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How and why to register Copyright for your eBooks and/or web site

Registering Copyright

Once you've created an eBook, the last thing you want is for some unauthorized party to illegally copy your work, or worse yet claim it as their own.

While there may be technical means (such as password protection) that can make this kind of theft more difficult, they probably do not offer total security (what is to stop somebody simply retyping your work for example!)

Therefore, it is probably a good idea to think about copyright issues early on.

We (Answers 2000 Limited) are not lawyers, and can not offer legal advice about copyright. You can get you own information from: Mark Levine of Click & Copyright provided us the following article to publish on this site, which you may find useful:

About The Author

Mark Levine is an attorney and the president of the US company, Click & Copyright, an online copyright registration service.
  Mark Levine  

Why Copyright Your eBooks?
By Mark Levine

So, you’ve written the great American novel? You tried unsuccessfully to get it published and received your fair share of ding letters. Now the Internet has finally leveled the playing field. No longer are you at the mercy of literary agents or several large publishers. With e-publishing, you can publish your book for a nominal cost. That’s the upside. The downside is that because it is now so easy to zip your book to potential publishers and agents, you may be taking a huge risk, especially, if the party to whom you are sending the book, is not reputable. There are many cases in which authors have found their novels on other “authors’” sites under the name of the other “author.”

It is impossible for you to fully police the Internet, so you have to take the next best step ­- protect your work. The first thing you should do is register a copyright for your work. By virtue of writing your book in a fixed format (i.e. placing in on a disk or paper) you’ve copyrighted it. Obtaining a federal copyright is basically an insurance policy for your work. The question I get most often is, “If my work is automatically copyrighted by virtue of its creation, why should I register with the US Copyright Office?”

That is quite simple:
  1. Registration establishes a public record of your copyright and puts everyone in the world on notice of your copyright.
  2. You cannot sue somebody for copyright infringement until you have registered your work with the Copyright Office.
  3. No award for statutory damages or attorneys fees will be made for any infringement of a copyright in an unpublished work ( works that are not yet made available to the public at large) which occurs prior to registration of the copyright. The same holds true for published works (works made available to the public), unless the registration is made within three months after the first publication.
  4. If the registration of your work is done within five years from its creation, it is considered prima facie evidence in court. Basically, this means that the validity of your copyright is undisputable.
The remedies available for infringement of a registered copyright are broad. A court can enjoin an infringer from continuing his infringement. The court can also order that all infringing materials be seized. As for monetary damages, the injured party can choose to receive either his actual damages and profits made by the infringer or statutory damages which can be as high as $150,000. Plus, in most cases the infringer may have to pay your attorneys fees as well.

You don't need any better reasons than these to copyright your work. Before you send your work out to any more e-publishers or agents, protect yourself.

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