If you are a published author, there may come a time when you regret transferring some of your rights enumerated in your contract with your publisher. Your publisher may stop marketing your books if sales plummet, or your books may fall out of print organically, but you want to bring them back for a new generation. You may not know there are ways to make your writings available again. Our knowledgeable copyright attorneys could offer strategic guidance.

Copyright reversions can benefit all parties associated with your publication, and your books can remain available to be purchased and read in ways you choose. Publishers benefit because they can divest themselves of warehouse costs, and the public benefits because your book may offer historical evidence of good fiction or academic excellence. To explore how to retrieve some of the rights you assigned to your publisher, contact a Boca Raton copyright reversion lawyer now.

What the Original Copyright Owner Owns

When an author creates an original creative work, they own the right to sell or lease the rights to it, copy and disseminate it themselves, and display it publicly. The copyright owner usually transfers some or all the rights to a literary piece to the publisher of their work. If the transfer is for exclusive rights, the creator no longer controls how the copyright is applied and must consult with the publisher. To understand what has been transferred, an author must refer to their publishing contract and consult a Boca Raton attorney on copyright reversion.

Reversion Clauses in Publishing Contracts

When authors have a vision for the future of their work that does not comport with what the publisher is doing, and that publisher has rights under the contract, they need to explore their contracts and determine if there is a reversion clause. These contractual clauses permit an author to regain copyright control when certain triggering events occur. Reversion clauses may be headlined as ‘Reversion of Rights,’ ‘Discontinuance,’ or ‘Out of Print.’ When considering a contract, it is important to have a Boca Raton lawyer analyze how copyright reversion might work, and make sure the creator is not being left out.

Digital and Electronic Rights

Authors with books subject to older contracts may find the language of their contract is unclear when it concerns electronic rights, an increasingly relevant subject in recent years. Before digital publishing, contracts did not consistently address e-books and other digital grants. Before digital offerings, publishers had the right to put forth their work in book form, and at least one court ruled that permitting publishers to publish a book does not include electronic rights.

Yet that ruling is not a definitive finding for all electronic offerings. The same court ruled differently in a subsequent case that a publisher has a right to publish an e-version of the work because the contract was subject to a clause that granted rights to publish electronically as currently known or later invented. In similar situations, the courts have found that technologies which were developed later than the creative work can be transferred even if the publishing contract did not specifically say so, if it seems obvious the contract intended the transfer.

Work With a Boca Raton Copyright Reversion Attorney to Get Back What is Yours

Your creative endeavors are protected by copyright law and when you publish them because you control that action, you may assign some or all your rights to your publisher. That is generally how publishing works, but sometimes, the relationship disintegrates into a desire on your part to retrieve the copyright advantages you assigned.

Your desire to regain what you gave to your publisher is not uncommon. The intellectual property attorneys at Lomnitzer Law have extensive experience in this sector of the law and we know how to restore your rights. When you have additional plans for your creative work and your publisher holds the rights, a Boca Raton copyright reversion lawyer could put you back in control.