If I sign a contract and Barking Rain Press publishes my book, who owns the copyright?

According to copyright law, the author is the owner of the copyright of his/her own work; therefore, our author contracts state that Barking Rain Press will include a Copyright Notice identifying the author as the owner of the copyright in the manner that complies with the regulations of the US Copyright Act and the Universal Copyright Convention. By signing an author contract with us, you are only licensing the right for Barking Rain Press to publish, print, sell, market, and distribute your book.

Since the author owns the copyright, if the author wishes to register the copyright with the US Copyright Office, the author is responsible for filing out the paperwork and filing the necessary documentation (including payment of any fees and the costs of preparing printed and/or electronic documentation of the work as required by the US Copyright office). However, keep in mind that copyright law was recently amended by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which strengthened copyright protections in many ways. These days, almost all things are copyrighted the moment they are written, even if a copyright notice is not specifically stated and/or a Copyright filing is made with the US Copyright Office.

For more information, please read the excellent article on US Copyright law by Brad Templeton, 10 Big Myths About Copyright Explained. This article answers common myths about copyright, including publication and use of works on the Internet.



Posted in: Manuscript Submission FAQ