When you write a book as an independent author, it is important for you to know your rights and have the knowledge of copyright in order to protect your work. There are many types of copyrights including the first serial right, second series rights or reprint rights, one-time rights or simultaneous rights, all rights, electronic rights etc. Therefore, you need to follow a simple procedure to copyright your book. Prior to that, you need to know a few basic legal steps about copyright in your country.
Process of copyright in the USA
The following three ways are usually followed:
- A complete application for copyright
- A simple fee for filing the copyright
- A deposit of one or more copies of your book
You can choose to follow three different processes to copyright your book:
- Registration online:
You can register online with the Electronic Copyright Office (eCO). For a writer this is the most preferred and convenient way to register books. Some of the advantages include getting rid of long queues and the hassle of physically going to the office. Moreover, registering online has a lower filing fee of $35 as opposed to $50 or $60. Additionally, it gives you the advantage of lower processing time, secure payment and the option to just upload your book or mail it. You can also track the status of your application online hence you remain completely informed throughout the process. It usually takes up to nine months till you receive your certificate. In some cases, it can also be faster. The process involved is easy. You just need to login into the concerned website and start the process by following their prompts.
- Registration with the CO Form
With the use of technology provided by Adobe PDF forms, you can create barcodes that can be scanned on your electronic form depending on all your inputs. You need to use fill-in Form CO. When you print out your form with a barcode and send it to the copyright office, they can easily scan this form making the processing of application forms much faster. This is fairly cheaper ($50), if you compare it to the paper registration process which costs $65. You would need to make sure to have the latest Adobe Acrobat Reader 8.0 in order to avail this service. The process is very simple. You just need to download the form CO and follow the instructions. By the end of the process, you will have to print the form which should have a visible barcode. Once this is done, you need to send this form along with the cheque of $50 and 2 copies of your book to the address that is indicated on the form. Normally, the processing time for these forms is 22 months but in some cases people receive their certificates earlier.
- Paper Registration
If you prefer the traditional method, you need to fill out the TX forms. However, they are planning to scrap off this method so they don’t even allow a download of this form. Moreover, the fee is also $65 which is very high as compared to the online process. Therefore, you need to first fill out a Request for Copyright Forms by mail in order to get it via regular mail. The steps are simple because you need to request for the form TX and mail it with a fee of $65 along the copies of your book to the address mentioned in the form. They usually take 22 months to issue the certificate but you may receive it earlier also.
It is important to note that your copyright registration is effective from the date when the copyright office receives the completed application from you. It does not matter which of the above methods you use, the start date will always be the same.
As a writer, you must avail this right in order to protect your work from being copied or being misused by other people. In the internet era, everything goes very fast and it has become much easier for people to take or misuse work of other writers. Therefore, as a first step, you must always copyright your work.
Process of Copyright in India
The copyright Act was passed in 1957 in India and has been amended several times ever since. The most recent amendment happened in 2012. You can file your application online along with the following simple steps:
- You need to first register as a user by providing some valid personal information.
- After you receive your User ID and Passwords, you need to use it to login on their portal.
- You must remember the user ID and passwords because it will be useful for your future reference.
- Once you login to the portal, click on online copyright registration and start filling the COPYRIGHT REGISTRATION FORM.
- This is done in four steps: Firstly, complete the form with all the necessary information and save it. As the second step, fill out all the statement of particulars and save it. As the third step, you need to fill out more details about the work if it is musical, dramatic, literary etc. Once you save it, you move to the next step. As the fourth step, you need to make the payment on their portal. It will lead you to the payment gateway automatically and you can choose your mode of payment.
- Once your payment is successful, you will receive a diary number that will be exclusively generated for you. You will need to use this number for future reference and correspondence.
- After the process is finished, you need to take a print out of the Acknowledgement Slip & Copyright Registration Report and send it via post to the following address: Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, G-30 Super Market, August Kranti Bhawan, Bhikaji Kama Palace, New Delhi- 110066.
The government is making sincere efforts to ensure that the copyright process is easy and the writers can get proper protection for their work.