Wednesday, July 22, 2015
What Constitutes "Publication" Under Copyright Law?
Your booklet would not be considered "published" under the Copyright Act if you distributed it to a limited group of people with restrictions -- for example, you asked people not to copy or distribute it (sometimes referred to as a “limited publication”). In any case, we're not sure it makes much difference. If you're concerned about your rights, you should register your current version (and in your application, indicate the current version is derived from the previous booklet). In the unlikely event someone has registered your booklet as their own, you can claim infringement and also seek to invalidate the registration. You can investigate registrations at the Copyright Office website (but keep in mind that registration takes approximately four to six months so bad actors may not show up right away).