Copyright and Business License Needed for a Public Domain Book in US?

Hello all,

 

I'm new to selling on Lulu and new to these forums. Does anyone know if:

 

1) A copyright is needed in order to sell a public domain book? Also do I need to have the copyright information printed within the book?

 

2) In the US, at what point would I need a business license to sell books? Is there a profit cap? How does this work?

 

Thank you very much for any help with these!

Comments

  • Hello all,

     

    I'm new to selling on Lulu and new to these forums. Does anyone know if:

     

    1) A copyright is needed in order to sell a public domain book?

     

    I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think Lulu now allows them because 100s of people were turning the same thing in to books, because it's easy. Amazon once had a massive purge deleting them. The idea behind Public Domain is that it's not copyrighted at source, but it is possible to copyright the actual book and cover (as long as you did create the latter) because you created that, if not the whole contents.

     

     

    Also do I need to have the copyright information printed within the book?

     

    Yes.

     

    2) In the US, at what point would I need a business license to sell books? Is there a profit cap? How does this work?

     

    The same the world over I would suspect. It's up to you. There's no need to get a business licence, just declare earnings.

     

     


  • Liam3 wrote:

    Hello all,

     

    I'm new to selling on Lulu and new to these forums. Does anyone know if:

     

    1) A copyright is needed in order to sell a public domain book? Also do I need to have the copyright information printed within the book?

     

    You do not need a copyright in order to sell a public domain book (you aren't required to have a copyright to sell any book, even one you wrote yourself).

     

    It is not mandatory that you include a copyright notice in your book. According to the US Copyright Office: 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. However, it is a very good idea to include such a notice.

     

    You cannot copyright a public domain book: you can only copyright what you have created yourself. You can copyright any new material, however. For instance, you can copyright the cover and things like forewords or notes. If the text has been significantly altered or edited, you might be able to copyright it, but it would have to consititute more than ordinary corrections.

     

    I do know that some retailers, such as Amazon, will not list public domain material unless the publisher has added something significant to the work. For instance, in order to get Amazon to accept a collection of public domain science fiction that I reprinted (even though most of the titles were unique and not available anywhere else in any form) I had to make sure that each book had additional material, such as a foreword, afterword or biography.

     

    2) In the US, at what point would I need a business license to sell books? Is there a profit cap? How does this work?

     

    So far as I know, you don't need a business license to sell books specifically. If you set yourself up as an actual business, however, that might be a different matter. You might need a license to operate as a business in whatever local jurisdiction you live in. You should probably talk to someone knowledgeable about these matters.


     

    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • This place is bizarre. Where's my Kudo for saying the same thing?  Smiley LOL

  • Kudos is not a plural noun.

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

  • kevinlomas wrote:

    This place is bizarre. Where's my Kudo for saying the same thing?  Smiley LOL


    Well, yes and no.

     

    You are not required by the US Copyright Office to include a copyright notice, even though it is a good idea to do so.

     

    Amazon is perfectly OK with public domain materials so long as the publisher has added new content (such as an essay, a foreword or afterword, annotations, biography, etc.). For instance, you could sell a public domain text of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea on Amazon if you, say, added an introduction about 19th century submarines, a bio of Jules Verne and a bibliography of his other works.

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

  • Liam3 a écrit :

    2) In the US, at what point would I need a business license to sell books? Is there a profit cap? How does this work?


    Lulu sells our books for us all over the world either directly or through on-line bookstores like Amazon. Why would you need a particular licence? When you reach the final stage of the creation of your book with Lulu, you'll have to pick the licence you prefer in the list. It is the only licence you need.


  • Liam3 a écrit :

     

    I'm new to selling on Lulu and new to these forums. Does anyone know if:

     


    If you make an edition of a public domain book, with introduction, notes, comments, etc. you need to have your own copyright (use the free one supplied by Lulu).

    For a scholarly edition, if the princeps edition has a copyright, it is customary to report it among the various credits on the copyright page as well as the name of the first publisher. In the absence of such data, unless they are mentioned in the presentation, an experienced reader will have doubts about the seriousness of your work.

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