6 Copyright Page Disclaimers to Copy and Paste, and Giving Credit

by Joel Friedlander on January 16, 2010 · 42 comments

Last time I gave examples of long and short copyright pages that you can use in your book. Today I have two types of information you might want to add to your copyright page: disclaimers and credits. Let’s look at disclaimers first.

Examples of Disclaimers

The copyright page is the place publisher put disclaimers. Here’s my disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, and by presenting to you these sample disclaimers—all taken from published books—I am not suggesting you cut and paste them into your book. Only with the advice of a competent attorney can you decide which disclaimers your book may or may not need. Here are some disclaimers other publishers found useful, and the kinds of books they might logically be used in.

  • Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.
  • (memoir or recent history)

  • This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
  • (novels, short stories)

  • I have tried to recreate events, locales and conversations from my memories of them. In order to maintain their anonymity in some instances I have changed the names of individuals and places, I may have changed some identifying characteristics and details such as physical properties, occupations and places of residence.
  • (memoir, autobiography)

  • Although the author and publisher have made every effort to ensure that the information in this book was correct at press time, the author and publisher do not assume and hereby disclaim any liability to any party for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or any other cause.
  • (advice, how-to)

  • This book is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians. The reader should regularly consult a physician in matters relating to his/her health and particularly with respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention.
  • (health, alternative healing)

  • The information in this book is meant to supplement, not replace, proper (name your sport) training. Like any sport involving speed, equipment, balance and environmental factors, (this sport) poses some inherent risk. The authors and publisher advise readers to take full responsibility for their safety and know their limits. Before practicing the skills described in this book, be sure that your equipment is well maintained, and do not take risks beyond your level of experience, aptitude, training, and comfort level.
  • (sports, training)

Give Credit Where Credit Is Due

The last use of the copyright page is to give credit to the people who contributed to the making of the book. Most books today do not use a colophon, so if the publisher is going to credit the editor, designer, or others, this is the place to do it. Here are some examples:

Cover Illustration Copyright © 2010 by Road Runner
Cover design by Augustus Smith, BookFondlers, Inc.
Book design and production by John Do, www.dobookdesigns.com
Editing by EditGnome
Chapter opening illustrations © 2010 Joanne Sargeant
Author photograph by Eliza Emulsion
Poetry of Dev Nadev used by permission of the Dev Nadev Foundation.

This rounds up the elements of the copyright page that most self-publishers will need in their books. If you have specific questions about how to set up your copyright page, please put them in the comments.

Self-Publisher's-Quick-Easy-Guide-CopyrightWant to know more about copyright? Need some sample copyright pages to drop into your book? Confused about the things you read online about copyright? Check out this 30-page easy-to-read guide. Click The Self-Publisher’s Quick & Easy Guide to Copyright for more info, or Buy Now as PDF or Kindle.

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    { 36 comments… read them below or add one }

    Christy Pinheiro January 16, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Great sample disclaimers, Joel.

    Have you considered putting all these great blog posts together as a book? It would be such a handy reference.

    I noticed that Joshua Tallent released a book on CreateSpace about Kindle Formatting and it’s already a huge hit. He released it about 2 months after he formatted my book about publishing with CreateSpace. I hope my book helped him set it up and publish it :).

    Reply

    Joel January 17, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Christy, thanks. Interesting about Joshua. I’m actually collecting a lot of these posts to publish in an ebook, and plan to have it out in February. And I bet your book did help him get his together!

    Reply

    Michael N. Marcus January 21, 2010 at 2:53 am

    That’s an excellent collection. I’ve seen a few books that have disclaimers followed by something like: “If you won’t accept these conditions, please return the book to the publisher for a prompt refund.”

    I don’t want to be expected to give refunds, so in my how-to books I say: “If you won’t accept these conditions, please stop reading now.”

    Michael N. Marcus
    – president of the Independent Self-Publishers Alliance, http://www.independentselfpublishers.org
    – author of “Become a Real Self-Publisher: Don’t be a Victim of a Vanity Press,” http://www.amazon.com/dp/0981661742
    – author of “Stories I’d Tell My Children (but maybe not until they’re adults),” coming 4/1/10. http://www.silversandsbooks.com/storiesbookinfo.html
    http://BookMakingBlog.blogspot.com
    http://www.SilverSandsBooks.com

    Reply

    Joel January 26, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Hey Michael, I love your solution, thanks for that. Some of these disclaimers really make me laugh, but you know those legal departments are hard at work coming up with new ways to avoid liability. (Sorry for the delay posting your comment, I think all the links send it to my spam filter! I’ll watch out for those more closely.)

    Reply

    JRVogt August 10, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Fiction Copyright Disclaimers

    - I made it all up! C’mon, get with the program!

    - If you need more help in discerning fiction from reality, I can recommend a good therapist.

    - This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. (Except for you, Martha. You know what you did. Live with your shame)

    - Names and identifying details have been changed just enough to protect me from technically violating the privacy of certain individuals. (No court summons for you, suckas!)

    Reply

    Barb September 4, 2013 at 8:34 am

    So funny – I love the Martha one. :)

    Reply

    Jo Dibblee October 14, 2013 at 10:33 am

    LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL

    Reply

    Anyonymous March 9, 2012 at 4:27 am

    Dear Joel, are we able to use these verbatim with your permission?

    Reply

    Joel Friedlander March 9, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Yes, absolutely. Just copy and paste them into your file, no credit needed.

    Reply

    Dee Whyte August 11, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Good information for which I thank you. What do you do in the case where you are asked to edit writings from a person who is dead? This person asked me in writing to do this for her before she died. Thanks.

    Reply

    Joel Friedlander August 14, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    You cannot publish works for which you don’t own reproduction rights. You might try getting in touch with the author’s heirs or estate to arrange a license to allow you to edit and publish the work.

    Reply

    Noreen Murphy October 16, 2012 at 3:22 am

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    I have written a book based on a true story for self publishing, like all books it is based on what life experience we have. I have changed the names etc and I have stated it was to be fiction. Of course in the entire world it will not make a difference but I live in a rural part of the county and I wonder even changing names etc can I be sued. Can I use a disclaimer and should I change me author name. Does any of this matter as the main character in the book is dead, in fact two of them and I have written proof of events.
    thanks Noreen Murphy

    Reply

    Michael N. Marcus October 16, 2012 at 6:12 am

    Noreen, I don’t mean to be unkind, but someone has to tell you this:

    A libel suit is the least of your problems. Based on your query, your English needs a lot of improvement before you are ready to write a book. I don’t know if English is not your native lasnguage or if your education was cut short, but I urge you to get some basic writing help before you try to write and publish a book.

    Michael N. Marcus
    http://www.bookmakingblog.blogspot.com
    http://www.SilverSandsBooks.com
    http://www.BookFur.com
    http://www.Facebook.com/SilverSandsBooks

    Reply

    Joel Friedlander October 16, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Noreen, if you are publishing the book as fiction I don’t anticipate you will have any problems, but if you are concerned for some reason not apparent in your comment here, consult with an intellectual property lawyer for a definitive answer.

    Reply

    Dennis Tucker November 17, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    Noreen,
    Don’t let any one discourage you from writing. Let no critic stop your creative processes, even if they pretend to be ‘helpful’. JRR Tolkien’s books were passed over for Pulitzer prizes because ‘critics’ deemed them to be of inferior writing quality. You feel to write for a reason, and so you should.

    Best of luck.

    Reply

    Noreen Murphy October 16, 2012 at 7:35 am

    Thanks Michael for your reply. I am sorry you did not understand my question or text. Anyhow I hope that I will get a reply.
    Regards

    Reply

    Norene Childs October 22, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Dear Joel,

    What a wonderful site and thank you for the work you do. I used to publish a niche newsletter/magazine for motorcycle riders from 1993-2007 – it was “closed’ in 2007 because of family medical issues. As with monthly publications, there are stiff space, time and money constraints that prevent many a written article and photos from making the cut for the month. I’ve decided to write a photojournal book of published and non-published articles/photography and attempt to use most of my work. I had writers, which I paid. Should I contact then to see if I can re-print their articles? Should I offer to pay them again?

    Also, there are a couple of companies I wanted to discuss in the book, but don’t know whether it will be copyright infringement to print their “patch” (which was also their logo) that was once for sale to the public. They had a website affiliated with it, which is defunct. So the company is out of business, however, the person is still around. Should I get permission?

    Also, there are a couple of companies that I want to give a space for their support through the years (they are still sending me useful stuff). Should I get their permission to put in a space for their company as well?

    Thanks again and I apologize for the long post. I’m a newbie to your site, just signed up today!

    Norene Childs

    Reply

    Qori December 29, 2012 at 5:10 am

    For OP, thank you very much, I am looking for disclaimer examples for my blog.

    Reply

    Commenter March 18, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Hi, I had a friend edit a bit on a manuscript I had for about 15 years, her help and encouragement helped me cross the “fifty yard line” and finish! Great – except that I said I might put written by A with ……B. Does a book credit weaken my copyright? She had about 2 percent input, did almost no work, no storyline change, we had no contract. I want to be fair but not undermine myself either. As a favor I also remarked I would add a dedication to a nephew of hers, out of kindness – because her encouragement was so crucial to me at the time. Thanks!

    Reply

    Joel Friedlander March 21, 2013 at 11:39 am

    It sounds like your friend’s contribution was largely editorial. Editors don’t usually get a “written by” credit, and have no part in the copyright ownership of the work. Acknowledging the contribution would be a graceful way to deal with this.

    Reply

    Merry March 19, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    What if I designed the cover (in Word) but someone (not a designer) who has more expertise reassembled it for me in photoshop–would I list his part somehow on the copyright page, or perhaps just in the acknowledgements?

    Reply

    Joel Friedlander March 21, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Merry, it would be gracious of you to acknowledge the help you received, and you can do that either in the Acknowledgments or on the copyright page in a note.

    Reply

    Merry March 21, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    Thanks. By the way, I’ve been searching to see if you have a post on Acknowledgments, do you? I’m trying hard not to include everyone and their dog in my list, but I’m also having trouble paring it down!

    Reply

    David Grenier July 31, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Brilliant! Thank you for sorting this out and providing easily copied material. My first book is almost done but finishing up all these little details is proving to be more complicated than I had hoped.

    Copyright page, DONE! Thank you!

    David

    Reply

    Melissa August 8, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Thank you!
    I’m finishing up a book today with all the details- and the disclaimer was one of the nitty-gritty details I have been avoiding. Thrilled to find this page- and your site. I’m subscribing to your site and looking forward to exploring more of it as I continue on my digital nomad journey :)

    Reply

    Leah August 17, 2013 at 2:20 am

    Very useful information, thank u very much.
    i want to write an autobiography so should i write the copyright page? if yes, how should i write it?

    Reply

    Brian August 22, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Good information, but it didn’t quite cover what I needed to know. I have written a book, a fictional Western, and in my book the main character meets up with Wild Bill Hickok and Bat Masterson. Their roles are very very minor, but how would I cover that in the disclaimer, the fact that a couple of the people in the book were real characters?

    Reply

    Barb September 4, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Joel, I am about ready to publish a book, and your posts have been so helpful. Every time I google what I need to learn, I find one of your posts! I haven’t done the ebook yet – am doing paperback version first – but I will look for your ebook on that when I do. (Noticed in one of the comments you were planning to write one.)

    I do have one question. I had my cover designed on fiverr.com with an illustration I purchased on istock. The design was just a basic cover so I had to have someone tweak it and put it into the full back cover, front cover set by someone on elance – not sure if I should list both of them? And if so, what do I call that second person? It seems like it would be easier to just list the illustrator, since I’m afraid of stepping on toes with two designers. (The extent of their design was adding the text to the illustration and the first one also added the background color.)

    Thanks so much for all your help and expertise!

    Reply

    SRP March 10, 2014 at 6:13 am

    Joel,
    Thank you for the advice on disclaimers. I am in an interesting predicament as I am writing a novel that is historical fiction (set in 1893-94). The parts that are not fiction include dates, times, places, historical events and 2 major characters. I am keeping those 2 names in order to root the story in the cultural and historical world in which it all transpires. How might I explain in a disclaimer that the whole story and all characters involved are fictitious except ________ and ________? Then also explain that the characters portrayed with those names are representative of the historical figures but are set in situations and amongst people who did not exist. Therefore artistic license has been exercised in much of their conversations and relationships as well.
    I don’t want the progenitors of these historical figures coming after me because in their eyes I misrepresented their great-great-grandfather.

    Thank you for your time and input,
    SRP

    Reply

    Joel Friedlander March 12, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    SRP, you should leave your comment here: Fair Use instead of on this post.

    Reply

    Amar May 7, 2014 at 10:28 am

    I hired an editor for a novel I am going to self-publish. The editor did a really good job, but I am not sure if she would want credit/to be associated with the work. And I am hesitant to ask what she would prefer because she may feel obligated to let me credit her in fear of offending me. I am not sure of the best way to handle this.

    Reply

    Alexander Wallace June 18, 2014 at 6:50 am

    How would you right a disclaimer at the end of a film claiming the work historical fiction?

    Reply

    Teo in Brazil June 19, 2014 at 8:17 am

    You are awesome Joel. I used 3 in a same book out of the 6 provided cause the book is about DO it Yourself, sport and health is also involved.
    Million thanks
    TEO

    Reply

    Jack D. Kammerer June 25, 2014 at 3:40 am

    Ran across this article while searching for and about disclaimers. Thank you for providing the examples and information.

    PS: Love the disclaimer for the disclaimers!

    Reply

    Eric D. Irizarry June 26, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Mr. Friedlander, thank you for this site. I plan to buy your book. I have a quick question that I hope you can help. I copied, change a little and pasted a disclaimer to my LinkedIn profile. I plan on producing more professional articles to post to my profile. It’s suppose to give more exposure to my profile. Every article will have a link to the disclaimer. My question is: Do I need to give credit for that disclaimer? I haven’t seen any one yet giving credit for a disclaimer, but I’m wondering if that’s the norm.

    Reply

    T Nagpal July 13, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    I have written a book – an autographical work – on my college life in the hostel. There are many incidents that have names and incidents pertaining to my college mates.
    1. In order to avoid/discourage any lawsuits, I wish to add a disclaimer. Can you suggest the language
    2. Do I need to change the names to imaginary names?

    Reply

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