Yearbook Law: A Student Press Law Center project


STEP ONE: Have staff members license their works to the yearbook. We’ve written a contract that yearbook staff members (editors, designers, writers and photographers alike) should sign. It gives the publication the exclusive right to publish staff contributions for three months, and the exclusive right to publish the works together for as long as the copyright lasts. This gives the yearbook editors the right to sue anyone who distributes copies of the book (electronic or otherwise) without their permission.


STEP TWO: Print this notice in the front of your book to warn potential infringers. The best way to avoid having someone steal your work is to warn them that you’ll sue if they do. Incorporate this paragraph into your book to put everyone on notice that you intend to defend your rights.


STEP THREE: Follow these directions to register the copyright in your yearbook. Registering a copyright makes it easier to defend later, and it only costs $35 — likely less than a single copy of your book. The editor in chief (or someone else selected by the yearbook editors) should follow these steps to copyright their yearbook.