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Ask Legalease Your Own Question
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 16367
Experience:  15 years exp all aspects of general law
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I've written a book with a friend, who has now severed ties.

Customer Question

I've written a book with a friend, who has now severed ties. Since she only wrote 6% of this work, I want to re-write her parts and copyright it myself. Question 1: I've read both that I can do that now and that a book must be published before it can be copyrighted. Which?
JA: Do you have a registration record?
Customer: Since I don't know what that is, I'd say no.
JA: Have you talked to a local attorney? Has anything been filed in court?
Customer: Like what? I have had no contact from her.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Sorry, but how would I know?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  Legalease replied 8 months ago.

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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