Saturday, November 9, 2013

You Do Not Own Your Published Book; The Creator and Designer Do

Whether you use a traditional printer or a self-publishing service, whoever turned the manuscript into a published form owns the copyright.

If there is a substantive edit of the original manuscript, the editor actually has rights to the finished works. 

Unless there is a signed release indicating that 100 percent of ALL rights are waived and turned over, the author does not have permission to republish that book in the same form.

There may be implied permission for the author to use the published materials for marketing purposes, but that permission is likely waived as soon as the author picks a fight with the publisher or creator.

Ideas are not copyrighted but images are, so if there are illustrations, a unique cover design plus interior layout, these are copyright materials.

The Canadian Copyright Act has been reformed and these are some of the key points for creators and copyright owners

Creators and copyright owners will have new rights and protections that respond to the realities of the digital environment. For example:
  • Copyright owners will have stronger legal tools to pursue online pirate sites that facilitate copyright infringement.
  • Copyright owners will have new making-available rights to allow them to control how their works are made available online.
  • Copyright owners will also be given distribution rights, which will enable a copyright holder to control the first sale of every copy of their work;
  • Performers will be given moral rights, which will ensure that their performance is not altered in a way that harms the artist's reputation.
  • Photographers will be given the same rights as other creators. They will be the first owner of copyright in their photographs and will receive the same benefits as other creators.
  • If copyright owners decide to use digital locks to better protect their works, they will have the support of the law to do so.
  • Copyright owners will also benefit from legal protection for rights management information, which connects the creator's identity and other key information to the work.

For the most part, there is not usually a problem on a contract for service basis, but if there is a legal battle, note that, as the author, you may be surprised who actually owns the copyright to your book.

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