Copyright FAQs

    • Can I quote from another person’s work with or without permission?
    • Can I use other people’s pictures without permission?
    • Work in Public Domain
    • How can I get permission?
    • How will I get a copyright certificate?
    • How will I get a Library of Congress Number for my book?
    • Am I awarded automatic protection?


U.S. Copyright

    • If Copyright is automatic, why do I need to register for U.S. Copyright?
    • Do I have U.S. Copyright protection when I publish with MiTruth?
    • What is the difference between U.S. Copyright Protected and U.S. Copyright Registered?
    • How do I check for an author’s copyright protection if I want to use their work?

Copyright FAQs

Although MiTruth cannot offer detailed information about the legal system of the US and other world copyright protection, we are giving you some basic guidelines so that you can decide whether you need to speak to a legal professional about the issues of concern to you. Please do ensure that you seek professional advice regarding these matters if you believe that you need to.

Can I quote from another person’s work with or without permission?

The Fair Use provisions of the U.S. Copyright Law allows the use of copyright protected material. However, these provisions are simply guidelines. In specific circumstances, you need to contact a qualified legal practitioner.

There are four factors that show fair use:

  • Purpose and character of intended use, including potential gains for commercial or non-profit uses;
  • The nature of the original copyrighted work
  • Proportion of the intended use in relation to the whole material.
  • Potential effect on the value of the copyrighted material

Declaring and citing the source is not an alternative to getting permission. However, if in doubt, please contact a legal professional.

Can I use other people’s pictures without permission?

Pictures and photos cannot be used unless you took them yourself or unless they are in the public domain. Even if the picture is of you, you will require permission from the photographer.

Work in Public Domain

When the U.S. Copyright has expired or does not have proper stated notice, U.S. Copyright protection is non-existent and the works can be used without permission. Finding out if work is in the public domain can be difficult because of new versions of the older works that may be available, protection of these works in other countries and protection under alternative laws and regulations.

Prior to 1 January 1978, If a work was published without a copyright notice, the work could enter the public domain and will not have copyright protection. Any work that was in the public domain on January 1, 1978 remained in the public domain.

How can I get permission?

You need to contact the copyright holder and ask for written permission to use their material in your publication. This permission could be given free of charge or at a fee. If efforts to contact the owner prove fruitless, the works may be used, but ensure that evidences of attempted contacts are kept.  

How will I get a copyright certificate?

When you wrote your book, you are automatically asserted copyright ownership. Registering with the U.S. Copyright Office which records this ownership formally gives you the author a better recourse in the event of infringement.

Registering your work with the U.S. Copyright Office involves the payment of a fee, requires you to supply two copies of the best edition of your work.

Under our Additional Services, MiTruth can provide this service and register your book for extra protection, allowing you to sue and claim damages without having to prove that there has been any actual damage.

How will I get a Library of Congress Number for my book?

As an Additional service, MiTruth will register your work with the Library of Congress to obtain a Catalog number, and copies of your publication will be sent to the Library of Congress (This excludes books that are under 50 pages unless it is a children’s book).

Am I awarded automatic protection?

Yes. There is no requirement to file an application for copyright protection or even to place a copyright notice on a work. While automatic creation of copyright protection originated in the United States, registering your work simply helps to increase the protection of your work.