How to protect yourself against others stealing your nonfiction book with Nuzayra Haque - Ep. #36

author copyrights ip legal nonfiction podcast trademarks Feb 08, 2022


Writing and publishing a nonfiction book might be one of your most powerful marketing strategies if your own a teaching or speaking business.

The book can easily become your key asset for years to come. But how do you protect this amazing new intellectual property of yours? 

In this interview with Nuzayra Haque, a US attorney specialising in legal matters for course creators, we dive into a number of aspects relevant to nonfiction authors. 




Key takeaways related to protecting your work

  1. There is international recognition of copyright but laws are territorial
  2. When your creative work is in a tangible format, copyrights are attained
  3. For the US, it's recommended that you register your copyright - and you need that in case you need to file a lawsuit later
  4. Register your copyright at
  5. Contributors to your book must be accredited if you don't have any written agreement saying otherwise 
  6. Protect your copyright (and full access to royalties) requiring a copyright transfer agreement from all contributors to your book (translation, cover design, layout, editor, etc. )
  7. If you hire freelancers on a 3rd party platform, check the transfer is included in the platform terms of use (they are included on
  8. Provide copyright notice on your copyright page (colophon) in the book, adding the c-symbol and year

Key takeaways related to not violating other peoples copyrights

  1. Always give credit when you use or reference other peoples work
  2. Exclude their contribution when you submit your application to copyright your book
  3. Reach out to get permission from the original source whenever possible
  4. If you need permission depends on the amount of work you are using
  5. Asking for permission can lead to great business opportunities
  6. Copyright infringement can lead to close down of your KDP account
  7. When interviewing people for research and want to quote them, get a written contract in which they waive their rights to part of your royalties and give you permission to use the material both in your book and in your book promotion

Also in this episode

  1. Understand timing issues, ie how to involve your audience as part of a prelaunch without exposing your work to too much risk
  2. Whether you can/should submit one or separate applications for your book and course if they share name or content
  3. What exactly is protected when you register your book
  4. What can and cannot be trademarked and protected as a brand
  5. When patents can be obtained
  6. When you need to update your application for your digital products
  7. How to protect your work within your own team

Listen to this episode of the podcast for more legal aspects of running an online course business. 

Nuzayra Haque is a virtual attorney based out of Los Angeles, California. Nuzayra counsels U.S. and international clients on obtaining and protecting trademarks and copyrights, branding strategies, IP portfolio management, trade secrets, data protection, GDPR and U.S privacy law compliance and other commercial matters.



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