Copyright Infringement FAQ

edited November 15 in Copyright

Copyright law is intricate and varies by country. In fact, it is so intricate that there is an entire branch of the legal system dedicated to its enforcement. As such, the FAQ’s listed below are no substitute for your lawyer’s advice. Rather, they are intended to answer questions about Lulu’s method for responding to copyright infringement reports received from an author, legal representative, agent, artist, or photographer.

How does Lulu enforce copyright laws? 

Lulu complies with the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Properties Organization (WIPO). The DMCA amended Title 17 of the United States Code to extend the reach of copyright, while limiting the liability of online service providers for copyright infringement by their users.

Specifically, Title II of the DMCA (Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act) creates a safe harbor for online service providers against copyright infringement liability, provided they meet specific requirements.

To qualify for safe harbor designation, online service providers must promptly quarantine or remove alleged infringing material when they receive notification of an infringement claim from a copyright holder or their agent. 

Title II also provides a counter-notification provision allowing the online service provider to reinstate quarantined material if an author states that the material in question does not, in fact, infringe upon another author’s copyright and the author agrees to defend their claim in US Federal Court.

Can I legally use another person’s work?

When publishing through Lulu, you are responsible for respecting the copyrights of other creators. When you use another work within your own, be sure you have permission from the copyright holder or their agent.

Copyright laws vary by country and it is the author’s responsibility to comply with not only their country’s laws, but also the copyright laws in the countries in which your work is to be sold.

When publishing for sale in the United States of America, keep the following in mind when considering the use of copyrighted material:

  • For works published since 1978, copyright protection endures for the author’s lifetime plus 70 years.
  • For works published before 1978, the copyright duration varies. It is always best to research a work to determine whether it is still protected. The US Copyright Office can help you determine whether a work remains under copyright protection.
  • Many works are in the public domain because their copyright has expired or they do not qualify for protection. You may freely use these works; however, you should confirm the editor or translator does not own the copyright for the edition or translation.
  • The law also provides specific exceptions for the use of protected work. The fair use clause of United States copyright law allows limited portions of copyrighted work to be used for criticism or academic purposes.
  • Many online resources contain information about works in the public domain including galleries of images that may be used free of charge or for a nominal fee.

Note: Lulu complies with all requirements of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and does not offer legal advice or protection. Following copyright laws is your responsibility. For more information, see the United States Copyright Office website at www.copyright.gov

Can I use images if I am not the copyright holder?

In addition to the written word, images are also protected by copyright. Even if a certain work of art is in the public domain, the photographer may hold the copyright for the image. If this is the case, you must have the copyright holder's permission to use the image.

Can I use an image if I do not intend to sell my work?

Lulu is a strong supporter of copyright laws and does not allow the publication of intellectual property without permission from the original creator regardless of whether the work is for your sole use or is intended for sale to others. For more information, see Lulu Membership Agreement: Content.

Who can report copyright infringements?

Any registered user on the Lulu.com site can report content as inappropriate, in violation of the Lulu Membership Agreement, or as infringing on their copyright, trademark, or intellectual property rights.

Note: Unregistered guests may report inappropriate content by sending an email to copyright@lulu.com.

How are copyright infringements reported?

Every print and eBook product page includes a link to Report This Content to Lulu, which generates a Report Questionable Content form.  Select the type of violation you wish to report from the drop down list, complete the form, and click Submit.

Note: You must be signed into a Lulu account to report inappropriate content. Unregistered guests may report inappropriate content by sending an email to copyright@lulu.com.

The Questionable Content team reviews reports of inappropriate content and determines the next steps. In the case of copyright infringement, we will email a DMCA Notice form to the claimant. Upon completion and return of the DMCA Notice, the reported work will be quarantined and the affected author will be notified.

Who determines what happens when content is reported as questionable? 

Our Questionable Content team reviews all submitted notifications and takes appropriate action as noted below:

  • If the work does not meet Lulu’s General Access guidelines, the project will be set to Private Access (i.e. the book will not display in the Lulu Marketplace or be returned in product searches on the Lulu.com site) and the author will be notified of this action.
  • If the work is in violation of the Lulu Membership Agreement, it will be removed from the site at Lulu’s sole discretion.
  • If the work is reported as infringing on another author’s copyright, the work will be quarantined upon receipt of a completed DMCA Notice. The author will be notified and allowed an opportunity to respond. If the author asserts they own the copyright or have permission to use the material, the title will be removed from quarantine. The claimant can, at their discretion, initiate a legal action against the publisher. If the claimant informs Lulu that this is their intent, the content will remain quarantined until the court has made its decision. All titles that remain in quarantine for more than six months will be automatically deleted from the system in compliance with Lulu’s Content Retention Policy.
  • If the work violates trademark or intellectual property rights, the content will be immediately quarantined and the author will be notified of the steps required for reinstatement.

My book is no longer listed under My Projects. What happened? 

If your book is in violation of the Lulu Membership Agreement or is reported as infringing on the copyrights of another author, the project will be placed into quarantine resulting in the removal of the project from your project list and the suspension of all sales.

The publishing author will receive an email from Lulu explaining the action. In the case of a copyright infringement, the email will include a copy of the originally submitted DMCA Notice of copyright infringement.  

Note: In cases of flagrant fraud or plagiarism, the content will be immediately removed from the Lulu.com site with no recourse for its reinstatement.

How are authors notified when their content is quarantined?

The Questionable Content team reviews all reports of copyright or membership agreement violations. If your work is quarantined, an email notification will be sent to the email address associated with your Lulu account.

For reports of copyright infringement, the email will include a copy of the original DMCA Notice reporting the violation, as well as a DMCA Counter-Notification form. The author must complete and return the counter-notification asserting they do, in fact, own the copyright or have permission to use the reported content before their work can be removed from quarantine and reinstated.

I did not receive an email from Lulu. What do I do now?

Upon receipt of a valid DMCA Notice of copyright infringement, Lulu will quarantine your project and send an email to the address associated with your Lulu account.

It is possible that your email’s filtering system diverted the notification into your spam folder. If this occurred, please mark the email as “not spam” so that we can continue communicating with you about the steps required to assert your ownership of the copyright and remove your book from quarantine.

But, I own the copyright for this work. What do I do now?

Under DMCA regulations, authors can contest a copyright infringement claim by completing a DMCA Counter-Notification form, which will be attached to the initial quarantine notice. The form includes instructions for completion. On it you can assert, under penalty of perjury, that you either own the copyright to the reported work or you have permission to use the reported content.

Lulu will forward the completed Counter-Notification form to the original claimant, who will then have 10 business days to respond as to their intent. If there is no response from the claimant after 10 business days, Lulu will reinstate the quarantined work.

Please Note: The original claimant will be alerted of your counter-notification and can, at their discretion, initiate legal action against you. By asserting your ownership of a copyright, you agree to defend yourself against any formal charges brought by another party. Copyright disputes are adjudicated in US Federal Court.

What about my First Amendment Rights?

You are always free to express yourself. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees that the government will not restrict its citizens’ freedom of expression.

As a business, however, Lulu has the obligation and the right to accept or reject any content that is not in compliance with our published Membership Agreement or fails to comply with current copyright law.

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