In the age of digital literacy, more and more authors choose several formats to publish their work in: printed and digital. If much of the copyright process is clear with printed media, it is not straightforward at all when it comes to the digital copyright laws. That’s why it is important for modern authors to know what eBook copyright is and how to protect one’s work on the Internet.
Let’s break it down!
What is an eBook copyright?
The interesting thing about eBook copyright rules is that the law states that any individual who possesses an eBook physically, does not hold any ownership rights. Thus, the eBook copyright provides owner rights solely to the author or the creator of the eBook. You should remember that in case any issue arises.
Another thing to remember is that in the U.S. and in Canada you are not required to register your work in order to possess a copyright. The registration is not needed because the copyright is granted automatically to the original work after it’s been created. However, we will discuss why it is better to register your work, later in the article.
How to protect your work?
DRM or Digital Rights Management is a set of technologies that regulate and control access in order to restrict the use of copyrighted works and other hardware. Many eBook creators and authors use DRM in order to protect their work by incorporating DRM policies and restrictions within an eBook and thus, preventing the occurrence of copyright infringement, illegal copying and sharing, as well as selling of someone else’s work. It is one way to protect your work.
Know about the DCMA:
The Digital Millennium Copyright act was enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1998 in order to strengthen the legal protection of intellectual property when the new communication technology such as Internet, started to develop. The DCMA is very helpful because it clearly outlines the legal duties Online Service Providers must comply with. For example, an OSP must register an official agent with the U.S. Copyright office, who in turn can be notified by a copyright holder if an alleged copyright infringement were to occur through an OSP.
Know Your Rights:
By knowing your rights, you get a better chance to protect your work effectively. You should know that it is your exclusive right to: reproduce your work in phonorecords or copies; write derivative works based upon the original work, display and perform your work publicly. Another right you hold as an author and copyright owner is to authorize the use of your work by other people, though, this right is being subject to certain limitations.
Register Your Work:
Although not mandatory, registration provides you with certain benefits. For example, for works that originated in the U.S., it is necessary to refuse or to register your work in order to enforce the exclusive copyright rights through litigation. After registering your work, you receive a certificate containing key information regarding authorship and ownership, including the name of the copyright owner, author of the work, the year of creation and the title of the work.
Create a Copyright Notice:
A copyright notice is a statement, often put on the “copyright page” in printed books, which informs the public that the ownership of the work is claimed by its copyright owner.
Let’s go over the benefits of the copyright notice: it warns potential users that the work is copyrighted and claimed; it also states the date and the copyright owner of the first publication which is useful for someone seeking permission to use the work.
Learn about other countries’ copyright laws:
Even though there is no such thing as an “international copyright law”, your work will still be protected when used in countries that have entered into copyright agreement with the U.S. Check out the list of countries to stay informed.
Only use trusted software to make sure your work is protected well:
When you use trusted software such as Active Textbook, you guarantee your work’s safety. Copyright is not only a set of legal rules that ensures your work is protected, but there is a second part to make sure of: that you and the thirty party you are entrusting your work to are committed to provide necessary means of protection, for example, by using DRM.
How ActiveTextbook makes sure your work is protected?
1. EP allows publishing of books on ATB only to the owner of the rights to publish the books. Excerpt from our End User License Agreement: “Files and other content may be protected by intellectual property rights of others. You cannot copy, upload, download, or share any content unless you have the right to do so.”
2. ATB has DRM system. For enterprise clients, it can be the choice of either proprietary DRM or Sony URMS.
3. Thanks to the DRM, the books downloaded with ATB offline applications are encrypted and cannot be open with applications other than ATB.
We hope you found this article helpful and look forward to your feedback!
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Stay informed to stay safe.
Resources that were consulted during the making of this article: