Article Category - "Legal"

Independent Articles
Lloyd L. Rich, February 2003
Fair Use of Trademarks »

When is it permissible to use or write about a trademark without obtaining permission from the trademark owner? To make writing more realistic, can you use trademarks such “Ford,” “Hershey,” and “Beanie Baby” in your work without permission? Can a book that is either favorable to or critical of a company or a company’s product …

Tad Crawford & Kay Murray, January 2003
Taxes 101: Basic Guidelines for Self-Publishing Beginners – Part I »

“To produce an income tax return that has any depth to it, any feeling,” author Frank Sullivan quipped, “one must have Lived–and Suffered.” The suffering stems not only from the necessity of giving hard-earned money to the government, but also from the nature of dealing with tax regulations. Because tax policy is one of the …

Tad Crawford and Kay Murray, November 2002
Censorship: An Overview of What Government, Libraries, and Schools Can–and Can’t–Suppress »

This article is adapted from the newly revised Third Edition of “The Writer’s Legal Guide: An Authors Guild Desk Reference” by Tad Crawford and Kay Murray, available for $19.95 plus $5 shipping and handling (NY State residents must add sales tax). Order toll-free from 800/491-2808, by mail from Allworth Press, 10 East 23rd Street, New York, …

Jonathan Kirsch, October 2002
“Changed Market Conditions” Clause to the Rescue »

Jonathan Kirsch, a publishing attorney based in Los Angeles, is general counsel of the Independent Book Publishers Association and a recipient of its Benjamin Franklin Award for excellence in publishing. What is a publisher to do if a manuscript is delivered on time and in a publishable form but the publisher changes its mind about …

Ivan Hoffman, September 2002
Important Issues for Children’s Book Publishers »

PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 2002 by Ivan Hoffman, Publishing Attorney — Several issues are more significant for publishers of children’s books than for publishers of other kinds of titles, because children’s books have greater potential for merchandising, cartoons, multimedia products, and trademarking. These issues (like other issues) must be addressed in a thorough, written agreement since no …

Lloyd Jassin, August 2002
First Amendment Activities Update »

Lloyd J. Jassin is PMA’s First Amendment counsel, a vice president of the Media Coalition, and a publishing attorney. He is also coauthor of The Copyright Permission and Libel Handbook (John Wiley & Sons). To contact him, visit As a Vice President of the Media Coalition and your representative on the Media Coalition’s Board …

Robert Williams , July 2002
Resolving Publishing Disputes Outside the Courtroom »

The PMA Dispute Resolution Program that Philip Tamoush covered in the February 2002 Newsletter provides a way to avoid expensive and upsetting litigation. This is also the aim of the American Arbitration Association, which has developed Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) clauses that PMA members can use in contracts with their contractors. ADR techniques, such as …

Tad Crawford and Kay Murray, June 2002
Defamation Dangers »

This article is adapted from the Third Edition of The Writer’s Legal Guide: An Authors Guild Desk Reference by Tad Crawford and Kay Murray. Order toll-free from 800-491-2808 or online at The First Amendment to the United States Constitution holds that “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or the press,” and …

Linda Ligon, May 2002
The Perils of the Book-as-Baby Syndrome »

When I was small and ungrateful, my mother would quote to me from King Lear: “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child!” I would hiss at her, I was that bad. But what goes around comes around, and I’ve been coping recently with the painful experience of a seriously …

Tad Crawford and Kay Murray , May 2002
Don’t Run Afoul of Fair Use:
Guidelines on Quoting & Copying »

This article is adapted from the Third Edition of The Writer’s Legal Guide: An Authors Guild Desk Reference by Tad Crawford and Kay Murray. Order toll-free from 800-491-2808 or online at Although everyone who deals with intellectual property seems to have heard of “fair use,” misconceptions are rife about what the doctrine makes it “safe” …

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