Congratulations on comprising your digital masterpiece. It warrants much mental and physical effort. How would you feel if another author offered your work, your fruits of labour, as their own?
Are your unique thoughts and published insights legally protected? What can you do to facilitate your peace of mind, knowing you took proper steps to curb the possibility of copyright infringement?
Digital authors seek the same copyright protection as those of traditional print.
To begin, works must exist in tangible form. Also, copyrighted material must be original - the work of the respective author, designating a minimum amount of creativity (A list of food ingredients or construction tools for example would not apply.)
Yes, your associated rights as author are instant; in the United Kingdom, there are no official registration processes, forms to fill, or fees to pay. As long as your work applies to one of the accepted mediums, and it’s original, you’re protected.
To take further steps, authors mark works with the copyright seal. Authors enjoy added benefits of pursuing copyright, such as maintaining moral rights of works, licensing works out to others for commercial intent, and objecting to poor iterations of works.
Copyright applies to all art mediums, including books, painting, music, etc. New authors pursue copyright, protecting final and fixed products; ideas and works in progress cannot be copyrighted.
Authors of written and digital works are awarded the following rights: * The original author maintains the right to make as many copies as desired.
Authors own the right to license works to others for commercial purposes, such as making a book into a musical.
Authors may expand their works, creating an addendum or eventual series.
Authors own the right to perform or display iterations or their copyrighted work for public consumption.
This is a helpful link if you would like to learn more about the rights of UK authors.
Often the existence of a copyright is enough to deter others from stealing one’s work; however, a copyright establishes the definitive right to wage legal ramifications against offenders.
You had a great idea for the final chapter of your masterpiece and told your friend all about it over lunch. He loved your idea; he wrote and published it as his own!
He stole your idea! No, he did not.
An author must communicate their insight into a tangible form of expression, aided directly or indirectly by a device or machine.
Once you create and fix your content in a tangible form of expression, it’s protected.
Still feel a bit uneasy? There are further steps to take.
Some authors choose to facilitate peace of mind, taking steps to register ebooks.
What are their main reasons for taking such actions?
It creates a public record of the copyright. Even if aliens hack the Internet as part of a plot to abscond with your original work, they won’t get away with it. There’s an official standing public document of your work’s register.
If you’ve discovered incidence of copyright infringement, you’ll want to unleash your lawyers on the unfortunate and unethical. However, you must officially register your work to do so. Registration may take some time; so, a number of authors take the proactive approach rather than reactive regarding infringement.
Filing claims against an infringing party associates ‘actual’ or ‘statutory’ damages. Awarded legalities are considerably larger when waging statutory damages; however, an ebook author must register their work within the first three months of publish to do so.
You published in the UK, but someone in Poland later published a very similar piece. You can help eliminate the chance of imported, infringed material by registering your ebook, simultaneously recording the act with United States Custom Services offices.
A person can easily identify an officer of the law. Visual cues, such as shiny badges, flashing lights, and crisp uniforms, signal onlookers. Some authors do the same with respective works.
Ensure your digital property brandishes:
Furthermore, when granting permission to others to use your content, explain the limitations of use, designating the terms in writing.
Particular services exist, helping authors patrol for copyright infringement. When infringement occurs, authors need to retaliate quickly, and designated efforts help creators do so.
What is the primary purpose of your ebook? Have you communicated thoughts to the public to incite laughs, generate conversation, or produce revenue? You need to answer the question in order to determine degrees of granted permission of use.
Do you have commercial intentions for your produced work? Ensure your copyright notice is on the official copyright page of your piece, providing concise direction regarding permissions of usage.
Perhaps you’ve composed your ebook for branding purposes, or you want to generate conversation on a chosen topic. In such cases, allowing others to freely copy, share, and host your content disseminates the information along with its association to you as the author. That’s smart marketing, which increases your exposure.
Particular organisations help authors prepare work for dissemination consistent with rules of copyright.
Once you’ve decided the intended purpose, you can better engineer how to market your ebook for optimal reception.
There are no certainties regarding the provision of digital information on a public platform, such as the Web; your protection is not guaranteed.
A number of authors consider enacting further precautions
Technically * Some create secured files of their ebooks, exercising free conversion software for PDFs and other file types.
Use a shopping-cart vendor, ensuring secure hosting of content and quick delivery to those who wish to download your creation.
Those who offer the download-able link from their websites, change the URL code often (As one would consecutively change email or bank passwords, avoiding unwanted breaches.) Again, this is not a guaranteed way to eliminate theft, but an efficient way of curbing it and deterring lazy hackers from persistence. Personally
Promote yourself, other web properties, and offline products/services throughout your book; even if stolen, the book is directly supporting your brand and endorsing your name and business.
Use case studies from your business’ clients or personal anecdotes throughout the ebook; as similar to above, you’ll be branding your personality and personal experience into the piece, making it harder for others to pass off as their own.
You’ve invested hard work, dedication, and original thought into your finished ebook. However, the work is not entirely finished.
Take the extra precautionary steps, and ensure your ebook is protected from theft and properly copyrighted, branding you as the official author.