Rights Snafus: Ways to Keep Authors in Tune with Contract Provisions

May 2009
by Linda Carlson

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How can you protect the material you’ve published from missteps by authors who exercise rights that belong to you?

Jonathan Kirsch and Lloyd Rich, two attorneys who work often with IBPA members, recommend being vigilant about monitoring both authors’ activities and competitors’ products.

Especially if you’re a small publisher wearing several hats, or a larger firm with authors all over the globe, it may be hard to know whether authors are improperly reusing copyrighted material or contracting to write competing books for other publishers. Kirsch suggests setting up a Google Alert (google.com/alerts) for the name of each of your authors and the title of each of your books. As many publishers know, this electronic clip service provides “subscribers” with the URLs of the blogs of relatively large-circulation publications that have mentioned terms the subscribers specified.

Rich has an even simpler suggestion: “Communicate with your authors occasionally. Do more than simply send out royalty statements.”

Let’s look at rights-related problems IBPA members recently encountered when authors overstepped their authority—and at …IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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