Wikipedia aka ‘Big Brother’ tells us that copyright is a legal concept, giving the creator of an original work, exclusive rights to it. It could be images, poems, audio recordings, designs, movies … and your book of course.
From your point of view, if you consider the blood, sweat and sometimes tears that go into writing a book (look, the neighbours constantly barking dog does count) you would want your work protected. Otherwise what’s to say a dodgey dealer decides to make a quick buck of your printed work – he simply copies and pastes on his web page; adds a click application and proceeds to sell your book under his name. Admittedly a little far-fetched but who knows these days.
It’s important to copyright your work. If you self-publish in the US for example, copyright is a given as soon as you put pen to paper. It’s your creative authorship and there is no need to enter into a formal agreement with anyone.
However, copyright registration allows you a higher level of security and confidence when it comes to safeguarding your work. So what does the future hold for copyright as it seems that the current format does not fit the need.
Several leading on-line commentators refer to current copyright, as outdated, over extended and unenforceable, leading to ridiculous court cases. Visit www.thebookseller.com for an interesting article based on points of view that got the publishing world buzzing as the copyright vs “copyleft” generations go head to head.
The ‘copyleft’ crew seen as the more progressive if you like, want to open up copyright to allow for a shared platform of information. The other side of the coin is there are those, with a valid stake, such as publishers, copyright agencies as well as some authors who earn their daily bread for the copyright structure.
Have you looked into copyrighting your work?