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Guide to Copyrighting a Book

Protecting your book under copyright law is simple and easy. It is not longer expensive to have a book copyrighted because of the presence of many copyright registries online.

It is important to know, first of all, if you book falls under a category that is protected by copyright. Books would normally fall under literary works since it is a nondramatic textual work expressed with words, numbers, or symbols and may or may not contain illustrations.

One requirement to copyright books is originality. A book is said to be original if it is not directly copied from someone else. Permissible under copyright law are books that are based on someone else’s work or books that are derivative works.

There is a component of creativity to original books. So, if you have a book which is a recipe compilation, then what requires originality that can be protected by copyright law is the order and types of recipes that you select. The list of ingredients is not protected by copyright but only the detailed expression of the methods, directions, tips and serving suggestions.

If your book does not contain an original storyline, it can still be protected by copyright if you use your own words and sentences in writing it. If many writers write about a certain general subject, their works can be protected by copyright law if they have their own specific expression of their book.

Your book should be put in a form that will allow for copyright protection. There should be a fixed form of your book to be protected under copyright law. To do this, write it on paper or save it on your hard drive. This tangible form is considered a fixed form that can be protected by copyright law.

If you have already completed the steps above, you work will be automatically protected under copyright law. But, it could be very difficult to prove you are the original creator of the book if infringement occurs. This is why most authors choose to register their book with a copyright registry.

Books can be registered under any copyright registry, but if you need to take your claim to court, then you need to register it with the US Copyright Office.

IF you search online using the keywords ‘protect copyright’, then you will be given a list of copyright registries online. Make sure that there are no hidden costs with the registry you are using and choose one that will protect your book all throughout the life of copyright which is 50 to 70 years. With your book registered in a copyright registry, you will be able to prove that you are the original author in case infringement occurs.

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