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Copyright Law And Legal Protection Of Your Work

Copyright law is a means of securing legal protection of your ownership of a publication or another type of intellectual property, such as a website or a blog. If you publish a book and sign a contract with a publisher, you normally agree to relinquish all rights to the work until a certain condition is met. This can be a length of time, in which case you will start to earn royalties after your book has been in print for a certain number of months. It can also be a price, which would be the total royalties that your book must earn before you start getting paid. This price is normally your publishing advance, so when your book has made more than your advance, you start earning royalties.

When you publish a book, a website or a blog you automatically establish ownership of that content, whether you sign a contract or not. International copyright law can be extremely complicated, with many different clauses and conditions. However, the standard copyright for any publication is the life of the author plus fifty years. Once this time is over, the copyright of the publication could fall into the hands of any number of entities. Your copyright usually falls into the public domain, but you could have a special clause in your contract stipulating otherwise.

There are two different types of copyright that are generally established for a publication. The first is the copyright in the literary work itself, which has the duration of your life plus fifty years. The second is the copyright in the layout, format and distinct “feel” of the publication. According to copyright law the content remains your intellectual property for fifty years after that specific publication, so if your book sees a new edition a century after its first publication, you will still own this copyright.

Submitted by:

Gabriel Adams

Get a minnesota business lawyer to help you with minnesota law, including copyright issues.




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