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My daughter's self published book with copyright but not formally registered has been found on a site which says free download. What should I do?

2 Answers. Asked on Jul 29th, 2016 on Intellectual Property - California
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Answered on Aug 01st, 2016 at 9:09 AM

First, congratulations to your daughter -- writing and publishing a book is a major accomplishment.

Second, she should register her copyright right now, as in today. Go to and she can do it herself if she has (a) a credit card to pay the $55 fee, (2) an electronic copy of the book, and (3) knows her name, phone number, address, email address, and when the book was published (in other words, basic information about her and her book).

if it is less than ninety days since your daughter published her book, the registration can relate back to the date of publishing. Even if it is more than 90 days, any infringements that occur after the date of registration (which will usually be the day the registration is filled out) will be statutorily protected.

Third, even without a registration, your daughter still has a copyright. Registration is not mandatory, and still provides some protection, although registration has more and more powerful remedies.

Fourth, contact an intellectual property lawyer near you to write a cease-and-desist letter. While your daughter can do it herself, people tend to sit up and take notice when it is on a law firm's letterhead.

This answer does not mean I am your lawyer. No attorney-client relationship exists. This response is for general information only.

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Answered on Aug 01st, 2016 at 7:01 AM

There are several steps you need to take if your daughter does not want her book to be distributed for free on the Internet.  File with the U.S. Copyright Office for an express registration.  You can go to the US Copyright website and figure out how to do this.  It will be more expensive than filing a regular copyright application and waiting up to 8 months for the registration but you will need the registration to ultimately enforce your daughters rights.  Try to identify the owner of the website and send them a take down notice pursuant to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

If you can afford a lawyer who has an expertise in Copyright law, spend the money to hire the lawyer and protect your daughter's copyrights.  A copyright lawyer will already know how to file for the express copyright registration and send a take down notice.  


Your question leaves out alot of informaton a lawyer would need to properly advise you such as the age of your daughter, when was the book written, is the book an original work or a compilation of previously published works, what is the website where you found the book . . .  All of these questions need to be addressed.  Good luck

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Intellectual Property
The legal system recognizes the rights of people and companies that invent and create unique works, granting them ownership of those tangible and intangible assets through a number of intellectual property laws. Intellection property, or IP, includes patents, trademarks, copyright, trade dress and trade secrets. Intellectual property attorneys work with businesses and individuals (including inventors, writers, composers, artists and designers) to help protect these intellectual assets. IP lawyers and law firms can assist with taking initial steps to protect assets, while also working with clients to license items and to protect assets that are plagiarized, infringed and/or misappropriated.
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