It can be hard to push out a story that not only tells a story worth telling, but with enough content to put a price tag on. Whether its a short story or a novel, your personal creations could be just a first exercise or a passing fancy to you, but a breath of fresh air to a world of potential readers--some who may want to make a dime on your work without giving you a cut. Before allowing any of your work to roam the internet without your name on it somewhere, here's a look at what's at stake and how you can protect your best interests.
Intellectual Theft Isn't Sharing
Not all authors want to make millions by releasing a book with their name on it. For some, releasing a prototype book or short story to get their name in the world or just to have fun is enough. Unfortunately, even if you want to give your information to the world, someone could cut your sharing short.
Anonymous attributions can become part of someone's copyrighted collection, and loosely-published tales can become the building blocks for a popular new movie. In a perfect world, you could either ask for royalties with only negotiations to worry about or be happy that your work is getting greater treatment at no cost to you.
In the real world, your own work could come back to bite you. If you planned on giving the world a free book, someone could ruin your gift and charge money while quietly erasing evidence of your publishing. It may happen years from now when you've forgotten about the work, or a few days from now in a foreign language market.
Whether you're out to make money, promote your name, or just spread your ideas to the world, even a free gift needs to have proper protection.
Getting Legal Assistance For Distribution And Free Product Control
You'll never know what the future holds for you. Releasing a free book now is a great way to promote yourself, but what if the idea really takes off and you want to make some money on the original work? It's unfair--but not impossible--to crack down on the free copy, but focus on a second way to get things done.
Editing the first release and creating a new edition can be a high-demand item among fans. People will still flock to the free version, but if you add more information and make some subtle changes--not enough for people to reject the new copy in favor of the character of the original--you can make new sales.
People who have copies of the free edition may have the same idea. To stop them from trying to print and sell new editions as well, an entertainment lawyer is necessary to explore your options. Online distribution is difficult in the underworld of the internet, but it's much easier to track down cash flow for a tangible product.
Even if you're selling e-books, tracking down customers who can't figure out how to get a book for free, but instead purchase illegal copies can be an easy way to track down those who want to make money from your work.
Contact a team of entertainment lawyers,like Sauro & Bergstrom, PLLC, to discuss your writing rights for now and the future, and to discuss investigations in the changing world of internet distribution.