Copyrighting pre-published work

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gazzajohn
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Copyrighting pre-published work

Postby gazzajohn » Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:48 am

A few questions from a newbie.

1. I've written a few chapters and invented a few new words in a book yet to be published. What happens if I go to publish my book and discover someone has already published a book that uses one or two of the words I thought I created? Do I have to change the created words, or can I keep them?

2. I have already emailed myself the chapters for "proof." Does that mean regardless if someone publishes a book before me with the words I created, I can still publish the book using the same created words without legal repercussions?

3. Is using digiprove a good idea to protect pre-published works? (Link: https://www.digiprove.com/)

Thanks.


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robjvargas
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Re: Copyrighting pre-published work

Postby robjvargas » Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:21 am

An Internet forum is not a reliable place to obtain legal advice. I'll give you my opinion, but even if I were a lawyer (I'm not), it's worth every penny you paid me for it.

I have a work where I use a made up word, arcology. It's not tied to a brand or trademark, so it's okay to use it. Generally speaking, copyright does not apply to single words or even short phrases.

There is, however, one very important exception to this. Trademark. Googol is a mathematical term for a 1 with a hundred zeroes after it. No trademark. If you thought you invented that, and found it already in use, no copyright issue. BUT! Google is a brand name for an Internet company that operates a search engine and various related online technologies. That word is protected by trademark. That word requires permission to use. Even as a verb. Google HAS to fight even that usage, "to google something," because the law CAN nullify their trademark if the word becomes too commonly used in non-trademark situations.

This is not comprehensive. Nor am I a credentialed expert. What you really need is an intellectual property (IP) attorney.
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pls
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Re: Copyrighting pre-published work

Postby pls » Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:39 am

I'm not a lawyer, either, but I can tell you that no one is going to steal a noob's work. And mailing material to yourself, the so-called poor man''s copyright, will not stand up in court.
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Re: Copyrighting pre-published work

Postby plughmann » Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:49 am

[quote="gazzajohn"]A few questions from a newbie.

1. I've written a few chapters and invented a few new words in a book yet to be published. What happens if I go to publish my book and discover someone has already published a book that uses one or two of the words I thought I created? Do I have to change the created words, or can I keep them?

2. I have already emailed myself the chapters for "proof." Does that mean regardless if someone publishes a book before me with the words I created, I can still publish the book using the same created words without legal repercussions?

3. Is using digiprove a good idea to protect pre-published works? (Link: https://www.digiprove.com/)

Thanks.[/quote]


1 maybe - You need an IP lawer.
2 that is not proof
3 no

See the copyright law at the LOC copyright office website.

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Re: Copyrighting pre-published work

Postby rob-lost » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:10 am

[quote]3. Is using digiprove a good idea to protect pre-published works? (Link: https://www.digiprove.com/)[/quote]
Registering copyright is (essentially) a one-step process. IMO, this is worthless for copyright protection, and I don't think it's even intended for publication/writing in the sense we mean here. That's for software.

Look over the registration process here: https://www.copyright.gov/registration/literary-works/index.html

It's not hard.

And remember, you already have copyright as soon as you created the work. Registration gives you some added benefit, but you have copyright now.
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