E-Rights: Tasini Revisited

January 2001
by Lloyd L. Rich

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Lloyd RichLloyd L. Rich (photo right) is an attorney practicing publishing, cyberspace, and intellectual property law. He can be reached at 303/388-0291 or rich@sni.net. His website is http://www.publaw.com.

During the past few years, electronic rights or “e-rights” have significantly increased in importance to everyone involved in the publishing community. Today one cannot read an industry publication, attend a conference, or engage in a lengthy discussion with another publishing professional without encountering e-rights publishing. Authors, agents, and (book, e-book and print-on-demand) publishers are involved in a struggle to stake out the scope of their e-rights territory.

E-rights have provided significant opportunities for new and expanded revenue streams for the traditional printed word. Some of these new opportunities include the following. Authors who have been unable to have their work published by a book publisher now have the ability to have their work originally published by an electronic publisher or print-on-demand publisher. Agents are working with authors to resurrect their “out-of-print” titles by republishing them as e-books or through print-on-demand publishers. Book publishers have realized that the licensing of e-rights to an electronic publisher should be viewed as publishing the work in another format, as for example the licensing of paperback rights.

E-book publishers are actively acquiring e-rights from book publishers and authors as well as signing authors to publishing contracts that provide for the first publication of an author’s work in digital format. E-book publishers include…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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