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March 21, 2021– I’m answering your questions this month about publishing, being an author, and everything in between. I hope that you’re enjoying our theme this month, and if you’d like to send in your questions, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s dig in to today’s question:
Q: “I’m new to self-publishing. I’m wondering if I need to copyright the title to my book?”
A: Excellent question. The answer is NO. Why? Book titles are among a list of things that can’t be copyrighted because titles aren’t considered intellectual property. Here are the other items on the list that cannot be copyrighted:
In Canada, we have the Copyright Act. Taken from the government of Canada website-Copyright applies to all original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works provided the conditions set out in the Copyright Act have been met. Each of these general categories covers a wide range of creations, including:
For more info click here: A guide to copyright – Canadian Intellectual Property Office
That said, trademarking is a different story. Even if you can’t copyright a book title, or the other items listed above, you may be able to register the title as a trademark. For example, “Chicken Soup for the Soul” is a registered trademark, as is the “Dummies” series of books. Trademarks protect the brand of the company and from other businesses potentially infringing on it. Fun fact: Pandamonium Publishing House is a registered trademark.
I hope this helps! If you’re a Canadian author, as soon as you put pen to paper, the copyright act protects your work. Also, YOU the AUTHOR are the owner of the copyright to your work. A publisher that says they own the copyright to your manuscript, is grossly misinformed and unaware of the law. Copyrights are designed to protect the artist from unregistered use of their work. As for other countries, please consult your government website for your specific country’s copyright information.
June 7, 2019– This is an excellent question that a reader asked me over the phone. He had written a book about baseball and had a couple of questions regarding copyright. Let’s check out what he had to say, below:
Q: “Lacey, I’ve written a book about the history of baseball and want to use photographs throughout my book, what do I need to know and is this possible?”
A: Great question! This whole copyrighting issue can get a bit messy at times, so let me explain how it works when wanting to use images.
In all cases, except for the first two on the list, you must give credit to the person who owns the photos. Please remember that copyright is very important and not something to be infringed upon. All artists deserve to be recognized for their work. It’s up to them to say no attribution required, so always check beforehand what the case is. You’ll save yourself a lot of trouble this way and be able to give credit where it is due. X LLB
Pandamonium Publishing House, Publishing Made Simple.
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