Pen Name

In the copyright, do you need to use your legal name or can you use your pen name?

Comments

  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor

    natalie_stover wrote:

    In the copyright, do you need to use your legal name or can you use your pen name?


    According to the US Copyright Office: "There is no legal requirement that the author be identified by his or her real name on the application form... If filing under a fictitious name, check the 'Pseudonymous' box when giving information about the authors."

     

    Since there is no legal requirement to use a real name when formally registering a copyright there would seem to be no reason not to use a pen name in the copyright notice in your book.

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

  • natalie_stover wrote:

    In the copyright, do you need to use your legal name or can you use your pen name?


    As a matter of practicality, you will want to have some proof of some sort that the pen name belongs to the actual author, as you will need to settle questions of identity should you need to defend your copyright.

     

    But as Ron says, the copyright office will accept pen names.

     

    Details about copyright registration in the US can be found here:

    Library of Congress Copyright Office

  • potetjppotetjp Teacher

    Only your legal name should follow ©, unless your penname is a deposited trademark, and your royalties are not part of your income but those of the company that your tradename/pseudonym represents.

    I doubt you fall in this category; thefore it would be a mistake to attribute your copyrights to your pseudonym.

    In France, when you make your legal deposit , and fill the deposit form in triplicate, you have to enter both your legal name and your pseudonym, if you are writing under one. This way, their association is officially recorded, and your proof is the third triplicate returned to you with the national library number. I suppose there exists a similar system in your country.

  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor

    I'm not an intellectual rights attorney, but I don't think there is any need to use your real name following the copyright symbol nor any need to trademark your pen name.

     

    Here is what the US Copyright Office has to say:

     

    An author of a copyrighted work can use a pseudonym or pen name. A work is pseudonymous if the author is identified on copies or phonorecords of the work by a fictitious name. Nicknames and other diminutive forms of legal names are not considered fictitious. Copyright does not protect pseudonyms or other names.

     

    If you write under a pseudonym but want to be identified by your legal name in the Copyright Office’s records, give your legal name and your pseudonym on your application for copyright registration. Check “pseudonymous” on the application if the author is identified on copies of the work only under a fictitious name and if the work is not made for hire. Give the pseudonym where indicated.

     

    If you write under a pseudonym and do not want to have your identity revealed in the Copyright Office’s records, give your pseudonym and identify it as such on your application. You can leave blank the space for the name of the author. If an author’s name is given, it will become part of the Office’s online public records, which are accessible by Internet. The information cannot later be removed from the public records. You must identify your citizenship or domicile.

    In no case should you omit the name of the copyright claimant. You can use a pseudonym for the claimant name. But be aware that if a copyright is held under a fictitious name, business dealings involving the copyrighted property may raise questions about its ownership. Consult an attorney for legal advice on this matter.

     

    Works distributed under a pseudonym enjoy a term of copyright protection that is the earlier of 95 years from publication of the work or 120 years from its creation. However, if the author’s identity is revealed in the registration records of the Copyright Office, including in any other registrations made before that term has expired, the term then becomes the author’s life plus 70 years.

     

    There is also some good advice here, too http://writersrelief.com/blog/2008/06/pen-names-what-you-need-to-know-about-using-a-pseudonym/

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

    Ron Miller a écrit : 

    Here is what the US Copyright Office has to say:

     In no case should you omit the name of the copyright claimant. You can use a pseudonym for the claimant name. But be aware that if a copyright is held under a fictitious name, business dealings involving the copyrighted property may raise questions about its ownership. Consult an attorney for legal advice on this matter.

     


    You've been warned!!  Smiley Very Happy

  • My pen is named George. Smiley Happy

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