How To Obtain Copyright For Your Book

Ever since, Self Publishing have become widely accepted, the process of obtaining Copyright for one’s own book is now a commonly searched topic! Nowadays the Indie Authors often discuss the methods of obtaining the copyrights for their written work before publishing and releasing their work. Often one good thing leads to another good thing; it is really nice that the Writing Community has accepted the Self Publishing and now even the Indie Authors are getting the respect they deserve for their hard works! So, what has this good thing lead to?

Well, you guessed it right the acceptance of Self Publishing by the Writing Community has led to the complete ‘100% Self-Dependence of the Indie Authors!’ Many of the Indie Authors are not looking towards the Self Publishing Companies to get their work published; rather they are carrying out the whole Publishing Operation themselves. Right from getting the Final Manuscript ready to the Designing of the Book’s Interior Pages Layout to even sending the Final PDF to the Printing Press for the final printing of the copies, the smart Indie Authors are managing all of these steps themselves!

So, why these Indie Authors cannot obtain the copyrights for their written work too? Obtaining Copyright for one’s own book is not Rocket Science and of course, it is feasible! Howsoever, it is extremely necessary to understand certain other concepts first, before diving deep into the procedures of obtaining copyright, such as –

1) What is copyright?

2) Why should Authors register their work with copyright?

3) What are the benefits of copyright registration of your book?

What is Copyright? Copyright is an exclusive right of authorisation and provides protection for the original work done. This copyright is applicable for a wide range of innovative ideas, intellectual properties, scholarly work or artistic forms. The main purpose of copyright is to reward the Author. The copyright will be protected once if the work is recognised. Notice of protection and copyright registration are not mandatory for copyright protection. NOTE: In India, the registration is not mandatory, as the registration is just a factual record. The copyright owner can use the symbol ‘©’ to show their registration. Once the copyright is registered, the work is protected until the Author’s lifetime plus 70 years.

Why should Authors register their work with copyright? Well, while the 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. NOTE: 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.

What are the benefits of copyright registration of 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.

Now, since we have covered all the vital aspects related to Copyright, including the very concept of the term in discussion, let us get down to the ways or methods of obtaining copyright for your book.

Well, the first step to ensuring that the rights of your book are protected is to register the copyright with the Indian Copyright Office. As expected, a few steps are involved in this process, which are –

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

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.

In addition, to these ‘3 Vital Steps’ that are required to obtain the Copyright for a book, there are a few other aspects, which are necessary to be taken care of in this whole operation.

Another, big question that arises is that, when should you file a Copyright Registration? Well, 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. NOTE: Any changes after copyright registration will not be protected. That is why it is best to get the registration done when you are ready with the final draft.

Last but not the least, there is another significant point attached with this whole process of obtaining Copyright for your book and that is to include the Copyright Notice in your book! So, once you have registered your copyright, you can include the notice of the same in your book. A copyright notice is usually mentioned on the second page of the book.

Written By NEEL PREET – Author of the Books, Voice From The East (2016); Journey With Time Place And Circumstances (2018) & Indian Defence Files (2021).

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