AT ISSUE: Managing Authors’ Rights

We help authors understand and manage the rights necessary to make their works broadly available now and in the future. Copyright is a complicated subject, to say the least—and most authors would rather be writing than combing through statutes or unpacking contract terms.

Fortunately, our tools and resources help authors understand and apply key concepts like rights reversion, fair use, and termination of transfer. At all stages of their writing careers, authors can take steps to protect their rights and ensure that their works are shared in the ways that they want.

For example:

  • Rights management comes into play even before a publication contract is signed. Our forthcoming publication contract resources will help authors to get past the boilerplate and negotiate for more author-friendly terms.
  • Fair use is an important exception to copyright law that allows creators to use copyrighted material in certain circumstances. Our fair use resources help authors make informed decisions about fair uses in their works.
  • Open access publishing, where works are made freely available, often with additional reuse rights granted to the public, is an increasingly available and popular option for authors wanting to reach the broadest possible audience. Our open access resources answer authors’ questions about what open access would mean for their work and explain how to make works openly accessible.
  • After a work is published, authors may be able to regain rights to their work if certain contractual conditions are met, and may even be able to negotiate for reversion in the absence of a contractual right. Our rights reversion resources walk authors through the process of working with their publisher to regain rights.
  • Even without a specific contractual right to reversion, some authors may still be able to regain rights to previously published works thanks to termination of transfer—a powerful statutory protection. Our termination of transfer resources help authors assess whether they might be eligible to exercise this right.

Issues for Authors

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We help authors understand and manage the rights necessary to make their works broadly available now and in the future.

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We provide education and advocacy for sound policies that help authors create their works, make them accessible to the public, and ensure their preservation.

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We help authors identify online platforms, journals, libraries, and other tools, techniques, and partners that can help them communicate with their audiences.

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We work to ensure that authors can make their contributions to knowledge and culture widely available without sacrificing their interests in reputation and integrity.

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