Publishing Services



We are proud of our handsome book designs and the attention we give to our authors to guide them through each step of the publishing process. Our authors have control at every step and over every aspect of their book.
We assume that each of our authors will write the best book they have in them, so we strive to do the same in our work.

Frequently Asked Questions

COPYRIGHT

Here are some common questions about copyright, and the answers. I have extracted this information by an article by Jo Teng, the senior lawyer at the Australian Copyright Council.

What is copyright?

Copyright gives its owner the legal right to take action if someone else uses their material without permission.

Is copyright free?

Yes. In Australia, you don’t have to register your copyright. You don’t have to pay fees to get copyright, have any forms signed by a lawyer, or even put the copyright notice on your work. Copyright is free and automatic the moment you write something original (i.e., not copied from elsewhere) onto a manuscript or save a Word document to your computer hard drive. What’s more, thanks to international treaties, almost every country around the world, including your obvious markets (the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, etc.) will recognise your copyright.

You don't need to register your title for copyright.

Do I need to have the © symbol on my work?

It’s a very good idea to put a copyright notice on your work and we do that for you (e.g. ‘Copyright Jane Leong 2018’). Using a copyright notice helps to remind people that your work is protected by copyright and tells them who the copyright owner is, but it’s not a requirement to get copyright in the first place.

How do I make sure my work is copyrighted?

Creators and owners of copyright should regard their copyright as valuable property and deal with it in a business-like way. It is a good idea to keep dated copies of material such as manuscripts, negatives, footage and recordings, as well as copies of all letters or other communications with people who have access to the work.

Copyright protection also comes from a number of steps we take on your behalf. We keep copies of your manuscript, the typeset editions and the print/eBook native files, we purchase an ISBN, register Pre-publication Data with the National Library of Australia, and then lodge a copy of each book at the National Library under the Legal Deposit requirement. This all adds up to a lot of evidence for you.

If there’s a dispute about who created something it may need to be resolved by a court. A court would look at all the relevant evidence. The most important evidence would usually be oral evidence from the creator and from people who were present when the material was being created or who saw early drafts. Other evidence would include the material we hold for you.

Can I claim copyright in an idea?

No. Copyright applies to the actual expression of ideas (e.g. a written book, a captured photograph), not the idea itself. For example, anyone can write a story using the idea of a chosen one, of lovers separated by the cruelties of fate, or a weird family that lives in a haunted house, and that specific story will be protected by copyright but you can’t prevent people from using the same idea as inspiration for their own writing.

Can I copyright my title?

No. Short strings of text, such as a title, a name, a quippy slogan—don’t get copyright protection because they’re too small to qualify as a literary work. Harry Potter, Star Wars, Just Do It —none of these word combinations are protected by copyright. However, they are registered as trademarks with IP Australia, which gives them protection as brands. So while it’s no problem to write in your book that Harry Potter is your character’s favourite series, you should steer well away from using ‘Harry Potter’ in your book title or marketing.

Can I take pictures off the internet to use as my book cover and/or illustrations?

Contrary to what some people think, the internet is not the public domain. ‘Public domain’ refers to material over which copyright has expired, not what anyone can easily find. Given that the current duration of copyright for pictures is the life of the artist plus 70 years, this means the vast majority of images you’ll find online are still protected by copyright.

If you find such a picture online and want to use it for your book, you’ll first need to seek permission from the copyright owner. That permission (which lawyers refer to as a licence) may come with a licence fee. Although some copyright owners may be generous and forego such a fee, that is a decision for them, just as it is your decision as the author and copyright owner of your book to choose what to do with your book, and what to charge for it.

If you don’t seek permission and simply take a picture to copy into your book without a licence from the copyright owner, it is very likely that you have infringed copyright. The copyright owner can choose to protect their copyright in a number of ways, including going to court. However, even if the copyright owner is in another country and can’t afford to sue you, they can still take other steps, including demanding that any websites hosting your book take your book down. In other words, if you don’t ‘clear’ the rights and get permission to use a photograph in your book, and you list your book on Amazon, the photographer can contact Amazon and demand that they remove your book from sale because it infringes their copyright, and Amazon will do so.

For more information, go to www.copyright.org.au

The Copyright Council is a small, non-profit organisation that advises on and advocates for copyright law. They provide a free legal advice service through which we can help you understand your situation and figure out a way to move forward. They also have a large number of free information sheets on their website covering almost every aspect of copyright law, including how long copyright lasts, owning and licensing copyright, and copyright exceptions.

The Echo Books Team and Partners

Publisher

Ian Gordon
Jenny Warren - Title and ISBN Management

Publishing Managers

Joce Jenkins
Georgia Leak

Designer and Typesetter

Peter Gamble

Editors

Catherine McCullagh
Joce Jenkins

Indexer

Terry McCullagh

Printer and Distributor

Lightning Source

eBook distributor

Ingram Spark

Payhip


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