Article Category - "Legal"

Independent Articles
Jonathan Kirsch, May 1999
Out-of-Print Clauses in the Print-on-Demand Era »

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. Editor’s Note: Beginning with this issue of the “PMA Newsletter,” Jonathan Kirsch, general counsel of PMA and a specialist in publishing law, will discuss recent …

Ivan Hoffman, B.A., J.D. , April 1999
The Cover Artist/Illustrator Contract »

PUBLISHED APRIL 1999 by Ivan Hoffman, Publishing Attorney — In what appears to be a frequently occurring situation, publishers seem to pay cover artists and illustrators to do work on the publisher’s books without having sufficient writing covering the issues about who owns the rights to the artist’s/illustrator’s work as well as other clauses. Or …

Lloyd J. Jassin, Esq., March 1999
New Rules for Using Public Domain Materials »

Late last year, the President signed into law the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act. Under this new law — which adds 20 years to most copyright terms — no new works will enter the public domain until 2019. Enacted to ensure adequate protection for US works abroad, the new act restricts access to works …

Lloyd J. Jassin, Esq., February 1999
PMA’s Commitment to Free Speech: First Amendment Highlights from the Past Year »

“Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…” –US Constitution, Amendment I By enabling smaller publishers to compete more effectively in the marketplace, PMA is protecting an interest closely akin to the First Amendment. While PMA has a long tradition of providing publishers with the tools they need …

Ivan Hoffman, B.A., J.D., February 1999
Trademark Law: An Overview »

PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 1999 by Ivan Hoffman, Publishing Attorney — The United States trademark laws, when combined with our federal copyright as well as state and federal unfair competition and similar laws, create a body of protection for intellectual property owners. Whether you are such an owner, want to become such an owner, or wish to …

Godfrey Harris, January 1999
E-Rights: A New World for Authors & Publishers »

The Internet is opening more than just expanded sales opportunities to publishers. Internet technology now allows for the protected sale of entire books-one volume at a time, or particular segments of certain books-piece by piece, to a variety of buyers. In addition, handheld devices-e-books-are said to soon be capable of making electronic books as comfortable …

Lloyd L. Rich, November 1998
Fictional Characters & the Law »

Introduction On my Web site, I have an article regarding the legal protections provided for a graphic character-such as Mickey Mouse or Superman-that is depicted by a cartoon or other graphic representation.1 However this article will focus on the protection available for a “fictional character” (also referred to as a “literary character”)-such as James Bond, …

Godfrey Harris, November 1998
The Hit Man Case May Limit Free Speech Rights »

All publishers should note the details of a case sent back for trial by the Supreme Court earlier this year. The facts in this case were not in dispute. Mildred Horn, a flight attendant, was shot in her Silver Spring, Maryland home on March 3, 1993, along with her disabled son, Trevor, and his all-night …

Florrie Binford Kichler, October 1998
Publisher’s Liability Insurance »

Not sure why you should consider buying publisher’s liability insurance?Read these claim examples. A reporter disputed statements published in a book regarding his involvement with a terrorist group. The reporter filed suit for libel against the publisher. Defense costs of $322,000 incurred. Insurance needed: Publisher’s liability which provides coverage for libel. The owner of a …

Lloyd L. Rich, August 1998
Subsidiary Rights: Acquisition & Licensing »

The grant of rights clause in a publishing contract is one of the most important clauses because it enumerates the specific rights granted to the publisher by the author. Negotiation of this clause has become even more important in today’s world where increasingly more uses are being developed for literary content.The scope of the clause …

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