Author Topic: Confused about rights...  (Read 2061 times)

Offline Caroline

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Confused about rights...
« on: March 04, 2006, 08:05:29 AM »
Hello everyone.

I'm wondering where I stand with regards to re-selling a story which has already been published in an anthology.  Basically, I am wondering whether I can submit it to another publisher who is putting together a collection of the same genre which only includes material that has been published before, either in print or online.  It's a sort of 'Best of' 2005 anthology...

My contract with the publisher who has already printed my work says that I have granted them sole and exclusive rights to reproduce the piece in all formats and all languages, for the full term of copyright, to be published as part of the anthology in question.  I still hold the copyright to the work.

So...am I allowed to submit it elsewhere or do I need permission from the initial publishers?  Or what??  I don't want to upset my current editor by going about this all wrong, but if there's an opportunity to get paid a second time and break into another market at the same time, I don't want to be a fool about it!

Bahhh!  I hate all this legal stuff!  :)

Thanks in advance to anyone who can get me out of my current tizz!   ::)

Offline Nick

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Re: Confused about rights...
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2006, 08:12:19 AM »
I hate to say it, but if you have sold the original publishers 'sole and exclusive rights to reproduce the piece in all formats and all languages, for the full term of copyright', in effect you have sold them the copyright.

My advice would be to get back to the original publishers and ask for their permission to sell the work again elsewhere. They might be willing, especially if the original anthology in which your story appeared  is given a credit in the new anthology (as it ought to be). If they refuse, though, I think you might need a good lawyer  ;)

Nick
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Offline Caroline

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Re: Confused about rights...
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2006, 08:21:04 AM »
Thanks, Nick...yes, that's what I thought...
But no harm in checking, eh?   :)

Well..in the last 'Best Of' anthology, there is actually a story which came from an earlier anthology by my publishers (and yes, there is a credit for all the stories at the start of the book) so it might be worth asking my editor...just don't want to look cheeky because we have reached a point where we have a very good relationship...Hmm...will have to see how this one plays out, I think!

Thanks again - much appreciated  :)

Dale Rhodes

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Re: Confused about rights...
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2006, 10:16:48 PM »
Hi Caroline,

Nick is right, but just to clarify...

Quote
I have granted them sole and exclusive rights to reproduce the piece in all formats and all languages, for the full term of copyright,

I think what you meant to say was 'the full term of the contract or publishing agreement.' You have retained the copyright in your name, but have granted them exclusive reproduction rights.

It never hurts to ask them for a specific waiver of those rights, but it is a killer if you don't, and then send your work to someone else. The publishing community may seem like a vast ocean of separate entities, but in fact it is very close-knit. If you do something like that, word will spread and you'll never get published again.

Dale
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Offline Caroline

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Re: Confused about rights...
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2006, 08:18:43 AM »
Thanks Dale...but actually the bit you quoted is as the wording in the contract.

I have since spoken to my editor and all has become clear  :)

Offline Bob B.

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Re: Confused about rights...
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2006, 03:00:55 AM »
     The way you stated the contract language is somewhat vague and confusing.  I know I'm coming in late on this discussion and I've just scanned the responses to the initial question, and I am not an attorney,  but from what you cite (assuming you are directly quoting the contract language) I would interpret this language to mean that you have granted sole rights to this particular publisher for this particular collection.  In other words, they can print the collection as many times as they want and can even arrange for foreign publishers or successors to publish your story in the context of the specific collection.  It may well be that you retain the right to market the piece as an individual story or as part of a different compilation for a different publisher.  You should clarify this with your publisher and also have an attorney review the contract.