In this workshop we will discuss copyright.
EBooks & Copyright
Copyright is a form of protection grounded in
the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for
original works of authorship fixed in a
tangible medium of expression. Copyright
covers both published and unpublished
In general, copyright registration is voluntary.
Copyright exists from the moment the work
is created. However, if you wish to bring a
lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. work, a
copyright will help to prove your case.
So, copyright registration is a form of
protection for the producer of the work.
(a) In General - Copyright in a work created
on or after January 1, 1978,
endures for a term consisting of the life of
and 70 years after the author’s death.
(1) to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords;
(2) to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;
(3) to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work
to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by
rental, lease, or lending;
(4) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic
works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual
works, to perform the copyrighted work publicly;
(5) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic
works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural
works, including the individual images of a motion picture or
other audiovisual work, to display the copyrighted work publicly;
Poor Man’s Copyright
Registration with the US Copyright office
Using a postage system (USPS, UPS, Fedex, etc) a
writer can choose to mail a particular work to
Leaving the envelope unopened, the postmark
date can serve as proof that the document
therein was protected by you as of that date. (This
may not be an absolute method, therefore for the best copyright protection you may want to consider the US
Online registration is generally less costly
than mail registration.
Creative commons is a great resource for
sharing your work, while still maintaining some
sort of protection.
You protect your work by using the symbols to
determine how people can use the work that you
share with them.
This is great for previews of upcoming
works, short works. etc.
Because an eBook is electronic there are
various issues surrounding copyright. Most
surrounds the question:
What can ebook owners do with their product
after it is purchased?
Digital Rights management
Most self publishing sites including Amazon
has the option to make one’s work DRM free.
This removes certain restrictions and gives
more flexibility for how consumers can use
materials that they purchase.
Prevents consumer access
Denies user the ability to copy/share content and
from converting the product to other formats.
This means restricting consumers regarding what
hardware can be used with a particular device or what
software can be run on it.
For instance, EPUB, PDF, Mobi are 3 of the most
popular eBook formats. But a kindle may not
necessarily accept EPUB files, etc.
An article that might be worth reading -
Copyright is optional, but can come in handy
for necessary lawsuits
Creative Commons can be a great tool to
share your work, while maintaining certain
DRM restricts certain access for users
The pocket legal companion to copyright : a user-
friendly handbook for protecting and profiting from
copyrights / by Lee Wilson.
Copyright and digital ethics / Emily Popek
The creative artist's legal guide :
copyright, trademark, and contracts in film and digital
media production / Bill Seiter & Ellen Seiter