Copyright (c), the big scary word that is always on the minds of authors, musicians, film makers and most people that are in the artistic industry.
Copyright needs to be taken seriously, especially I believe in two main aspects.
1) Do not copy other people’s work – When you are writing your book there will be works out there that have inspired you and you may be tempted to add examples of it in your own work. DON’T!!!! This will be a fast way to get your butt handed to you on a plate in court. I learnt this the hard way… I put something in one of my books from an artist that inspired me, it wasn’t until a friend found out from my local writers group and told me to change it or risk being sued. Once I found out I pulled the book and changed it right away!!! I may have been young, naive and unknowing about it but in court that wouldn’t stand telling them you didn’t know, and now I look back I realise its common sense really… I was just having a blonde moment. For some things e.g. quotes, lyrics etc you can get special permissions from the people who wrote it but you will normally have to pay for that privilege. In my opinion its best just to leave other peoples material alone and write your own, that way you will be left alone!!!
2) Protect your own work – Now I am fairly new to this myself and I could probably do more to protect my own work but for now there are some basic steps I am doing to keep my work mine. Firstly when I write my book and it gets near to the completion stage like in most / all other books I put in the copyright page at the beginning explaining that it is covered by copyright laws and cannot be replicated in any way or format. I also add that all events and characters in my book are all from my imagination and not represented by real things or people. I also email all my own work back to me, this might not necessarily stand up in a court of law but if you ever need to go through Amazon or other companies if someone has copied your work it all helps to prove you wrote it.
There are probably other ways and means of protecting your work and it might be worth you looking into it more 🙂 and maybe I should too 🙂