|Posted by Tom Chalmers on February 3, 2016 at 10:15 AM|
If you’re a self-published author it’s vital to fully understand all facets of your intellectual property (IP), including copyright.
There are many, often long-winded, explanations surrounding copyright so let’s keep it as succinct as possible.
It is the exclusive and assignable legal right, given to the originator for a fixed number of years, to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material.
Seems straightforward enough, but how do you get copyright for your work?
Copyright is automatically granted to your work once it's written - it's wise to show you're aware of copyright by including © Your Name (Year of Completion) at the beginning of your manuscript but otherwise you don't need to do anything.
Having said that, in the digital age copyright infringement is an ever growing problem. If you register your copyright with IPR License, we will store the full manuscript for you and provide a unique reference code and a record of the day you uploaded it.
We also strongly recommend that you mark your work with a steganographic identifier (a digital watermark). For digital works, you should embed metadata to help identify the work as yours. It’s also a good idea, if possible, to keep copies of work in progress, so that you can show how you developed your work and when, if you ever need to.
And, if you’re not necessarily the creator of everything in your book and have used additional content then it’s as important to realise the permission process required from copyright owners or licensees of this content. Meaning you need to fully protect yourself in terms of your own content as well as if using other’s.
This is a very rudimentary overview of what can often be perceived as a somewhat dry topic but the bottom line is that this will help protect your creative content and enhance your chances of boosting revenue streams and readership.
For example, a paperback book is just one product out of the vast universe of the IP that you own – hardback another, ebook another, audiobook yet another. And that is even before thinking about translations, new formats, media rights, permissions to quote from your work etc. You can happily keep on selling the book you have had printed while still having an ocean of IP left to license and monetise. There are opportunities out there, as long as you ensure the basics are taken care of and if done so this will ensure that you are in the best position to profit from your work.
If you’d like to know more about copyright or how to maximise the rights and licensing potential attached to your IP then why not drop us a line at [email protected] We’d be happy to help!
Copyright Association of Independent Authors 2016