Registering Copyright Licenses

When publishing your work on Lulu.com, you will be asked if you want to select a copyright license.  You’re given a list of ten or so licenses to choose from, and now you’re thinking, ‘what’s this madness?’

If you are really concerned with people stealing your work, then I’ll make the decision easier for you: the first choice on the list, a standard copyright license will probably be the best match.  It’s really not that hard to register (disclaimer: I have not personally tried this method, so please don’t consider any of this legal advice).

Filing

Now, Lulu.com does not require any kind of registration code when it comes time to put in copyright information during the publishing process, which means you could just put in the year and your name and you’d be good (again, this is not legal advice!).  Here’s an article which I found quite helpful in understanding the copyrighting process.

Basically what you have to do is download and print a form, fill it out, then send it in to the Library of Congress with 2 copies of your finished book (here we’re implying that you’re printing your book.  I’m not sure yet how you would submit 2 ebook copies and a form to obtain a copyright for that ebook).  There’s more information on Lulu.com on the process.

Cost

If you decide to go for a standard copyright license, you’re probably wondering how much it will cost.  If you have already published your book, then it will cost whatever you pay to get 2 copies of your own work, the $45 filing fee, and postage.  You then send out your package, wait for a while for confirmation(your copyright takes effect as soon as the package arrives at the Library of Congress), and then you’ve got your books legally protected and (bonus!) in the Library of Congress.  Then you can take a trip to Washington D.C. and try to find your work!

Hopefully this answers some of your questions concerning copyrighting.  If you have any remarks or questions please feel free to comment!

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