Registering a new or an unpublished work is crucial to protect it by copyright, to avoid plagiarism and third-party use of texts, images, quotes, academic articles, monographs, and other projects involving copyrights. It is important for the author to feel that their work is safe and protected, principally nowadays, when a lot of books and magazines spread quickly and freely on the internet, without any control by the author.
As the author of a book (O Menino Duplicado – The Duplicated Boy), product of a 6-month research project developed at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, I understood the importance of registering, especially due to the great spreading and sharing of the work in many different platforms and locations (congresses, symposiums, the internet, mobile applications, digital and printed books). Even though a lot of these projects are still in progress, I felt the importance of protecting my work to avoid future troubles.
There are some other registering tutorials on the Internet, but I believe it may be helpful to share with you my experience in registering texts and illustrations simultaneously; especially for authors that do both: write and illustrate books.
I chose to register the book at Fundação Biblioteca Nacional, which has a copyright office inside (Escritório de Direitos Autorais) and registers a range of text contents, songs and illustrations.
On the Biblioteca Nacional website, there is a list of the required documents for individual or legal entities to register some work. For individual entities, the mandatory documents are: a copy of the work (numbered and initialed), the original proof of payment of the bank ticket (GRU), a copy of your ID card and and a copy of your proof of residence. Next, I will describe the entire process to request the register of my book and also present some useful links I consulted.
Steps to register a book (individual entities):
1. First, you have to make sure your text is completely concluded and reviewed: no typos or grammar mistakes. Even if the work is original, it is important to ensure the content most closely resembles the final version, that is, the one that will be published.
2. Create your text document with pagination on every page. On the first page, insert the book title and your personal details: Name, Individual Taxpayer Registration Number (CPF), ID, City, State, Year (Suggested by Karen Soarele).
2.1. There is no need to diagram your text and there is no specific rule to organize the content. I organized mine using the information provided by Karen Soarele: text on Times New Roman, font-size 12pt, leading 1pt.
2.2. If you cannot print the text, check if it is possible to hand it in with legible handwriting content.
2.3. Submit your work in single sheets. Do not staple them.
3. After numbering every page, write your initials in ALL of them. Remember this!
4. Print and fill out the form (Formulário de Requerimento de Registro ou Averbação.) A great guide to help you fill out the form can be found here! If you are not sure about when you will request the register, fill everything out, sign it, and insert the date only when you are certain.
In the field ‘vínculo com a obra’ (relationship with the content), as the author and illustrator of the book, I selected both options: author and illustrator. In the form, it is also possible to insert three distinct members of a team in the same requirement.
5.1. After checking the register fee applied, generate the bank ticket (GRU), by filling in the fields: name, ID and fee. The GRU can be paid in any Banco do Brasil agency (exclusively).
I must confess that moment put me in doubt because I would register text and image, and I imagined I would have to pay R$60 extra to register colored images (besides the R$20 fee for individual entities). I decided to phone Biblioteca Nacional and they told me I could place text and image on a single document and pay only the R$20 fee.
The fee to register drawings, characters and/or images is only required if the applicant wants to register a very specific character. In my case, I registered a series of 16 poems, a glossary and some illustrations. I placed each poem on a single sheet, respecting the sequence of the story. Then I added the glossary and, finally, the illustrations, about two per page, at the end of the document; again, respecting the sequence of the story. I chose to place them at the end to keep the sequence of the text and also to facilitate the information division for registering.
5.2. Staple the proof of payment of the bank ticket to the invoice.
6. After collecting all required documents (printed work numbered and initialized, original proof of payment – GRU, the filled form – Formulário de Requerimento de Registro ou Averbação, and the copies of your ID, Individual Taxpayer Registration Number (CPF), and proof of residence), go to the Escritório de Direitos Autorais (FBN) or to one of the state offices of Biblioteca Nacional with your original ID and submit your register request. You can also do it in a Post Office, preferably via certified mail.
The shipping address is:
Escritório de Direitos Autorais (FBN)
Rua da Imprensa, nº.16, 12º. Andar, Castelo.
Rio de Janeiro/ RJ, CEP: 20030-120.
If you live in Rio de Janeiro and intend to submit the documents in person, the opening hours are from Monday to Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To contact them in order to clarify any doubt, call (21) 2220-0039 or (21) 2262-0017, or send them an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you live in another city or state, you can refer to the list of all the offices in Brazil, where it is also possible to request the register in person. If there is no place near your house or work, try sending the documents via Post Office to the shipping address given above.
Illustrators can also register images and visual arts at the UFRJ’s Escola de Belas Artes (EBA), by paying a R$120,00 fee. Besides illustrations, it is also possible to register photographs, design and visual identities. For more information, check out their website.
After requesting the register in person, they will give you a proof of registering request containing the title of your work, your name, the paid fee and the date.
If everything turns out all right, in about 90 days from the request date, you will receive the register certificate – Certificado de Registro ou Averbação in your residence. If there is anything to be solved, they will contact you to regularize the status.
If you have any questions, please contact me via email. It will be a pleasure to answer them.
Update – December 07th, 2015
I received my register certificate – Certificado de Registro ou Averbação in less than a month, so I believe the 90-day deadline is not rigid, and your certificate might take less than that to arrive too.