Sunday, 26 October, 2014 - 08:51
Characters As Protectable Assets Do Not Survive Copyright Termination
Co-author Gerald M. Levine Characters as protectable assets do not survive copyright termination of the works in which they appear even though they may continue to live on in works that continue in copyright. All works published prior to January 1, 1923 are in the public domain, a vast repository of cultural wealth available for […]
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Wednesday, 11 June, 2014 - 13:09
Responding to Copyright Infringement
Co-author, Gerald M. Levine Plaintiff in the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent 6-3 decision in Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc., decided on May 19, 2014, waited 18 years to bring suit. The majority held that laches cannot be invoked as a bar to pursuing a claim for infringement damages brought within a backward-looking three-year statute of limitations […]
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Monday, 4 November, 2013 - 21:13
Internet Subscription Libraries
Co-author, Gerald M. Levine New Internet subscription libraries are offering to “lend” digital books based on subscription models that brick and mortar lending libraries in England invented in the 19th Century. For $X dollars per time period subscribers gain access to vast collections of backlist and self-published books at less cost and with none of […]
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Wednesday, 10 April, 2013 - 11:40
Terminating Exclusive Licenses
Co-author, Gerald M. Levine Terminating exclusive licenses after the passage of time is a statutory right. The Copyright Act of 1976 decrees that the author shall have a right exercisable only once for each separate literary work under exclusive license and for a brief window of time after 35 years from the date of a […]
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Sunday, 31 March, 2013 - 11:44
A Time of Change in Book Publishing Models
C0-author Gerald M. Levine The publishing world is in a time of change. A vortex of change for book publishing models. There has been a steady flow of news reports, court filings by the Department of Justice, judicial decisions followed by settlements, merger announcements, controversial contract terms for new digital imprints and much more besides. […]
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Friday, 15 February, 2013 - 09:03
Authors and Domain Names
Co-author, Gerald M. Levine Productive authors increase in status and over time become recognized by the general public as the source of their literary works. At the beginning of a career authors simply start out as names. They become brands when readers recognize them as sources for goods and services in a trademark sense. Names […]
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Friday, 16 November, 2012 - 08:05
Author’s Right to Compensation for Intellectual Production
Co-author, Gerald M. Levine An author’s income generally comes from royalties and licensing revenues for works which are protected by copyright. He has a right to compensation for intellectual production. Section 102(a) of the U.S. Copyright Act states that “original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression” are protected by copyright. By […]
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Friday, 14 September, 2012 - 08:51
Wariness in Granting Rights to Aggregators
Originally published as a Guest Blog on Writer Beware® September 7, 2012 Co-author, Gerald M. Levine There is a reason for authors to be wary in granting permission for their blogs to be published by aggregaters. Authors create the content blog aggregators need for their web collections. Each gains in different ways. For the aggregator, […]
Tuesday, 4 September, 2012 - 18:07
Consequences of an Unsatisfactory Manuscript
Co-author, Gerald M. Levine The traditional publishing process begins with an editor’s enthusiastic response to an author’s outline, proposal, and sample chapter, followed by an offer and contract from the publisher. Once the contract is signed the focus shifts to the quality of the final manuscript. The publishing contract includes a “d...
Thursday, 23 August, 2012 - 08:17
Exclusive Rights for Exploiting Literary Works
Co-author, Gerald M. Levine Publishers expect and demand exclusive rights for exploiting literary works. When lawyers talk about “standard” clauses and courts refer to publishing contracts as “standard agreements” it is not to suggest that there is a standard form such as we expect for certain real estate transactions. What we mean by “standard” is […]
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Tuesday, 10 April, 2012 - 04:57
Paying Authors for Their Work
Co-author Gerad M. Levine Whether money is the motive for writing – “[n]o man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money” (Samuel Johnson) – or only one of the rewards for those lonely hours of composition, how does the author get paid? Before she reaches the “royalties” clause in her publishing contract she has […]
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Thursday, 29 March, 2012 - 16:25
Ownership of Work Included in a Compilation
To have a work included in a compilation is a goal eagerly sought after by authors. It is a distinction for a story or article to appear in an anthology. What should the author be alert to? The question comes up in discussing digital aggregation of compilations in the context of authors’ rights under the Copyright Act. The answer is found in sections 103 and 201(c) of the Copyright Act as construed in decisions from the United States Court of Appeals for the...
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