication was either either in or outside the US prior to the time you filed your copyright claim. Additionally, the book was released in physical format, for example, paperback books, OR
- The book was released by the US prior to the time you filed your copyright claim. Also, the book was released in physical as well as an electronic format.
Step 3: Include a Copyright Notice
Additionally, you should include a copyright warning, which is simpler than it sounds. A work that is published and has copyright registration must be accompanied by an acknowledgment of copyright.
The copyright notice contains three mandatory elements:
- The symbol for copyright (c), (c), “Copyright,” or “Copr”
- Year of publication (and year of publication’s newest in case it’s not different)
- The name of author (can include a pen name)
Publishers or authors often create copyright pages solely to show the copyright notice and rights reserved notice as well as other details. The copyright page is usually placed just following the title page and is an element of the front issue.
For more details on the front and back matter of your book read the Kindlepreneur article on parts of a book.
It is possible to include details near that copyright notification. For instance, you could include your contact details (or the contact information of your publisher) to make sure that anyone looking for permissions or rights to reproduce your work is able to reach you.
A copyright notice placed on your book can make users aware that rights to copyright have been being claimed for the work. A copyright notice prevents the party in a case from limiting liability on the basis of the “innocent” infringement defense.
The copyright notice also specifies the year of publication, which can serve as a basis for determining the duration of protection against copyright for works that are anonymous work, pseudonymous work, or even a work that is made by a third party.