Copyrights, book rights and other publishing legalities may be the province of legal teams and lawyers. But as a self-publisher or an indie writer, you need to understand the basics of copyright, book rights and how the law works with respect to book publishing.
Basic Copyright Information (U.K.)
Under U.K. copyright law, your self-published book comes under protection as soon as you put the pen to paper. The copyright is based on your creative authorship. Copyright is not based on any formal agreement with a publisher or a company.
However, Copyright Registration gives a higher level of protection to your work. If a self-publisher registers her work with the U.K. Copyright office, a public record of authorship is created. Even though a self-publisher is protected from the moment she starts writing, it is important that your work is registered with the Copyright Office. This makes sure that you are officially recognized as the copyright holder in a court of law.
Mark your book with the copyright symbol (©) followed by your name and the year the work was created. This clearly marks your work as copyright protected.
For further details of the copyright law in U.K., check this link.
When negotiating and signing the contract regarding your book rights (translation rights, film rights etc), step very, very carefully. Make sure to read and understand every little detail of the contract. If you don’t have a literary agent to guide you, consult a lawyer when necessary. (And add the legal cost when accounting for the total cost of your self-publishing project.)
Legal deposit (U.K.)
Legal deposit has existed in English law since 1662. This law helps in systematic collection and preservation of the country’s published output, which is also considered its intellectual record and literary heritage.
In U.K.., all publishing firms and self-publishers are legally bound to send a copy of their work to the Legal Deposit Office, within one month of first publication. This material is available for readers within the designated legal deposit libraries.
The Legal Deposit Office is situated at The British Library office in Wetherby, West Yorkshire. For further information, visit http://www.bl.uk/aboutus/legaldeposit/