Whether you’ve already written an e-book or you are just thinking about it, you’ve certainly had concerns about whether or not unscrupulous people will distribute or download your e-book for free and thus violate your copyright.
Of course, in this digital world it’s very difficult to prevent someone who has your e-book from either e-mailing it to others or just putting it up on a sharing or torrent site. I recognize that this will happen to some extent with my e-books and other information products, but I’ve taken some steps to both decrease the likelihood it will happen and also recoup some money if it does happen.
My E-Book Copyright Notice in the Prefatory Matter
Here’s the notice I put on the title page of Writing College Textbook Supplements: The Definitive Guide to Winning High-Paying Assignments in the College Textbook Publishing Market, second edition:
Purchase of this ebook allows you to have one copy on your computer and to print out one copy. Distributing this ebook electronically, or printing out more than one copy, is a violation of United States and international copyright laws and is subject to fines and legal action.
My E-Book Footer Copyright Notice
And this copyright notice is in the footer of every page:
Forwarding or redistribution of this publication is prohibited.
All rights reserved. All contents © 2011
John R. Soares.
This stresses that the purchaser is only entitled to use the one copy for his/her own use. Now, I know that some unscrupulous people will send the e-book to their friends, or worse, but I do want to have the reminder that it’s wrong appearing on every page.
And while we’re examining important notices in ebooks, let’s also look at my…
Important Ebook Disclaimers
This book discusses financial, health, psychological, and other topics. You are responsible for your own physical and mental health and financial well-being, and all of your actions. Consult a licensed professional for specific advice.
This decreases the possibility of legal issues, and it encourages readers to take responsibility for their lives and their decisions.
I also include:
Some portions of this book may appear on one or more of John Soares’ websites, or in print.
This isn’t really necessary, but I want purchasers to be aware of this. For example, I’ve edited excerpts of Intelligent Productivity for Freelance Writers and used them here as blog posts.
ORDERING MORE COPIES
Please order more copies at:
This has two purposes. First, it indirectly reminds purchasers that they are not allowed to reproduce or forward the e-book for the use of others; if they want someone else to have it, they need to pay for it. Second, it’s a subtle reminder to anyone who illegally obtained the book that they have a way to make themselves honest.
Affiliate Links Disclosure
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says you have to disclose affiliate links, and it’s also the ethical thing to do.
AFFILIATE LINKS DISCLOSURE
I give links to Amazon.com for all recommended books. Note that the Amazon links are affiliate links, which means if you click on the links and then purchase from Amazon, I will make a small percentage of the sales amount. I only suggest books I have read and think are important and useful to you. Most of the books are also available at major bookstores and local independent bookstores.
What do you think of my steps to protect copyright and minimize any legal troubles? What would you add or take away? If you’ve written an e-book, do have similar clauses?
(Copyright symbol photo credit: OCAL. Thanks!)