get to know more about copyright, publishing and digital piracy

Learn how Copyright works to protect the intellectual property rights of authors. What is it? Why does it matter? And how does it affect you as a reader?

Protecting the rights of authors

Put simply, Copyright is a form of legal protection supported by law: it gives an author the right to control how their material is used. Anything you wish to do with a free or purchased ebook, other than read it, requires the author's written permission; via personal correspondence or a printed statement within the book. This also applies to images, music and video you may download online, so you must be very careful what you do with material created by someone else. In this article we will refer specifically to digital books.

man at computer engaged in digital piracy

If you copy and publish Copyright-protected text, images or files without permission, you are actually committing a crime, and can be personally prosecuted in a court of law. Copyright is automatic: it belongs to the author as soon as a work is created. There is no legal requirement to register, although an author may register their work voluntarily via the Copyright Office in the United States for public filing. E-books will usually have a Copyright Notice: the © copyright symbol (a letter C in inside a circle) alongside the author's name and the year the work was created; although this is not strictly required because a book is still protected without a notice of Copyright. 

Copyright as we know it today is based on the Berne Convention: an international agreement to protect literary and artistic work, which was drawn up and accepted in 1886. As a general rule, in the U.K. and Europe, Copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. In the U.S. however, books published before 1922 are now in the Public Domain (see below) along with others created in later years prior to 1976. Further reading: U.S. Copyright Law and from Cornell University: Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States

At obooko we support, abide by and comply with Copyright legislation, so you can be confident the books you download from this site are distributed legally. Obooko does not accept posting of books by the general public.

Writing about and providing a link from your blog, website or social network to any page on

You break the law if you download a Copyright-protected ebook (with or without a Copyright notice) from obooko, upload the digital file to your server and make it available from your website/blog for direct download without permission from the author or publisher. It is also a serious offence to offer these ebooks for sale.

Distributing ebooks without permission, whether free or purchased, is illegal. It's known as Copyright Infringement or Digital Piracy. What's more, changing the cover or the author's name and passing a book off as your own is Plagiarism, also punishable by law. it is no different to illegally downloading music, software or movies, or copying and selling counterfeit dvds. Just because you can do it does not mean it is right. We will and do take legal proceedings against all cases of infringement associated with work listed on the Obooko website.

Usage Licences

You will find three licence types on obooko:

Standard Copyright
The majority of free e-books on obooko are Copyright protected works. Two of the major acts that offer legal protection of an author's intellectual property rights are the The Copyright Act of 1976 in the United States of America, and the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 in the United Kingdom. For other countries there are international treaties that will automatically protect literary and creative work. It will be prudent to familarise yourself with the laws of your own country. Under the Standard Copyright you must not copy or reproduce; alter; transmit; distribute free or for sale, any work without written permission from the Copyright holder.

Creative Commons
These ebooks are published under a specific licence, which is a set of conditions which may allow you to copy, share, remix and make derivative works. However, some of the author's legal rights as Copyright holder still apply and you must read and abide by the terms of the actual Creative Commons licence appearing inside each work. Please note that while the text of a book may be licensed this way, the book's cover art and any added illustrations or photographs may be protected separately by the creator/s under Copyright law. Assume nothing: always check.

Public Domain
These books have no restrictions. If no laws establish proprietary rights over a work to restrict its use by the public at large; typically when Copyright has lapsed or has deliberately been waived by the author, it is deemed to be in the Public Domain. However, while the text may be in the Public Domain, as with Creative Commons books, cover art and design features may be protected separately by standard Copyright. You must therefore ensure you contact the publisher if you wish to copy or distribute a specific Public Domain edition.

Ebooks on Obooko are 100% legal.

We are officially authorised distributors of the free books on this site, which means we have written permission (a licence) from the author to host and share their work globally.  Therefore we confirm that you may, with total confidence, legally download free ebooks from obooko for your personal use.

The e-books you download from obooko are strictly for your personal use. You are allowed to download, store, read and where stated, print (on a home printer) these e-books: no other rights are granted. But don't forget, you must never attempt to sell these books. The author owns the digital and printing rights to their work and is the ONLY person who has the right to appoint distributors or sell their books. 

© obooko publishing 2018. 

Share with friends ...