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Last updated Dec 20th, 2023

What is copyright and should I register my copyright?

Obligatory disclaimer: no one at Reedsy is an attorney — this is by no means professional legal advice ⚖️

What is copyright and should I register my copyright?

Copyright is a legal right that prevents others from replicating your work and selling it without your consent.

The great news is that copyright is automatically granted to the author from the moment they write their book. That being said, registering your copyright with the relevant authorities is a great way to protect yourself down the line. You don’t want to be the one whose work is stolen with no recourse to later sue for damages. Here’s a helpful guide on how to copyright your book.

Do I give up the copyright of my manuscript if I work with a Reedsy professional?

Nope! When you agree to work with a Reedsy professional, you don’t transfer your copyright over to them. You only need to grant them permission to work on your manuscript in accordance with your service agreement.

Who has the copyright over the cover design and illustration?

Reedsy’s Terms of Use serve as your standard contract and are applied by default to all collaborations. As per clause of the Mandatory Terms, in return for the service fee, the professional transfers all rights over the deliverables to the author. This includes all intellectual property rights and moral rights in perpetuity.

So unless otherwise agreed to between the parties, authors have absolute copyright over the delivered edits and designs. Please check in with your translator, designer, or illustrator for further information.

What happens if a professional cannot legally assign copyright to me?

In some countries, by law, illustrators and translators cannot transfer their work’s copyright to their clients. In such situations, according to clause, professionals are required to grant an exclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, unlimited, worldwide, unconditional license instead. This license will allow the author to use, distribute, and publish their work.

Can a professional retain copyright over their work and only grant the author a license?

Yes! As a professional, you can attach Special Terms to your offer when you send your quote. Here you can detail how you’ll keep the copyright of the created work and grant the author a license to use, distribute, and publish your work.

These Special Terms are additions to our Mandatory Terms and will be sent to the author along with the rest of your offer details. Don’t forget to reference relevant country-specific laws when adding Special Terms, and discuss this with the client before making an offer.

Note: In the event of any conflict, the Special Terms shall take precedence, followed by the Mandatory Terms, followed by any other terms of the Service Contract. Special Terms cannot replace or update Mandatory Term Clauses 1, 2, and 16.