source: http://www.writersweekly.com/ask_the_expert/006971_10052011.html

October 05, 2011

Do I Need to Re-Register a Copyright for a Revised Book? Maybe...

Hey Ang,

I was wondering if you could answer a copyright question for me.

If I copyright a book and that book changes (editing, or something like that) after the copyright is issued is the copyright still valid?

Thanks and hugs!

Peter

The purpose of copyright registration is to protect yourself in the future if you must sue someone for infringement. You need to be able to prove at that time that you are the creator of that piece and a copyright registration, with a copy of the book on file with the Library of Congress, is a great way to protect yourself.

If you make minor changes to a book in the future and don't re-register the copyright, your copyright does not automatically disappear. You still own your work and you still have a valid copyright. The only way you would not be able to use it to prove you own the work is if the person stealing your content steals portions that were not in the original piece or if they steal pieces that were heavily edited or rewritten in the new edition.

So, fixing a typo here and there doesn't really necessitate going through the entire copyright process all over again. If you do major rewrites or additions to the book, yes, you should go through the copyright registration process all over again and provide the Library of Congress with a copy of the revised book.


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source: http://www.writersweekly.com/ask_the_expert/006971_10052011.html

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