How to protect the copyright of CDs

Q: “How can I go about copy-protecting my CDs?”

A: Elizabeth Boepple:

“If anyone is interested in copy-protecting CDs (including preventing downloading to a hard drive or other removable media), I’ve learned it’s easy, and the software is free. The encoded CDs must be purchased from the software distributor, but their cost is insignificant compared to the cost of producing a print book. I also find their customer service and turn-around time from order to delivery to be excellent. (In this day of tech support in foreign countries spoken in barely intelligible folks of questionable competence, these folks not only gave me unlimited pre-sales time to describe the product, but talked me through my first time using the software (no, I’m not being paid for the endorsement).” [Read more…]

Should you create textbook ancillaries yourself?

Q: “Should you create ancillaries yourself?”

A: Michael Sullivan, author of 50-plus mathematics textbooks:

“In the first edition of your book and if you’re in an area where a solutions manual is typical, do it yourself. The pattern of a solutions manual must match the way they are done in the example. If this is not consistent, it will be confusing to the reader. In later editions, you can have someone else do it because you’ve created the model for how to do it.”

Who owns the copyright to coursepacks I create for my lecture?

Q: “My question concerns my coursepack for my lecture, which is sold at our college bookstore. I created it at my home office using my own computer. It contains my own original illustrations, graphics, and charts. I contend that this is my intellectual property while the bookstore has recently made an attempt to copyright all coursepacks in the name of my college. I am quite sure that my college is taking liberties that it has no right to legally. What is the best method for me to proceed to prevent the college from stealing my intellectual property?”

A: Steve Gillen, publishing-law lawyer:

“As a general rule, you have a copyright in any original work of expression prepared by you and that right vests automatically the instant your work is recorded in a tangible medium. Provided the illustrations, graphics and charts in your course pack were created by you and not copied or adapted from some other source, this default rule would vest ownership of the copyrights in you. An important exception to this default rule is known as the work-for-hire doctrine. [Read more…]