COPYRIGHT

last year . . .

I was commissioned to design the covers of two ‘Create Space’ children’s books for an author ‘friend’. She did not want to buy copyright. Neither did she want to have the copyright symbol on the artworks despite my insistence that she did. I gave her a list of ‘permission of use’ with the copyright symbol on the design. She told me her writers’ association said the symbol didn’t have to be on the front cover of the book. 

Without permission and without symbol, the cover design was e mailed to the organiser of a local writers’ festival to use as publicity posters.

Troubled by the authors repeated failure to do as requested, I spoke to a librarian who, by chance, knew ‘Create Space’ Copyright rules. I had never used them. Any author using Create Space had to own and sign to owning ‘all rights’. Which she didn’t.

Everything fell into place, she’d tried to hide what she’d done from me, Create Space and any fellow author who knew the rules. When I questioned the author about this, she threatened me with ‘possible harassment’, which I saw for exactly what it was. She’d been found out and didn’t like it.

I took legal advice. The following information may be helpful to anyone who experiences copyright infringement – 

We can confirm that the author infringed your copyright / moral rights to be credited as the author.

You can certainly ask her to delete all the artwork you sent her and ask her to destroy all the remaining books featuring your artwork. As you are in control of your copyright and she is in breach of the contract you agreed you have a right to ask her. She may not comply with your requests – in this case, you may consider next steps.
You can of course share the results of your investigations with the librarian.
We will keep this enquiry open for now just in case you have further questions or the other party doesn’t react.

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An unhappy experience which taught me a lot, not only about Copyright Law.