Question on Copyright Dates


I know this is probably dumb, but I’d rather ask a dumb question than make a dumb mistake. As you know from my Summer Magic cover post, I’m getting ready to put this collection of poetry out in printed form. It’s been an eBook since 2013. Do I use that as the copyright date for the print book, too, or does it get its own? Seems to me, the material was copyrighted in 2013, and that should be the date, forever, but just in case . . . ?? Anyone? It IS going to be slightly expanded (one or two more poems added, and some bonus material from other books of mine), and that will be done to the eBook, BEFORE I publish the print one.Β Does any of that make a difference?

17 thoughts on “Question on Copyright Dates

  1. Not sure about the legalities, but what I have done when I’ve updated the text of books is to put both copyright dates — (c) 2013, 2016 Kassandra Lamb

    I figure that way I’ve covered the earlier version, copies of which will still be out there on people’s e-readers, and also the new version.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know the legalities either but I’d agree that putting both dates is probably the safest option. That way you acknowledge that there are multiple editions with slightly different content, and know that both are covered. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • That sounds reasonable, but when you update an eBook, make changes, remove errors, update back material, author’s notes, etc, you don’t change the copyright date. At least, I don’t, and I never heard of anyone doing so. So I was thinking if I updated the eBook first, then formatted THAT for print, the one date would work. No?

      Kass, you mean you add both dates on the inside cover of your print book? I’m thinking I’ll call CreateSpace to be absolutely certain, but it seems like the earlier date would cover it all. I’m using their formatted template, so that might make a difference, too. Hmmm. It’s ALWAYS something, isn’t it?

      Thanks Kass and Callum for your input. Will let you know what CreateSpace says. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Gosh, Deb, I revise my ebooks all the time. If I find a missed error, if I decide to format the style slightly nicer, and most definitely, if I need to update back material to include new books, etc. I can’t imagine giving them a new copyright date each time I do that. (And I’ve read those are things you SHOULD be updating.)

    I just made major style changes to my print version of WRR, too, and added updated material to the back of every one of my print books. I spoke to CS more than once during the process, as I was having trouble with my files, and they never suggested I needed a new copyright. My thought was that you copyright your story as soon as you publish, and that early date is what protects you legally. BUT. I’m confused, now, which is why I was asking.

    Also, I’m getting feedback from other sources on various ways to handle this. It’s obvious to me, I need to call CreateSpace Monday and get them to tell me what THEY need me to do. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the input. Nice to hear what others have been doing, and what they think is likely the way to go. I’ll be posting back here as soon as I talk to CreateSpace.


    • Certainly you do not need a new copyright date for typo corrections, new back material, formatting changes, etc. I would think only if the meat of the book changes. Since you are adding new poems, the old copyright might not cover them. That’s why I’m suggesting using both dates, so all bases are covered. Doesn’t hurt to consult CreateSpace though.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Now that makes more sense, Kass. I was only planning to add one or two new poems, and some book excerpts. I might skip the new poems, and start compiling them for a new book. Any excerpts would be my own, already copyrighted material, so I should be good on that.

        Now, as to the PRINT version, I’m still not sure if I need a new copyright date for material that has been under my own copyright for more than three years. But to be absolutely certain, I’ll ask CreateSpace. I suspect, as you say, that even with the print version, if the internal files are the same, and already copyrighted, I’ll probably be good. But I’m only saying that because it makes sense to me, and as we all know, an awful lot of things in this world don’t make any sense at all. πŸ˜‰

        Will keep you guys posted, so if anyone has something like this come up in the future, they’ll know just what to do.


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