FAQ - Legal
- Is my book already protected by copyright law by virtue of the fact that I have published it?
- Why is there another book with the same title as mine when I copyrighted my work?
- Can I use trademarked names in my manuscript?
- Am I liable if my book contains defamatory statements or infringes on another person's copyrighted work?
- Do I own the rights to my book or do you, the publisher?
- Who owns the film, television, theater and other media rights?
- Who owns the printable files of my book?
- What do you mean by an open-ended, non-exclusive contract?
- What happens if I want to cancel my contract with Xlibris?
- What protection do I have that my information will be kept private?
Is my book already protected by copyright law by virtue of the fact that I have published it?
Under U.K. copyright law, your self published work is protected as soon as you put the pen to paper. Copyright is based on your creative authorship and is not dependent on any formal agreement with a book publisher or self publishing company. Although the law affords you protection just for creating your work and reducing it to a tangible form, in many cases it is desirable to officially register your work(s) with the United Kingdom or U.S. Copyright Office.
With every publishing package, Xlibris will automatically register your work at no extra cost, protecting you and your work. For further details on UK Copyright Law click this link for a fact sheet from the UK Copyright Service.
Copyright protection attaches immediately and automatically upon fixation (reduction to a tangible form) of the work in question. Why go to the trouble of filing a federal copyright registration? There are two fundamental answers:
- ability to sue; and
- statutory damages.
Although copyright attaches upon fixation, you cannot actually sue someone for infringing your copyright until you have registered your work with the Copyright Office. "Timely Registration" is key. This means that you file with the Copyright office before any copyright infringement actually begins. "Timely Registration" makes it much easier to sue and recover money from an infringer. Specifically, it creates a legal presumption that your copyright is valid, and allows you to recover damages without having to prove any actual monetary harm.
Xlibris can help you register and protect your work to the fullest extent. We also provide assistance with filing your work with the U.S. Copyright Office and Library of Congress. Find out more about Registering Your Work with the U.S. Copyright Office and The Library of Congress.
Why is there another book with the same title as mine when I copyrighted my work?
Copyright registration protects the content of your work. You can not actually copyright the title of your book.
Can I use trademarked names in my manuscript?
Generally, the use by an author of a trademarked name in a fictional work to describe or identify particular goods or services, such as "driving in my Peugeot," "eating a Cadbury bar," "playing with my Beanie Baby" will not be considered an infringement as long as the use does not confuse the reader with respect to who actually owns the trademark. Trademark law also permits an author of a nonfiction work to include content that is favorable and/or critical of a trademark owner's product or services. In this type of work, the author should only use the trademark to describe or identify the trademark owner's product or service and should be careful not to confuse the reader as to the actual provider of the trademark owner's products or services.
Am I liable if my book contains defamatory statements or infringes on another person's copyrighted work?
Yes. It is stated in the Xlibris Author Agreement that you affirm that you are empowered to enter into the agreement and have all the necessary rights to use the submitted material. By signing the contract with Xlibris, you are agreeing to these terms.
Do I own the rights to my book or do you, the publisher?
You retain all the rights to your book. By utilising Xlibris' services, you are simply granting us a non-exclusive licence to publish and distribute the work for you.
Who owns the film, television, theatre and other media rights?
With Xlibris, you retain all rights to your book. That includes the film, television and theatre rights.
Who owns the printable files of my book?
Because Xlibris created them, we actually retain the ownership of the printable files, but we do not distribute them.
What do you mean by an open-ended, non-exclusive contract?
The Xlibris publishing agreement is open-ended and non-exclusive. This means that there is no set term for the contract, but that it can be canceled at any time at your discretion. Because it is non-exclusive, it means that you can pursue publishing contracts with other publishers and actually have another contract with another publisher or agent regarding the same work without violating the terms of your agreement with Xlibris.
What happens if I want to cancel my contract with Xlibris?
You have the right to cancel your contract at any time, for any reason. Simply inform us in writing and your agreement with Xlibris will be terminated.
What protection do I have that my information will be kept private?
If you have any further questions or concerns about the Xlibris privacy policies and use of personal information, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.