Article Category - "Legal"

Independent Articles
Steve Gillen, July 2013
When Getting Rights Clearance Is Tough »

We’ve all been there. You’ve found the perfect photo . . . verse . . . song lyrics . . . vignette . . . you name it . . . to open your book or a chapter within it or to use within the text. Having labored long and hard to locate just the …

Steve Gillen, June 2013
E-books and Evolving Law »

Soon after the Supreme Court’s 6–3 decision this spring in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, a story in the New York Times gave voice to a widespread concern that personal and library lending of e-books might be legal even though many publishers oppose that. The case turned on a contest for priority between apparently conflicting provisions in …

Steve Gillen, April 2013
Coping with a Cease and Desist Letter »

It comes in a FedEx envelope, or by U.S. Mail, marked certified, return receipt, or by Express Mail in a blue-and-white cardboard mailer, as much for impact as for evidence of receipt. The return address is clearly that of a law firm. Maybe it’s a letter about your surprise inheritance from some long-forgotten relative. But …

Steve Gillen, February 2013
What You Need to Know About Using Third-Party Photos »

According to the allegations in recent litigation, Pearson played fast and loose with the photography it procured for use in its books. The giant publisher would arrange to use selected photos from a photographer or stock agency and, by under reporting its usage needs, get access to high-resolution copies of the photos at a lower …

Steve Gillen, November 2012
The Work-for-Hire Minefield »

Do you think that any book written for a fixed fee is a work-for-hire…and that any book written for royalties is not? Do you think that, if you commission a writer to prepare the manuscript for the next in a series of travel guides written to a form and specification that you developed, the writer’s …

Nanci L. Danison, October 2012
Legal Pitfalls of Distribution and Fulfillment Contracts »

Whether you have used a distributor or fulfillment house for years, or are newly exploring the possibility, as a publisher you should be aware of legal and financial pitfalls lurking inside these contracts. The terms of a distribution or fulfillment agreement should be spelled out in detail in a written contract and signed by both …

Steve Gillen, September 2012
What Publishers Need to Know About Pricing, Terms, and Antitrust »

Given the evolving and unsettled state of pricing and distribution terms, this is a good time to learn, or relearn, what is permissible within the constraints of anticompetitive collusion and price discrimination. The information that follows focuses on cases against publishers from the late 1980s and early 1990s up to the most recent case against …

Steve Gillen, August 2012
Minimizing Libel Risks: Part 2, Issues You Might Not Expect »

PUBLISHED AUGUST 2012 by Steve Gillen, Partner, Wood Herron & Evans – SEE ALSO: Minimizing Libel Risk: Part 1 – The Basics Part 1 of this series examined the basics of libel law in the United States. But if your libel education stopped at grasping the basics, you might be in for one or more …

Steve Gillen, July 2012
Minimizing Libel Risks: Part 1, The Basics »

PUBLISHED JULY 2012 by Steve Gillen, Partner, Wood Herron & Evans – SEE ALSO: Minimizing Libel Risks: Part 2, Issues You Might Not Expect In the United States, the First Amendment gives book publishers great freedom in formulating and presenting messages. But this freedom has some limits. It is bounded, for example, by an obligation …

Steve Gillen, March 2012
Best Practices for Permissions »

Many independent publishers give published material away for nothing if it meets a more or less arbitrary benchmark they have set for fair use and therefore, in their view, does not require permission or a fee. This finding comes from an admittedly unscientific survey of the published permissions policies of a couple of dozen publishers. …

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