UK law defines publication in section 175 CDPA 1988
, of which the following is an extract of the relevant part:
(1) In this Part â€œpublicationâ€, in relation to a workâ€”
- (a) means the issue of copies to the public, and
(b) includes, in the case of a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work, making it available to the public by means of an electronic retrieval system;
and related expressions shall be construed accordingly.
However note that subsection (5) excludes circumstances where too few coipes are released to the public to qualify as publication. Obviously this refers more to books etc printed on paper and not to the electronic publication, say on a webpage, where only one copy is required.
Where a work is first published is covered fairly comprehensively in section 15A
15A Meaning of country of origin.
- (1) For the purposes of the provisions of this Part relating to the duration of copyright the country of origin of a work shall be determined as follows.
(2) If the work is first published in a Berne Convention country and is not simultaneously published elsewhere, the country of origin is that country.
(3) If the work is first published simultaneously in two or more countries only one of which is a Berne Convention country, the country of origin is that country.
(4) If the work is first published simultaneously in two or more countries of which two or more are Berne Convention countries, thenâ€”
(5) If the work is unpublished or is first published in a country which is not a Berne Convention country (and is not simultaneously published in a Berne Convention country), the country of origin isâ€”
- (a) if any of those countries is an EEA state, the country of origin is that country; and
(b) if none of those countries is an EEA state, the country of origin is the Berne Convention country which grants the shorter or shortest period of copyright protection.
(6) In this sectionâ€”
- (a) if the work is a film and the maker of the film has his headquarters in, or is domiciled or resident in a Berne Convention country, that country;
(b) if the work isâ€”
- (i) a work of architecture constructed in a Berne Convention country, or
(ii) an artistic work incorporated in a building or other structure situated in a Berne Convention country,
(c) in any other case, the country of which the author of the work is a national.
- (a) a â€œBerne Convention countryâ€ means a country which is a party to any Act of the International Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works signed at Berne on 9th September 1886; and
(b) references to simultaneous publication are to publication within 30 days of first publication
In Australian law, publication is defined in section 29 of the Copyright Act 1968
and a person gains protection of their work under Australian law if they are a qualifed person:
"qualified person" means:
- (a) an Australian citizen or a person (other than a body corporate) resident in Australia; or
(b) a body corporate incorporated under a law of the Commonwealth or of a State.
That is slightly modified by Section 11 which says:
Residence in a country not affected by temporary absence
For the purposes of this Act, a person who, at a material time, was ordinarily resident in a country (including Australia) but was temporarily absent from that country shall be treated as if he or she had been resident in that country at that time.
All of the foregoing would apply to all parts of the published work as long as one of the joint authors (ie you) was a citizen/resident of the relevant country where first publication occurs. Obviously this pre-supposes that the elements of the book for which you are not the author have been used with permission or are in the public domain. If you publish within the UK or EU, those parts which are in the public domain but have not previously been published (anywhere) will be protected by publication right
, which will belong to you as the publisher.
As you can see, acts done before publication, such as layout and printing, are irrelevant as far as determining copyright protection is concerned.