I have had many questions about copyrights.
What company do I go through? What is the cost? Is it important?
I will give you an overview of copyrights and where you can visit to clarify your understanding.
A Copyright is a public record of ownership. It is valid only in the United States of America (U.S.). Other countries have their own methods of protecting your work. Your book or article, or art or music, can be registered with the U. S. Copyright office. It currently costs under $50 per title. There is a website to register and submit your works.
The benefit of a copyright is that it acts as an insurance policy against someone else using your work. There is an award of statutory damages that could be up to $150,000.00 depending on how much the infringing individual had received from your work.
Without the registered copyright, you must prove your lost earnings in court. This might be difficult for most authors unless you are a well-known, highly published, best-selling author and have the funds for legal fees that will, likely, overrun anything you would have made from the book by other means.
If you are in the United Kingdom, you will work with The Legal Deposit Office of the British Library for your printed books. You need only mail to them a copy of your work within one month of publication. I do not believe there is a fee to deposit. At least, I could not find any request for fees. There is a legal requirement that publishers deposit all works to the British Library for preservation for future generations. All works are made available for readers in the legal deposit library.
The Berne Convention was an international agreement formed in 1886 that
“…eliminated the need for domestic registration in most of its 164 signatory nations.” Only the U.S. still offers remedial incentives like a cash payout for breaching copyright.
A summary of the Berne Convention Treaty can be found at https://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ip/berne/summary_berne.html brought to you by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA) has a site with a page titled “Writers Beware”. The material is presented in understandable language and includes the topic of Copyrights. It seems they agree with the writers of Reedsy, that as soon as you write your words, they are copyrighted. However, SFWA writes that the U.S. is also included as a signatory to the Berne Convention.
One of the principles of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works states that “protection is independent of the existence of protection in the country of origin of the work”. It is quite long and since I have provided the link, you can go there and peruse the documents. I do recommend doing so because I am not a lawyer and cannot advise the appropriateness of a U.S. copyright for you or not. That is up to you. Use the information I have provided to make your own decision or do further research.
Thank you to reedsyblog at reedsy.com for the thoroughly informative article about copyrights from which I gleaned the above information. For the full article, here is the site address:
Take RadkeReading.com with you: