NEW in the bussiness ...

HI  am new in the bussines of writting , recently wrote a book of poems and need some imput . I hired a person to edit my book , then he told me that for a little bit more he will place my book in Lulu and amazon.Obviously I was all exited and say yes , he edited my book and together we made changes and became friend through fb messanger , every thing was verbal , some one suggested i should make a contract i mention it to him and he say yes , and we could take care of it later , we worked on the book and finally he sent me a made copy of the book every thing was sort of okay until i find some issues with the printing of the book it wasnt made right, the table of content was in the last page , some typographic errors and the content was not in harmony with the pages , example , the subject that was to apair in page 60 was in 62 , i wanted to correct all that so i spoke with the distribuitor  wich i understood to be the maker or printer of the book , and they told me i do not have say so about my book..so i referred myself to the book and say i got copy right with my pen name, but the right reserved are in the name of the editor ..now here is the question .

Whos book is it ? who have the say so and is incharge ?me or the editor ? there is a difference between copy right and right reserved inst it ?

I never gave written permission to right reserve any thing i only asked and pay for the editing , the guy that edit it told me he would help me to get in with the distribuitors ...did i do something wrong? and what should i do  now .Do i have to recurred to legals means ? Did they appropiated my book taking the right on it ? Please help me to understand , i know very little on the matter .

Comments

  • This is why you need contracts!

     

    Copyright is the only thing that matters. "Rights reserved" doesn't really mean anything legally, so far as I know. Many authors and publishers will add "all rights reserved" after their copyright notice, but it is not a requirement. If, as you say, the copyright in the book is in your name (and you can use a pen name---that is OK), than the fact that the editor put "rights reserved" after his name is meaningless. The only thing that matters is the copyright. Period.

     

    I am not a lawyer, so I cannot really speak to where you stand legally, but I would certainly suggest that you talk to an attorney. Technically, your book is copyrighted the moment you finish it and unless you formally transfer that copyright to someone else, it belongs to you. I would think that the editor would have no claim to the copyright on your book if there is no evidence that you ever transferred your copyright to him.

     

    You might want to visit the US Copyright Office website. There is an excellent FAQ page there that might help answer some of your questions. Here, for instance, is some information taken from it---

     

    When is my work protected?

    Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.


    Do I have to register with your office to be protected?

    No. In general, registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. You will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. work.

     

    What is a copyright notice? How do I put a copyright notice on my work?

    A copyright notice is an identifier placed on copies of the work to inform the world of copyright ownership. The copyright notice generally consists of the symbol or word “copyright (or copr.),” the name of the copyright owner, and the year of first publication, e.g., ©2008 John Doe. While use of a copyright notice was once required as a condition of copyright protection, it is now optional. Use of the notice is the responsibility of the copyright owner and does not require advance permission from, or registration with, the Copyright Office

     

    Do I have to use my real name on the form? Can I use a stage name or a pen name?

    There is no legal requirement that the author be identified by his or her real name on the application form.

     

    Are copyrights transferable?
    Yes. Like any other property, all or part of the rights in a work may be transferred by the owner to another.

    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Okay you answer part of the question but the person when they register my book in lulu, and amazon  did it with an account they hold with this two distribuitor, i cant buy my book or alter any thing unless i do it through the Editor. can i manage my book and establish an account with the distribuitor without them ? Can i fix things that were wrongly done ? what if i dont want to be with them anymore ? Can i be self Publish without them as a middle men? The Editor told me that in order to me to be payed i have to wait three month until the publisher sell a certain amount of books then they will send them (the editor) a Check and then they will cut me a check ...I dont have any idea how my book is selling and how much have they gotten pay for ...should i accept what they tell me ? how can i know how many book i have sold since february? what is the service that the distribuitor provide for me? does the distribuitor , know who i am ? etc ...I need those questions answer also . Thanks . GabyCruz .

  • Ron has stated the matter perfectly. You should have made a formal contract, arranged by a lawyer, before you did anything at all with this editor.

     

    Here's the deal: So far as Lulu is concerned, the account in which the book was made is the editor's account. So they can only talk to the editor about the book. That includes information about the sales and the royalties.

     

    You didn't really need this editor. You could have paid someone to just edit the poems without putting it onto Lulu for you. You can publish your book on Lulu without it going through any editor, so for the NEXT book, come directly here to Lulu and make your own book, with no editor in the middle.

     

    You do have some options. I am not a lawyer, so this is not advice. We're just a couple of people chatting here, and you'll want to doublecheck where you stand legally before you proceed with anything at all.

     

    FIRST, BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE: Write a formal letter to the Editor, stating that any and all verbal agreements between you are terminated, and that he does not represent you in any way for anything at all. Send it by postal mail, return receipt requested. Usually a return receipt is just a couple of dollars. It's not really important to get the return receipt. What's important is that you send the letter.

     

    Some states, such as California, assume that any letter that is sent was also received. Keep a copy of the letter, and keep all the little slips of paper that the post office gives you when you send it.

     

    NEXT:

     

    Option One: Write this off as a learning experience. Write the next book, have it edited by a different editor WITH A CONTRACT FIRST. Then come here and publish the book yourself (it's very easy).

     

    Option Two: The expensive way would be to hire a lawyer to sue your editor for control of the book. Since the editor is claiming rights and permissions that you never granted, and since you can prove that you have the right to the book (you have rough drafts of poems, you have originals in your handwriting, etc.) you should be able to make a strong case, and sometimes the involvement of a lawyer will make the other side choose not to fight. The fact that YOU have no contract means that the editor ALSO has no contract. This would be an expensive, painful, and emotionally draining way to go. But it might be worth it if you feel that it would be worth it. Only you can decide that.

     

    Option Three: Register your copyright with the Copyright Office. You can do that here: https://www.copyright.gov/registration/

    It will cost about $35. When you have done that, it takes about six months to a year to get the copyright registration. The copyright office will send you a certificate with a number. Mine seem to start with TX-xxxx-xxxxx-xxx ...

     

    Once you have that certificate, you could then notify Lulu that the Editor is publishing your works under his account without your authorization. You may still have a bit of a fight ahead, but Lulu is pretty good about getting to the bottom of copyright disputes. Since the Editor does not have a contract, or anything saying that you sold him the content, he will most likely have to give up. Then you should receive control of the book and any unpaid royalties.

     

    None of these options are pretty. Each involves a certain amount of pain. I would encourage you to think about option one. But Option three may be a good option for you also. Discuss these options with friends and family. If you can afford to talk with a lawyer -- and a consultation might be cheaper than you expect -- then I would encourage you to talk with a lawyer.

     

    In the end, you have to decide what you will do. I am not a lawyer. This is not advice.

  • By the way, a contract can be a fairly simple thing. Since the 1970s, courts have had to recognize contracts that are written in "Plain English."

     

    (I am STILL not a lawyer, this is STILL not advice, and you STILL need to talk to someone competent before proceeding).

     

    Contracts mainly need to say, "I, John Doe, will do X in exchange for Regina Roe doing Y." There also needs to be an exchange of something of value (consideration) though this is often a formality. So an example of a simple contract might be:

     

    I, ________________________ , (or "Author") agree to pay to _______________________ (or "Editor"), the sum of fifty-three dollars and seventeen cents.

     

    Editor agrees to read Author's book, _______________ (or "Book") and to mark any errors of spelling, grammar, or fact.

     

    Author shall be responsible to correct any errors once the errors have been marked.

     

    Editor shall have no rights with respect to ownership or copyright of Book.

     

    Author and Editor agree that one dollar has been given and received.

     

    This agreement is the entire agreement between the parties, and any other statements, whether written or oral, are null and void. This agreement shall be valid from the date of author's signature until two years thereafter. If  Book has not been fully edited within that time, both parties agree to return all payments and other deliverables.

     

    Signed, ________________________________________ (Author)    ____________________ (Date)

     

    Signed, ________________________________________ (Editor)    _____________________ (Date)

     

     

    That's how simple a valid contract could be. The idea is for a court to be able to read what your intentions were, and to be able to enforce those intentions. There are a couple of other things to think about: You need to be precise. If anything is unclear, the court has to read the contract in the way that is better for the party who didn't write it. Also, you need to be clear about who has what rights, and who doesn't.

     

    Finally, you need to have this contract signed in front of a notary if possible. This proves that the people signing were the real people on the contract, and that they really signed it... it's not a forgery.  This might cost $2 -$20 per signature.

     

    Laws vary in different states, so you want to get a good legal opinion for your state before making a contract.

     

    Even if it's not notarized, a signed paper puts you in a better position than not having anything at all. Also, if you keep a diary of what happened when (October 2, met with editor, discussed fees. October three, agreed to $43.17. October four, signed the contract, copy attached. October four, turned over the rough draft. October six, received letter, attached. Etc), you're in a better legal position than if you have to say, "Um, I think it was the first week in October when we agreed to the price..."

     

    So, again, I'm not a lawyer. This is just folks chatting around the campfire so to speak. This is not advice.

     

     

  • potetjppotetjp Professor

    gabycruz a écrit :
    did i do something wrong? and what should i do  now .

    Yes, you made a mistake! You should have published your book yourself. Asking another person to do it is a bad idea.

     

    The person who corrected your text, whether you paid them or not, does not own any copyright on it, except if they are dishonest, and have published it under their name to collect your royalties.

     

    As things stand at the moment, the simplest solution is to publish your book yourself with Lulu right now by following the process step by step as indicated by the Lulu automaton.

    Accept the free Lulu ISBN, and add it at the back of the even page after the odd title page, under "@ year forename SURNAME". Make a PDF copy and upload it to Lulu.

    Order a copy.

    Approve the book if you are satisfied with it.

    Once your book is published, request the free Lulu distribution called "Global Reach".

     

    After the book is launched, ask your editor to remove / retire his own. If they are an honest person, they will do it without any more ado.

     

    If they are dishonest, they'll laugh in your face. I am not sure sueing them in a court of justice would help in any way, unless you have some legal document proving the text is yours, or you were cautious enough to send yourself a registered sealed envelope containing a copy of your text to be opened by a judge to prove you are the victim of an act of plagiarism.

     

  • And be sure to add a copyright notice. This usually goes on the reverse of the title page. It should take this form:

     

    Copyright © 2017 YourName

     

     

    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/

  • potetjp wrote:

    gabycruz a écrit :
    did i do something wrong? and what should i do  now .you were cautious enough to send yourself a registered sealed envelope containing a copy of your text to be opened by a judge to prove you are the victim of an act of plagiarism.

     


    Sadly, this is what the US Copyright Office has to say about doing that:

     

    "The practice of sending a copy of your own work to yourself is sometimes called a 'poor man’s copyright.' There is no provision in the copyright law regarding any such type of protection, and it is not a substitute for registration."

     

    Copyright suits (in the US) are heard in Federal Court and in such a case only a properly registered copyright has any legal standing.

     

    Again, in the words of the USCO:

     

    "Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. You will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. work... Registered works may be eligible for statutory damages and attorney's fees in successful litigation."

    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • The original author of a work owns the copyright to that work, unless he or she has assigned those rights to a third party. Copyright protection arises automatically, without any action taken by the author the moment the work is fixed in a tangible form so that it is perceptible either directly in print or with the aid of a machine or device.

    As far as I can see you haven't given your copyright away, only hired an editor, so it appears to me that your 'editor' is the one breaching copyright law by claiming the work to be his own, if that is what he is doing.

    YOU OWN the copyright, not him. Re-publish the book yourself through Lulu in YOUR name and create a copyright page as previously suggested. Use social media to highlight what's happened with your friends and potential buyers of your book so they won't get confused with this unauthorised version by your 'editor.' Change the title even, if necessary.

    Get a friend you trust to help you navigate the Lulu formatting and publishing processes. There's plenty of support and advice in the Lulu knowlege base, it just takes time for a newbie to absorb it all.

    None of this will cost you anything.

    Good luck and happy writing.

  • potetjppotetjp Professor

    Ron Miller a écrit :

    "The practice of sending a copy of your own work to yourself is sometimes called a 'poor man’s copyright.' There is no provision in the copyright law regarding any such type of protection, and it is not a substitute for registration."

    This is interesting.
    I agree that it does not directly prove copyright, but it does indirectly because the important point is the anteriority proven by the legible date on the sealed envelope stamped by a post-office clerk or printed by a post-office machine, particularly for a registered mail. It is difficut to believe an attorney at law could not make a case out of it, even though the legislator failed to provide for it.
    Anyway, in France, and many EU countries, authors are advised to resort to self-addressed registered mail to prevent any fraudulent use of their manuscripts until the book is published and registered by the legal deposit office. For instance, I received this piece of advice from our translaters' union, when a major French firm aborted their project of publishing my French translation of a Tagalog novel because the Philippine delegation to the UNESCO could not or would not support it by supplying a 25% subsidy, as do other countries.
    By the way, for patent projects, there exists here a special type of envelope (enveloppe Soleau) that is recommended for less-than-8-page A4 written documents. Because of its physical limitations, it cannot be used for books.

  • potetjp wrote:

    Ron Miller a écrit :

    "The practice of sending a copy of your own work to yourself is sometimes called a 'poor man’s copyright.' There is no provision in the copyright law regarding any such type of protection, and it is not a substitute for registration."

    This is interesting.
    I agree that it does not directly prove copyright, but it does indirectly because the important point is the anteriority proven by the legible date on the sealed envelope stamped by a post-office clerk or printed by a post-office machine, particularly for a registered mail. It is difficut to believe an attorney at law could not make a case out of it, even though the legislator failed to provide for it.
    Anyway, in France, and many EU countries, authors are advised to resort to self-addressed registered mail to prevent any fraudulent use of their manuscripts until the book is published and registered by the legal deposit office. For instance, I received this piece of advice from our translaters' union, when a major French firm aborted their project of publishing my French translation of a Tagalog novel because the Philippine delegation to the UNESCO could not or would not support it by supplying a 25% subsidy, as do other countries.
    By the way, for patent projects, there exists here a special type of envelope (enveloppe Soleau) that is recommended for less-than-8-page A4 written documents. Because of its physical limitations, it cannot be used for books.

    You are quite correct about copyrights in countries other than the US. I should have been more explicit in saying that I was refering specifically to how copyright works here.

     

    The so-called "poor man's copyight," in this country at least, has virtually no standing in court. The problem is that any copyright suit must be brought before a Federal court...and the only thing that would be considered there is a properly registered copyright...exactly as the US Copyright Office says.

    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • I have been told that the envelope method is a legitimate proof of priority in the UK, France, and several other nations. I believe that Canada may also allow this. Here, it is evidence of priority, but priority alone does not give one the right to enforce copyright.

     

    Also, one would tend to have other means to prove priority: Only the true author will have the rough drafts, the works in progress, the records of research, emails to colleagues, emails to beta-readers, etc. s

  • Gaby will, I suppose, have to decide what to do based largely on wherever she is located.

     

    Here, by the way, is more information regarding the benefits of formally registering a copyright in the US. (Click on the links for more details.)

     

    Registration is recommended for a number of reasons. Many choose to register their works because they wish to have the facts of their copyright on the public record and have a certificate of registration. Registered works may be eligible for statutory damages and attorney's fees in successful litigation. Finally, if registration occurs within five years of publication, it is considered prima facie evidence in a court of law. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section “Copyright Registration” and Circular 38b, Highlights of Copyright Amendments Contained in the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA), on non-U.S. works.

     

    An important consideration for Gaby is that "Registration may be made at any time within the life of the copyright."

    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
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