Author Topic: Help; Amazon is demanding I prove copyright  (Read 3801 times)  

Offline lsjohnson

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Re: Help; Amazon is demanding I prove copyright
« Reply #50 on: July 17, 2017, 07:31:23 AM »
The $35 US copyright fee (called "single application") filed through the electronic Copyright Office (eCO) is for: a) a single author who, b) is also the sole claimant, c) in a single work that, d) is not made for hire.

Which form did you file for your body of work?

ARGH. Mea culpa. I filed under GR/CP because everything in the group had either been published previously in magazines or was scheduled for publication. Apologies for the bad info, folks! Though this is a possibility if you want to round up a lot of shorts/excerpts and get them done at once.


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Offline Alpaca Lou

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Re: Help; Amazon is demanding I prove copyright
« Reply #51 on: July 17, 2017, 09:17:10 AM »
The other reason to copyright in the US is because unless you registered for copyright, you cannot sue for damages. For instance, someone else sells (or places into a the borrowing arrangement) your book on Amazon, iTunes, Scribd, etc. They collect money for this book which they do not pay to the infringer. That money belongs to you, but the retailer keeps it.

They would potentially have to cede that money to you as the registered copyright holder. Without that stamp from the government, you lose the right to go to court to get it. (But let's face it, who is going to take Apple or Amazon to court to get their money?)

But the important part is that you have that copyright, and they can't go "work it out with the other author" when someone steals your book.

In the US, you can win a copyright infringement suit whether you registered the copyright or not.

The difference is that if you haven't registered the copyright, you have to pay your own legal fees, and you also have to prove that you were damaged by the infringement and/or that the infringer profited from it. If there's minimal proof of those things, then the potential damage award will be less than the costs of bringing the lawsuit. If the infringement was small and unprofitable, then economically it won't be worthwhile to file the lawsuit, but it could still be done if one wanted to. But if the infringer was, say, a movie studio that made a massively profitable movie off of a book without permission, then the lawsuit could be viable.

If the copyright was registered before the infringement, then the copyright holder may not have to pay their own legal fees for the case, or prove damages. They may be entitled to statutory damages. That means that a small infringement case could still be very viable, and lawyers will take the case because they'll still get paid.


In the UK, copyright registration is more about having better (more credible) evidence. But you have to keep paying fees to renew the registration, which could be annoying for someone who has published many books. In the US, you gain additional legal rights by registering, which is an added incentive to register. For what it's worth, US, UK, Canadian, Australian, French, German, Italian etc copyright registrations can all be used in many countries throughout the world. US copyright registrations are accepted in the courts of the UK, and vice versa.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 09:29:03 AM by Alpaca Lou »

Offline thevoiceofone

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Re: Help; Amazon is demanding I prove copyright
« Reply #52 on: July 17, 2017, 11:04:12 AM »
Don't panic! It's their standard checkup if they suspect an issue (for any reason).
I usually reply something like this and it's enough for them so far -

"I am the author of this work and no rights are currently sold to any publishers or have been in the past.
I have only published this on KDP, therefore have no reversions to document."

You may want to modify something like that and add that it's a pen name.

That has worked for me too.

Offline Sarah Shaw

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Re: Help; Amazon is demanding I prove copyright
« Reply #53 on: July 17, 2017, 01:12:35 PM »
In the US, you can win a copyright infringement suit whether you registered the copyright or not.

The difference is that if you haven't registered the copyright, you have to pay your own legal fees, and you also have to prove that you were damaged by the infringement and/or that the infringer profited from it. If there's minimal proof of those things, then the potential damage award will be less than the costs of bringing the lawsuit. If the infringement was small and unprofitable, then economically it won't be worthwhile to file the lawsuit, but it could still be done if one wanted to. But if the infringer was, say, a movie studio that made a massively profitable movie off of a book without permission, then the lawsuit could be viable.

If the copyright was registered before the infringement, then the copyright holder may not have to pay their own legal fees for the case, or prove damages. They may be entitled to statutory damages. That means that a small infringement case could still be very viable, and lawyers will take the case because they'll still get paid.


In the UK, copyright registration is more about having better (more credible) evidence. But you have to keep paying fees to renew the registration, which could be annoying for someone who has published many books. In the US, you gain additional legal rights by registering, which is an added incentive to register. For what it's worth, US, UK, Canadian, Australian, French, German, Italian etc copyright registrations can all be used in many countries throughout the world. US copyright registrations are accepted in the courts of the UK, and vice versa.

This makes sense. Thank you! I was just at a writer's conference where an attorney spoke at one of the sessions and told us we should always register copyright- if necessary multiple times from an early point in creation of the work- and that if we didn't no attorney would take our case in court and we would have essentially zero chance of winning. Totally at odds with everything I've always heard, but if there's a difference in the legal fees/damages equation then both the must-register/no-need-to-register camps become reconcilable.

Offline Bards and Sages (Julie)

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Re: Help; Amazon is demanding I prove copyright
« Reply #54 on: July 17, 2017, 01:35:22 PM »
When you upload to Amazon, that should be your copyright. As long as no one else can prove that they had the work in existence before the date you upload it. The statement above should work to prove that.
You can go here to copyright your work online for free:

NO!

First, copyright is AUTOMATIC under the Berne Convention. Copyright registration is not a requirement for a copyright to be valid. The moment a work is set in fixed form, it is protected.

Registration with your country's governing body provides ADDITIONAL protections but is not required. ONLY the governing body of your country can issue a legal registration. In the U.S. that is copyright.gov. It will be different for each country. Some countries provide free registration, others charge a small fee. Almost all require a physical deposit of the book. But if it is not coming from an actual government body, it is not offering legal protection.





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