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Willie
9-Mar-2015, 22:02
Helping a friend with processing images for a book he is doing. He is putting it all together and PDF for the printing company. Then he can order in batches as low as 50 at a time.

He has been told he doesn't need to formally register copyright as 'it is copyrighted when you create it' and 'you can't put the copyright notice in it without a copyright registration number'.

Needless to say, he is confused.

I understand he needs to register it formally to have any chance of legal action if some take it or part of it and publish it elsewhere or online. His printer is telling him it doesn't matter as he can sue for copyright infringement because he did the book and 'why waste money for something you don't need'.

Different stories from different folks at the printing company.

What is reality and where do I send him to check it out in easy to understand language?

bdkphoto
10-Mar-2015, 05:49
He should register the images and the book when it's done. Here's a great resource, both for information and tutorials on how to register. http://asmp.org/content/registration-counts#.VP7lCkJqL7o

In the US you must have a registration to take legal action in court. If you have registered prior to the infringement you have additional protections that allow for collection of legal fees should you prevail. In practice having a valid copyright registration will keep you out of court in the long run, it can stack the deck in you favor when negotiating a settlement.

BrianShaw
10-Mar-2015, 06:22
... 'you can't put the copyright notice in it without a copyright registration number'.
...

This is not true.

Also double-check the statement that one MUST have a registration to take legal action. I believe the statement is more accurate that one is in a better position to prove a copyright infringement and collect damages if the copyright is registered... but I don't believe it is a requirement. Best check with a real lawyer, though.

bdkphoto
10-Mar-2015, 06:36
This is not true.

Also double-check the statement that one MUST have a registration to take legal action. I believe the statement is more accurate that one is in a better position to prove a copyright infringement and collect damages if the copyright is registered... but I don't believe it is a requirement. Best check with a real lawyer, though.

Registration is a requirement to file a lawsuit - take time to read the asmp information, which was produced by our ASMP in house legal council.

BrianShaw
10-Mar-2015, 06:49
Yes, I have read the ASMP material and understand their summary... and I have also read the copyright act... and also have legal counsel that I talk to (not just read printed summaries). ASMP is not especially consistent on the topic of "registration requirement" versus "puts us in a position where we are better able to win". I have filed a copyright infringement lawsuit (and won) without registration. "First to commerce" was the basis. It's a lot more difficult of a case, but... Just saying.

But please educate me... where is that stated in the copyright law?

Greg Miller
10-Mar-2015, 06:55
Yes, I have read the ASMP material and understand their summary... and I have also read the copyright act... and also have legal counsel that I talk to (not just read printed summaries). ASMP is not especially consistent on the topic of "registration requirement" versus "puts us in a position where we are better able to win". I have filed a copyright infringement lawsuit (and won) without registration. "First to commerce" was the basis. Just saying.

Bruce is correct. Registration is a requirement to file a law suit.

Registration only costs $35 so there's very little reason not to do it.

BrianShaw
10-Mar-2015, 06:57
Is it possible that registration is a requirement for Federal court cases only? Ours was not a Federal case.

Greg Miller
10-Mar-2015, 07:00
Copyright is not a state matter. it is a federal matter and administrated by the federal government's Library of Congress. You may have won a case in state court, but it would have had nothing to do with copyright law.

From here:http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-infringement.html
A certificate of registration (or a rejection of an application for copyright) is a prerequisite for U.S. authors seeking to initiate a suit for copyright infringement in federal district court. See Circular 1 Copyright Basics, and sections 410, 411, and 412 of the copyright law.

BrianShaw
10-Mar-2015, 07:08
OK gentlemen... my apologies for putting confusion into the discussion. You are correct. I should have gone back and re-read the copyright act... it says so in 17 U.S.C. 411 (a). Sorry to be such a dope this AM.

EDIT: for clarification... the situation I mistakenly thought was "winning a copyright suit without registration" was in fact a licensing contract issue. Again, my apologies.

jnanian
10-Mar-2015, 08:33
Bruce is correct. Registration is a requirement to file a law suit.

Registration only costs $35 so there's very little reason not to do it.


you can do it online or mail it in ...

Jac@stafford.net
10-Mar-2015, 09:56
A very good thread. Thanks, Bruce, for the concise summary.

It is also a good idea to get an ISBN and imprint it properly in the book, although you can get stickers to add later. There is an economical Self-Publisher Package (http://www.isbn-us.com/shop/publisher-programs/independent-publisher-program/).

Good luck!

Moopheus
10-Mar-2015, 10:36
A very good thread. Thanks, Bruce, for the concise summary.

It is also a good idea to get an ISBN and imprint it properly in the book, although you can get stickers to add later. There is an economical Self-Publisher Package (http://www.isbn-us.com/shop/publisher-programs/independent-publisher-program/).

Good luck!

An ISBN is mainly useful for distribution to the trade (it is how booksellers keep track of the book). If your friend is mainly going to sell them direct himself, it probably doesn't matter.

bdkphoto
10-Mar-2015, 11:39
Here's one more piece of info that might be relevant - the LOC requires 2 copies of the book for copyright. Its specifically about a small run books w photos....

http://asmp.org/tutorials/frequently-asked-questions-about-copyright.html#pq3

Ray Heath
10-Mar-2015, 14:25
G'day All

I'd caution that these laws and conventions are possibly different outside the US.

Ray

Henry Ambrose
10-Mar-2015, 15:14
This subject comes up every year or so on most any given photo forum. Generally the information disseminated is partially correct at best and often, just plain wrong. This thread is no exception. If you are interested in protecting your copyright interests you should consult an experienced attorney who does this kind of work.

Jac@stafford.net
10-Mar-2015, 16:44
I'd caution that these laws and conventions are possibly different outside the US.

Look up the Berne Convention.
.

Ray Heath
10-Mar-2015, 17:53
Probably best to consult your respective governing body.

In Australia the relevant authority is the Australian Copyright Council.

jnanian
10-Mar-2015, 17:54
the information needed to record visual, written or recorded work is here: http://copyright.gov/eco/eco-tutorial-standard.pdf

i would recommend reading it.
i have copyrighted work, it is simple, pretty much painless and worth the $35.
as stated before, a court will not review a copyright infrngement case unless the registration is in hand.
and while some people put symbol next to their work, claiming it is copyrighted at its inception or creation
it might be true but without the proof of registration the symbol is about as useful as having signs infront of your house
saying you have attack dogs and a burglar alarm but you just have a sign ...
some have suggested mailing a dated copy of photographs or a manuscript to oneself in an unopened DATED/POSTMARKED envelope works as
a copyright without registration, but from what i understand it is not true ...

good luck with your project!
john