Article Category - "Legal"


Independent Articles
Ivan Hoffman, B.A., J.D., July 1998
The Agency Agreement »

PUBLISHED JULY 1998 by Ivan Hoffman, Publishing Attorney — So you have finally found an agent to represent you and your work. Congratulations! And now the agent has presented his or her “standard” agency agreement to you for your signature. Let me cover some of the important provisions of this agreement so that you might …

Mike Mansel, CIC, May 1998
What You Need to Know about Insuring Your “In Home” Business, But Were Too Busy to Ask »

What do publishers, authors, cosmetic salespeople (Avon, Mary Kay, etc.), and multi-level marketers have in common? Many of them have “in home” businesses. Bingo! You were right. Evidencing the increased numbers, 43 million (according to the Bureau of Labor statistics) “in home” business owners shed bathrobes for casual attire, merely shuffling from the kitchen to …

Kent Sturgis, April 1998
Do You Have Disability Insurance? »

In independent publishing, our limited time and resources seem to be devoted to keeping the company healthy, and too often we neglect to consider the consequences of personal health problems. Many of us have basic health insurance, but if we are considering additional coverage, too often we think about dental coverage before disability. Yet when …

Ivan Hoffman, B.A., J.D., March 1998
Foreign Publishing Deals and the European Common Market »

PUBLISHED MARCH 1998 by Ivan Hoffman, Publishing Attorney — There are potentially enormous changes coming about in the world of foreign publishing. American publishers should make every effort to stay abreast of these changes so that they may position their businesses to take advantage of the opportunity these changes may bring. In a previous article, …

Al Siebert, Ph.D, February 1998
Book Plagiarism in the UK. Has It Happened to You? »

Imagine yourself in this situation: You discover that a highly plagiarized version of a book you researched, wrote, and published has been published under another author’s name in the United Kingdom. The author copied many passages from your book verbatim, used your same book structure, and even used your same title. Nowhere in her book …

Lloyd J. Jassin and Steven C. Schechter, January 1998
What Every Publisher Should Know About Publisher’s Liability Insurance »

Publishing is a risky business. Ask Lyle Stuart, publisher of Barricade Books, whose company faces extinction because of a $3.1 million defamation award in a suit brought by Las Vegas casino king, Steve Wynn, over catalog copy for a book linking Wynn to the mob. While Barricade Books could probably overturn the damage award on …

Ivan Hoffman, B.A., J.D., January 1998
Book Club Clauses in Publishing Contracts »

PUBLISHED JANUARY 1998 by Ivan Hoffman, Publishing Attorney — Book clubs can be a source of additional and even substantial income to both the author and publisher. Book clubs can also provide opportunities for the author to reach an audience that might not otherwise know of the author’s work and, in the process, perhaps enhance …

Ivan Hoffman, B.A., J.D, November 1997
Handling Unsolicted Material »

PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 1997 by Ivan Hoffman, Publishing Attorney — Publishers who find themselves the recipients of unsolicited material may frequently be tempted to ask “What’s in the envelope?””Can this one be the ‘big one’?””Is there something calling me from inside the manila package?” Finding out the answers to these questions requires a formal operating procedure …

Ivan Hoffman, B.A., J.D, October 1997
Electronic Publishing and the Potential Loss of First Serial Rights »

PUBLISHED OCTOBER 1997 by Ivan Hoffman, Publishing Attorney — The Internet offers the publisher and the writer the freedom to post articles to a website, to news groups, or to writing groups for the purpose of critiquing a work. The question then arises whether or not such activities prevent the author or publisher from subsequently …

Ivan Hoffman, B.A., J.D., August 1997
The Problems with “Old” Publishing Contracts »

PUBLISHED AUGUST 1997 by Ivan Hoffman, Publishing Attorney — If you are a publisher with contracts that are more than 15-20 years old, you may have some ticking and potentially problematical issues of which you may be quite unaware. These issues often arise at unexpected and inconvenient times (although when a convenient time for a …

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