Question Hello.. I have collected 15 TRUE stories written by others for my book......DO I COPYRIGHT IT ALL IN MY NAME? DO I COPYRIGHT IT AS WORK FOR HIRE? Thanks.
Answer Dear Angela,
Thank you for writing.
Per copyright law, you must have written documentation of an agreement between you and each author (which can be very brief, and does not have to be filed at the U.S. Copyright Office, etc.), stating that your authors have transferred their "rights" to their work to you, so that you may then publish the book containing their work in your own name. You can not copyright a book as a "work for hire."
For more information, and for your future knowledge, this is actually just part and parcel of an excellent explanation of this very convoluted issue, which I found on the always-trusty Wikipedia.com, to whit: "Under the U.S. Copyright Act, a transfer of ownership in copyright must be memorialized in a writing signed by the transferor. For that purpose, ownership in copyright includes exclusive licenses of rights. Thus exclusive licenses, to be effective, must be granted in a written instrument signed by the grantor. No special form of transfer or grant is required. A simple document that identifies the work involved and the rights being granted is sufficient."
I certainly hope this helps -- and best of luck to you with your book! True stories are often much better than fiction, as they say, particularly if you can include photographs -- people do love reading about other people -- this is a universal interest, and it will never end --
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