Friday, February 15, 2019

Copyright: Protect Your Rights!



Hang on to your rights when you publish your book. Apparently, many traditional publishers are now trying to grab all the rights as part of their arrangement. According to this post, you should avoid that!

Think this isn’t an issue for indie publishers? Wrong. The services I utilize do not take any of my rights. By using KDP or Draft2Digital, I license those services to host and distribute my ebooks. However, I still own the copyrights. Those terms can change at any time though, so when I get an email from them indicating the terms of service are changing, I take the time to go see what they are up to. For those of you who have decided to go with hybrid publishers, check the terms of service or your contracts very carefully! Your copyrights are your property; do not give them away without being compensated!

You do not have to register your book when you indie publish it, and pay the $35 fee. You do have to register it prior to filing a lawsuit for infringement however.

From the article:
"If you have published a novel, traditionally or indie, and you do not understand copyright, you are volunteering to get screwed over and over and over again. I say this often, and I’m saying it loudly again, because the trend for 2019 and beyond is that every organization you do business with will try to take a piece (if not all) of your copyright on each and every one of your projects. 
I recommend publishing indie, because that’s the best way to protect yourself and your writing income. You’ll have a career if you do that. Your career might vanish on you if you try to remain traditional. Or, rather, you will write as a “hobby” while you make your living doing something else. 
The more IP a company acquires, the more its value goes up. Your novel is IP. If they acquire it, their bottom line goes up, even if they never do anything with that IP. 
Those conglomerates put all of the intellectual property on their account books as an asset. So your novel—even if it’s more or less out of print (or has a $19.99 ebook like my novel Fantasy Life)—has a value assigned to it that reflects not only its earnings right now, but its potential earnings in the future. 
*** 
In fact, we just had interest on one of my books from a Hollywood production company. They wanted to “see” the book—from me or my representative. However, before letting them “see” it, I had to sign a document giving them some copyright in the book—even if they chose not to option the book. Not kidding. 
This, a book they could have bought on any one of a dozen sites or stores. They came to us directly so that they could sneakily get a slice of copyright, just in case I wasn’t paying attention to the legalities and niceties of copyright law. 
I refused to let them “see” the book, and did not bother to tell them they could buy it themselves, just in case they would take that as an acceptance of their stupid little legal ploy. 
Sneaky! (KM) 
This, by the way, was not a fly-by-night production company, but one of the largest in the world, fronted by two very famous hyphenates you would recognize. I always wonder, when I see things like this, how many writers were flattered that representatives of these two famous people were interested in their teeny tiny book."
Read the entire article.

For more information on copyright:

Copyright Basics: https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ01.pdf

Copyright Registration: https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ02.pdf

General information about copyright: https://www.copyright.gov/circs/

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