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This Week's Scuttlebutt

Found While Looking Up Something Else

Through legislation, Congress and the courts have defined authors to include the requirement that a writer produce original work through intellectual labor. This has come to mean that anyone who expresses an idea in a tangible form – words, painting, sculpture, photograph, or music – is considered an author for copyright purposes.

Information listed on a copyright page:

  • Author's name (last name, first name)
  • Title of book and author's name (first name last name)
  • Subject(s) of book
  • ISBN (International Standard Book Number)
  • Library of Congress classification, classification number, year of publication
  • Dewey Decimal classification (optional)
  • Work for Hire
    For copyright purposes, the creator of an original work is not always considered the author. If the creator is a staff member being paid to create the work, the employer holds the copyright. But if the creative work does not fall under the employee's normal job duties, the creator may quite possibly hold the copyright.

    When a freelancer produces a creative work, the author is the copyright holder unless the work is performed under a written contract, signed by both parties, and the contract specifically states that the work is done as "work for hire."

    If there is no contract, signed by both parties, clearly stating that the work is done for hire, the copyright is retained by the author even if the work is done on commission or by special order.

    Additional Work for Hire Rule
    - The employer must ask the author to do the work, and pay for it. If the author approaches the employer with an idea, the resulting work is technically not work made for hire.

    Types of Books Best Seller Categories
    hardcover hardcover fiction
    trade paperback hardcover nonfiction
    mass market paperback trade paperback
    reference mass-market paperback
    children's almanacs, atlases, and annuals
    mail order

    The Copyright Legend

    Using the copyright legend is the best way to protect your work. Unless you have sought copyright registration, and your work carries the copyright legend, you cannot sue for copyright infringement.

    Simple Form: In the United States, any of these legends can be used:
    Copyright 1999 First Name Last Name
    Copr. 1999 First Name Last Name
    © 1999 First Name Last Name

    Universal Copyright Convention

    To comply with Universal Copyright Convention, which protects your work in other countries that have agreed to the Convention, you must include the © symbol.
    © 1999 First Name Last Name

    Some countries, especially those in Latin America, also require the phrase "All Rights Reserved."

    The best legend to use:
    © 1999 First Name Last Name. All rights reserved.

    Using a pen name? Register your work with the pen name.

    To obtain FREE copyright forms, write or call:
    Information and Publication
    Section LM-455
    Copyright Office
    Library of Congress
    Washington, DC 20559


    Primary Copyright Forms
    Form TX: for nondramatic literary works
    Form PA: for works of the performing arts, including dramatic works
    Form VA: For works of visual art (photographs, illustrations, etc.)

    Additional Copyright Forms
    Form GR/CP: for a group of works contributed to periodicals (adjunct used with one of the primary forms)
    Form SE: for serials, such as magazines and newspapers
    Form RE: for renewal of copyright granted under the 1909 Act
    Form CA: for correcting a previously submitted form

    Registration Requirements:
    ...All items must be delivered at the same time.

  • Completed application form (photocopies are not acceptable)
  • Application fee (usually $20)
  • One complete copy of an unpublished work or two complete copies of the best edition of a published work

  • To send a private message… Click HERE

    Saturday, April 19, 2003 19:25