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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm releasing an e-book at the end of the month which will be $2.99 on Amazon but will be available as a free PDF download on my blog.

There will be a donate button, with an accompanying note stressing that payment is optional, but that if people find the e-book useful I would be grateful if they contributed a donation or purchased on of my other titles.

I want people to be free to use the e-book in whichever way they choose, including putting it up for download on their own site, or emailing it to whoever they like. The only restriction I want to place is that they do not charge for it.

I know very little about copyright, and I could do with some advice here.

What I was thinking of was to put a note at the start of the PDF where the copyright notice usually is, saying something like this (this is a rough first attempt):

Free PDF Edition
This e-book is freeware. This means you are free to copy it, distribute it, and use it in whichever way you choose. You can put it up on your site for download, you can email it to whoever you like. All I ask is that you do not attempt to profit from the sale of it. I would like this information to be freely available to anybody who wants to learn about digital self-publishing. If you find this e-book useful, I would be extremely grateful if you could come to my site and make a donation. Doing so will help to cover part of the costs of producing this e-book, as well as help pay me for my time. If this payment model is successful, it will allow me to produce further work this way.

Are there any issues with doing this that I am not aware of?

Do I still need to put "Copyright 2011 David Gaughran" at the start? Or should I not put that?

Does this affect my ability to assert copyright over the Kindle version (which I am charging for and which will be virtually identical)?

Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.

Dave
 

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Yes, you do need to state copyright to you. Otherwise someone else could publish the content for money, giving their name as author. I think you also need to be clearer in your specifications about allowing the book to be shared, stating that it may be freely given or shared but must not be sold for profit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey Ilyria,

If that happens, I'm not going to lose any sleep. I may force the free issue on Amazon after a little bit anyway.

However, my understanding is that they will only price match if it is free in places like B&N & Sony, not if it is free on Smashwords or your own site.

Dave

P.S. I will be charging for it on Smashwords, it will only be free on my own blog.
 

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Why not just slap a Creative Commons licence on it?

I think the one you need is Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND)

"This license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can't change them in any way or use them commercially."

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/

Then you could add the donation bit under it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey Rin,

That's an excellent idea. I will look into that right now.

I'm guessing I could put a hyperlink right under that notice which would take them to my blog where they can donate if they choose.

Great,

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
One last question.

In a work where you have guest contributors (there are quite a few, but they collectively make up less than 25% of the overall text), should they be listed in the copyright notice, or is their some form of words you have to use to indicate you have permission to use their words?
 
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