Unfortunately plagiarism is part of an authors life. You might find out about it when purchasing books from your “competition” or when you “Look Inside” books at online dealer’s and aggregators websites. If something seems to be suspect, buy the book. You can return it within a couple of days…
What to do if you find out that your work has been plagiarized?
Contact the (online) store who sells the copyright-infringed work, e.g. Barnes & Noble, Sony, Apple or (most likely) Amazon, which has a “Feedback” window on every page. One of the window’s option: “Do you believe that this item violates a copyright?” Click here Amazon takes Copyright Infringement seriously, not only for concern of their reputation, but also to avoid retribution from authors. The work, containing your copyrighted material will be removed within days.
- Don’t attack the offender directly. Let this dirty job do by your lawyer and the (online) store’s legal department.
- Let a lawyer draw up a “Cease and Desist” letter.
- Prepare everything for your legal presenter in writing, as their top dollars fees per hour have to be advanced by the client (you) first, before it can be claimed from the offender.
But how can you protect yourself from plagiarism?
Invest $35 in your book and obtain a registered copyright. You will then be able to command a higher claim from an infringer: you can collect “Statutory Damages” plus all your Attorney Fees.
Print Copyright Notices in Your Book:
• The symbol © or the word “Copyright”
• The year of first publication of the work
• The name of the owner or creator
Sure, your manuscript has copyright from the moment you put “pen to paper.” However, if you did not register your copyright officially, or only after the infringement, you can only sue for “Actual Damages” – not so easy to demonstrate. Get all the addresses for several countries where you can register the copyright – in a former blog from January 28, 2012