As a writer, you have heard the term copyright. After all, you want your book to be copyrighted to protect your hard work, but you aren’t always sure how to use other people’s copyrighted work. Don’t worry, many authors feel the same way. Copyright laws can be confusing, but you can protect yourself from possible infringements; the easiest way to do so is to learn copyright basics. Here are a few pointers to get you started.
In publishing, there is no such thing as fair use.
When it comes to copyright laws, you have probably heard the term fair use. Well, this term does not apply to the publishing industry. Fair use is only applicable in education and nonprofit settings. If you write for profit (aka publish and sell a book), you are not protected under the fair use clause.
There is no magic number.
Some authors think they can use a small portion of text or a piece of a photograph without worrying about copyright laws. Unfortunately, there is no magic number that determines a copyright infringement. Even one line from a poem requires permission from the author.
Recognition and permission are not the same thing.
Many authors think that including the copyright owner’s name after a quote or photograph is adequate recognition. However, to avoid a copyright infringement you need written permission from the copyright owner. Recognition prevents you from being accused of plagiarism, but it does not clear you of copyright infringements.
Song lyrics are protected.
If you quote song lyrics, you need the copyright owner’s permission. However, if you simply reference the song, you do not permission.
If you find copyright law confusing, consider consulting a professional. Also, check out the links below for more information on copyright laws.
|ABOUT CHERI BREEDING:
Since 2005 Cheri Breeding has been working as the Director of Production for Outskirts Press. In that time, she has been an instrumental component of every aspect of the Production Department, performing the roles of an Author Representative, Book Designer, Customer Service Representative, Title Production Supervisor, Production Manager and, Director of Production. She brings all that experience and knowledge, along with an unparalleled customer-service focus, to help self-publishing authors reach high-quality book publication more efficiently, professionally, and affordably.