FAQs On Copyright, Plagiarism And Other Legal Topics

You don’t need to copyright your book — you are legally protected by publishing it.

I am not a lawyer, so if you need official advice on anything related to this subject, I highly recommend doing your own research and referring to a professional. However, I can offer some thoughts based on what I've seen other authors do.

In Short: Don't Worry Much About This

If you’re not taking original terms or stories directly from someone else’s creation … you shouldn’t have to worry about plagiarism. The same goes for copyright. As long as you aren’t using a term that someone created and copyrighted themselves, you won’t have to worry about copyright issues. 

Writing about a common topic in your own words is perfectly legal. That’s the main point of the Accelerator — and if you’re not copying things from people, there isn’t much of a problem.

If your perspective is unique and you’re not plagiarizing the author, then you have nothing to worry about. Just follow the program, fill out your Book Compass with unique elements, and use this book as a “buddy” or “nemesis” (talk about the same concept in your own unique way).

In fact, it’s actually a great sign if a similar book to yours is out there. It means that there is proven demand for your topic — and plenty of people who have read the other book, and want a new or additional perspective (like yours!).

Focus on following the Punchy framework and exercises and you’ll do great!

When worrying about copyright conflicts with titles, it is quite common to adapt another title into an original one by playing with the words — like the book The War of Art vs. The Art of War. This is not an issue.

Advice: Never copy anyone’s original terms, or copy text from someone else’s book or creation. You can of course reference terms or quotes. But always quote the person or say something like “In the book, Title by “Author,” “Author” describes her “XYZ Principle”.

Some people have asked about time limits on copyrights. I am not a legal professional or copyright expert, but I can point you to this article that explains when work enters the public domain:

What if someone else has a domain name or social media account that conflicts with my book?

Generally speaking, I would not worry about domain names or social media accounts being a copyright conflict with your book title. Unless a company has specifically paid to register a copyright, there should be no issue. You can find searchable copyright databases via Google. If there are any doubts after doing your research, please defer to the advice of a legal professional. 

How do I report plagiarism of my book?

This is a very rare occurrence, but of course it could happen.

If somebody is plagiarizing your work on Amazon, make sure to report it via this link.

Amazon is very anti-plagiarism and should be able to help you. It is illegal to publish someone else’s work, and it should be removed if that is the case.

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