Who owns the copyright to my content?

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You’ve made your book and hit the publish button, when suddenly it hits you: What comes next? What happens to all your stories, photos, recipes, and other original material in your book once it’s all published in a Blurb book?

That’s entirely up to you. You might opt to put your book in Blurb’s public bookstore, and offer a preview of the first few pages of your book – but then again, you might not. Your book is private until you say otherwise.

So what happens if someone sees your book in the Blurb Bookstore, and wants to make a major motion picture of it? First of all: Wow. Secondly: Go right ahead. All the original material you dreamed up and put in your Blurb book belongs to you once it’s published, as explained in Blurb’s Terms and Conditions. You can do whatever you want with all your own original material in your book – you can blog it, publish it elsewhere, make bobble-head dolls, spin off a sitcom, you name it.

Now you’ll probably notice on the copyright page of your published book that it says, “Portions of this book may be copyright Blurb.com,” but that’s only there to cover any of Blurb’s own original illustrations, content, and designs used in your book. This is your standard self-evident legalese, like “Caution: Coffee may be hot.”

Really, we expect you to take full credit for your own bookish brilliance, and reap all the rewards. All we ask is a mention in your awards speeches. That, and maybe a seat next to Jack Nicholson, if you can swing it.

– Alison

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  1. That’s all fine and good, but your TOS makes it sound like Blurb can do anything it wants to with the content I’ve uploaded. From the TOS: “(b) an unrestricted, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, fully-paid and royalty free license (with the right to sublicense through unlimited levels of sublicensees) to publicly display, create derivative works of, and otherwise use in any and all media (now known or later developed) throughout the world any other Content that you post to the Service.”

    So, even if I don’t want my stuff to go out to the world, it sounds like I’m giving up the right to keep it private. Am I right?

    By Will
      December 3, 2006 – 6:14 pm   Permalink
  2. Hi Will – Section (“b”) refers to any other content that is not Book Content. So, that license applies to anything posted to forums, blogs, etc. If you are concerned about privacy, you shouldn’t post anything to the site, and you should mark your books (“Book Content”) as private. Hope this helps. Thanks for your question.

    By Kathy
      December 5, 2006 – 11:30 am   Permalink
  3. The Blurb logo cannot be replaced except for a higher price. What about the Blurb copyright info? In BookSmart I can remove it, but what about on the finished product? Will it say “Portions of this book may be copyright Blurb.com,” or will it have the much longer boilerplate that comes with the BookSmart copyright page template? Do I have control over what the wording is? How about the typesize?

    By Chris
      April 25, 2007 – 11:13 pm   Permalink
  4. Hi Chris – Doesn\’t look like you\’ve given BookSmart a spin yet, so I encourage you to poke around the program. The copyright area can be edited at any time. What you see in your BookSmart preview is exactly what will be printed. Edit away!

    By Kathy
      April 26, 2007 – 8:52 am   Permalink
  5. Hi Kathy, What if I remove the copyright page and replace page 2 with a photo or text page – will the Blurb logo still appear on page 2?

    By Britt
      May 4, 2007 – 2:45 am   Permalink
  6. Hi Britt – Whatever you see in preview mode on your screen is what you’ll get in the printed book. If you’ve replaced that page with something else, be it an image or text page, that’s what will print.

    By Kathy
      May 4, 2007 – 7:14 am   Permalink

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