Do you hear the words “copyright and permissions” and you all but shrug your shoulders? Trust me, you are not alone. These are not words many people give much thought to, but the fact is they do matter and they are starting to take front and center stage with the emergence of digital media and the way we retrieve our information.
As a self‐published author, educating yourself on copyright and permissions, will not only protect you from facing the risks of non‐compliance, it stands to enhance your income and success!
If you were thinking about writing a book, are in the process of writing book, or are looking to get your book published, here are some fast facts for you to take away, decide how they apply to you & how they may affect the way you move forward:
- The original creator of a work, or the company who hires a creator under a "work‐for‐hire", automatically holds the copyrights. Copyright exists from the moment a work is conceived in a tangible form. Registration is not required, although it is recommended to use a © notice to inform others that a work is protected by copyright laws.
- Any content created by others, is considered '3rd party content'. 3rd party content includes, but is not limited to: text excerpts, photographs, artwork, illustrations, screen shots, cartoons, charts, music clips, video footage, and performances.
- And remember…just because you found it on the internet, DOES NOT mean it is fair game. Content on the web holds the same level of protection as printed works.
Too many authors have learned the hard way. Protect yourself and protect the work you have tirelessly put so much effort into. Sure, it takes some extra time to get permissions, but if you are not the creator of everything in your book, you must get permission from copyright owners, or have valid licenses to use their content, unless it is ‘Fair Use’ or ‘Public Domain’. The extra time you spend, will only stand to benefit you. It is not worth the risk; if you infringe, even a little, your book can be taken down, removed from shelves, or you may suffer money damages. To learn more about Copyright Basics, take a look at this video.
To get a Rights Checkup on your manuscript, click here.