Intellectual Property Law
Intellectual Property Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer
Hello there --
Pursuant to changes made to the US Copyright Act of 1979, you do not have to formally register a copyright on your work before publishing it and you still have the same protections as if you had registered it with the US patent and trademark offices. You are perfectly within your rights to rewrite the portions of the book written by your friend because the Copyright protections that you receive will not protect you from a lawsuit if she chooses to file one claiming that part of the work is hers (copyright laws only protect you from people copying your work and using or publishing it without your permission). My suggestion here is that you keep copies of what she wrote and changes that you made before trying to publish the book so that you can easily demonstrate the changes that you have made to the book before it was published and that will give you protection in the event she tries to sue you if your book is published and successful. Good Luck !!
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