Article Category - "Legal"


Independent Articles
Ivan Hoffman, B.A., J.D., June 1997
The Interview Release »

PUBLISHED JUNE 1997 by Ivan Hoffman, Publishing Attorney — Authors may at some point run into a situation in which they interview someone and obtain information from them that ends up in a book or periodical. This information may be words, photographs, biographical background, or other material. Since we all have rights of privacy, it …

Ivan Hoffman, B.A., J.D, January 1997
Apples and Oranges: An Analysis and Comparison of Distribution Agreements »

PUBLISHED JANUARY 1997 by Ivan Hoffman, Publishing Attorney — I’ve had an opportunity to review the contracts of a number of the important distributors of books in the United States. Each contract contains many similarities and some important differences. The independent publisher is well-advised to review the agreement presented with great care for there are …

John B. McHugh, October 1996
Fourteen Permissions Caveats, Curveballs, and Nasty Little Secrets »

PUBLISHED OCTOBER 1996 by John B. McHugh, author of Permissions Management for Requesters and Granters Seeking permissions is an activity filled with many interesting surprises. Maintain a healthy sense of skepticism when you seek permissions so that you will not be unpleasantly surprised. To help you navigate some of the more “tricky currents” inherent in …

Ivan Hoffman, B.A., J.D, October 1996
Many Unhappy Returns »

PUBLISHED OCTOBER 1996 by Ivan Hoffman, Publishing Attorney — It frequently seems that book publishers are not in the business of selling books. Rather, it often appears that they are in the business of consigning books. Although the paperwork may be marked “INVOICE,” the reality is that some or indeed all of the books represented …

Joan Lowenstein, September 1996
Perspectives: Jake Baker and Internet Threats »

First Amendment protagonists are not always the types of people you’d choose to chat with over lunch or a cup of coffee. The cast of characters in federal-court free-speech cases includes anarchists, Ku Klux Klan wizards, teenaged cross-burners, and pornographers. One such character whose fate has been on the line is a former University of …

John B. McHugh, August 1996
The Best Books on Publishing Law and Book Contracts »

As a publisher, you need to understand publishing law. If your publishing responsibility is new author/book acquisitions, a working knowledge of book contracts is essential to your success. To provide you with a working knowledge of publishing law and book contracts, I recommend seven books I have found valuable. Each of these books should be …

Ivan Hoffman, B.A., J.D, July 1996
Royalty Calculations in Book Contracts »

PUBLISHED JULY 1996 by Ivan Hoffman, Publishing Attorney — We often hear about book royalties in a fashion that is illusory. To discuss a royalty rate without at the same time discussing the basis for the rate’s calculation is like comparing apples to oranges. To banter about numbers like 8%, 9%, 17% or such is …

John B. McHugh , July 1996
Dealing with Agents and Lawyers in Book/Author Acquisitions »

For the majority of contracts signed and books acquired by independent publishers, the author-publisher negotiation is between the two parties without any intermediaries involved. Most authors generally don’t retain either an agent or lawyer to represent them when dealing with professional, educational, technical, or scientific publishers. Generally, agents do not represent the authors of small …

Lawrence R. Jordan, June 1996
Into the Legalese Thicket »

PUBLISHED JUNE 1996 by Lawrence Jordan, Attorney, Seeligson & Jordan In the January 1996 issue of the PMA Newsletter (currently IBPA Independent magazine), you’ll find my introduction to the topic of standard contracts (See “When and How to Use Your ‘Standard’ Contracts,” page 1). Now it’s time to flesh out some the suggestions made in …

Ivan Hoffman , June 1996
When Do Copyrights Expire? »

PUBLISHED JUNE 1996 by Ivan Hoffman, Publishing Attorney — The question frequently arises as to when a copyright goes into the public domain so that the material may be freely copied. The answer is not a simple, straightforward one since there have been a number of changes to the United States Copyright law that have …

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