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Copyright Vs. Registering Your Works


Johne

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A note from author Laura VanArendonk Baugh‎ on Facebook:

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Just a Best Practices note: In the US, you own copyright to a work as soon as you complete it, no paperwork necessary. (Don't work on it during an employer's time, however, or that gets messy.) For this reason, some writing industry folk advise not to register the copyright as an unnecessary expense.
 

I've always disagreed with this view, as it's a lot easier to defend a registered copyright in court if ever that should become necessary. So I register my works. (Note: I don't "copyright" my works, I already legally own copyright. I register it so it can be easily tracked.)
 

But it's also turned out to be practical outside of court. I was just contacted recently by CreateSpace with a concern about my rights to a book. They wanted proof that I owned copyright.
 

Fortunately, I had easy proof. I snapped a photo with my phone, replied to the email with a single line, and poof! all is well.
 

So it's your call, but if you're on the fence about registering your copyright, I'd recommend it.

 

 

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I took a seminar once on music, and we were given the facts on this - bottom line, if two people claim to have written the work, the one that files the paperwork and pays the fee usually wins the court case.

 

This is not legal advice, and I am not a lawyer, not practicing law by writing this comment.

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Just an FYI, I just finished registering What if God Did The Sacrifice at https://www.copyright.gov/  It wasn't to hard and only cost $55.00. You do have to upload a copy of your work to them, You can email it, but that takes longer than the 6 - 8 months for them to process and if I recall correctly costs more. The password requirements are different and the page does timeout, to be careful.

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2 hours ago, Nicola said:

That's terrific, Z!  You can say you are a registered author.  Sounds very professional. 

 

 

1 hour ago, lynnmosher said:

That's great, Z! :D

 

Thanks both of you. With all this concern about plagiarism it seemed to make a lot of sense to at least register the book as mine to help protect against it. Then at least I'd have a fighting chance. And since I just got a tax refund I had just enough for one. 

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You did the right thing, Z.  I wish every writer took the time to register their work.  It just isn't enough to insist you wrote something.  You need proof, which is too bad.  Plagiarism shouldn't exist.  It's about as low as you can go, stealing another person's hard work...

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  • 3 months later...

Follow up. I received a letter/certificate of registration from the Library of Congress for What If God Did? The Sacrifice while I was away. Very cool.

 

 

I also received a query letter from Kati Antimarino of Dorrance publishing wanting to obtain a copy for a "no fee, no obligation review".

 

It appears that some people/ businesses are trolling the Library of Congress looking for books to publish. This company is supposed to have been in operation since 1920 and they have to troll the Library of Congress? LOLOLOLOL I don't think so, sounds fishy to me. I might do some research on them just for giggles. 

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Good news! They'll waive the reading fee, and since your book is so good, they'll give you a special discount on the first thousand copies!

I know someone who got a similar offer back in the day.

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20 minutes ago, Nicholas Reicher said:

Good news! They'll waive the reading fee, and since your book is so good, they'll give you a special discount on the first thousand copies!

I know someone who got a similar offer back in the day.

Very nice of them uh.

 

17 minutes ago, Nicholas Reicher said:

Thanks for the heads up Nicholas. 

 

A quick look shows they appear reluctant at best to even disclose a possible price range, not even a hint.

 

The Pittsburgh BBB does have 58 complaints/reports for them, some resolved. They also have at least five (5) other names they operate under.

 

Me personally, if they're scared to even disclose a possible range of pricing, perhaps I'm not a good fit for them. 

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8 hours ago, Alley said:

Did that come with the copyright, or was that separate?

 

5 hours ago, Katherine Johnston said:

The copyright fee is worth it's weight in peace of mind. It does take months to process, but holding that official certificate is something else! ?

I chose to register only, as, if I recall correctly, to copyright you have to provide the final print version. Since I don't have that, the registration shows this is MY current work. I also recall reading a copyright is not actually necessary in the U.S. if registered, but I might be wrong about that. So many articles read and sometimes I get confused.  Wait, what's my name again  ...

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1 hour ago, zx1ninja said:
2 hours ago, Alley said:

Quick!  Check your driver's license.  

?  I'm a number!

I can't stop laughing!  The kids worry about my sanity.  ?  :)

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