Q. I read that the Supreme Court recently upheld Google’s trademark, although people universally use “Google” instead of “to search.” Also, I’ve heard that it isn’t legal to use trademarks in a book, yet I see them being used all the time. Can you explain? A. Yes, Google is litigating to prevent its trademark from … Continue reading Using Trademarks in Fiction
Q. In the Internet era, how do I protect against infringement of my copyright? A. The best protection is constant vigilance. Whether you have a publisher or are self-published, you should perform an Internet search for your name and your book titles at regular intervals. You also should set up Google Alerts with the same … Continue reading Protecting Your Copyright
Q. Should I register copyright in my manuscript before submitting to an agent, editor, or publisher A. I answered this question previously, but my answer has changed (unfortunately). In 2008 my answer was “No, unless you are unusually paranoid,” because in my years of experience in the publishing world, I knew of no instance where … Continue reading When to Register Copyright
New publishers and self-published authors often have questions about a seemingly simple task: drafting the copyright notice. Copyright, of course, is a form of protection provided by U.S. and international law to owners of “original works of authorship.” Most writers (and readers) are aware a copyright notice bestows important intellectual property rights upon the owner, … Continue reading All About Copyright Notices
Q. I’m writing an historical mystery and wish to include some previously published material as background. Is there an easy way to easily determine when a copyright has expired? And do I have to give credit to public domain material A. The numerous changes Congress has made to the term of copyright duration have made … Continue reading When Does Copyright Expire?