Copyright for Self-Published Books or eBooks

If you plan on using your self-published book or ebook commercially, it’s recommended that you get the copyright for the same registered. A copyright registration for your book creates a strong legal base of your paternity and moral rights, would act as evidence in court in a situation of infringement and would look more professional

The boom of the internet has created a real surge in the creation of self-published works and user-generated content. This has led to a lot of quoting, borrowing and stealing of the works of other authors, some intentionally and others unintentionally. Piracy and infringement could lead an author to lose millions.

This has led to the creation of fortified national and international laws to help protect the rights of authors around the world. Let’s look at how you can use these laws to protect your book or other literary works.

When Does a Copyright Come Into Existence?

In most countries around the world, copyright protection is automatic. There is no formality required, other than just creating the original work. Also, copyright registration is not mandatory for protection.

Usually, the copyright kicks in immediately when the work is finished and is expressed in any form of tangible medium. The creator of the work is automatically the owner of the right.  

So, books are automatically copyrighted immediately upon completion of the work.  

Why Should Authors Register Their Copyright?

While copyright registration is not mandatory, it gives the creator an extra layer of protection. Registration can create substantial benefits for the author, especially when the book is going to be used commercially, and for monetary gain.

Despite getting a copyright protection on simply writing your book, a registration will actually give you actual proof of paternity and act as evidence about the year of creation. Think of it as insurance for your book.

Benefits of Copyright Registration for your Book

Copyright registration is seen as a public record and proof of the authenticity and paternity of your work.

Here are some of the benefits of registration:

  • Copyright registration is mandatory for suing for damages on infringement of a published book.
  • Registration of unpublished allows the author to claim statutory damages upon infringement.
  • Copyright registration when done with five years of publishing is treated as Prima Facie evidence. This means that registration is sufficient to show ownership of the work.
  • Indian is part of the Berne convention, amongst other copyright treaties. A registration in India will be recognized in over 180 countries.

When Can You Avoid Registration?

You can rethink registering your copyright for your literary works in instances where you don’t seek monetary gain or commercial use of the work. While you can copyright your blog or website, it can seem impractical in certain situations.

How to Register the Copyright for a Book

The first step to ensuring that the rights of your book are protected is to register the copyright with the Indian Copyright Office.

Step 1: To register your book, an online application can be made to the Indian Copyright Office, along with the fees of Rs. 500.

Step 2: Your application should include copies of your final ‘best work’, identity proof and an information sheet containing details of the work.

Step 3: After your application is successfully submitted, a diary number is generated to track your application. The application will be examined after a mandatory 30 day waiting period to ascertain if the work can be rejected or approved.

When Should You File a Copyright Registration?

You can file your copyright registration before you submit your final draft to the editor. A premature submission of registration is not advisable because your initial draft might go through various changes.

Any changes after copyright registration will not be protected. That is why it’s best to get the registration done when you are ready with the final draft.

Including a Copyright Notice in Your Book

Once you have registered your copyright, you can include the notice of the same in your book. A notice is usually mentioned on the second page of the book.

Here is an example of a Copyright Notice in a Book 

Related Articles