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Re: Online and Out of Print -Reply and Summary

As a former long-time publisher, I find the concept of jointly-held
copyright as unappealing as, say, a co-publication where the publisher
designation is shared - it is not a good solution for those (librarians,
multimedia producers, etc.) who want to make subsequent arrangements with
the rightsholder. 

As a representative of authors' groups, I can't understand why in the
analogue world rights to works that have gone out of print generally revert
to the author while in the digital world they should be shared. 

In the discussion in the liblicense-l and cni-copyright lists,  there was no
general term proposed for the duration of time a work should be considered
in print . We are currently advising authors who have their works published
in electronic form to insert a default clause into their contracts that
stipulates a six-month in-print period, with rights reverting to the author
subsequently. Individual contracts covering specific kinds of exploitation
needs may of course differ. In particular, the longer marketing cycles for
CD-ROM/DVD might require longer in-print terms. It is in any case suggested
that the issue should be confronted in all contracts and licenses between
creators and publishers/producers.

Chris Zielinski


>Indeed, a joint copyright arrangement would be more equitable for the
>author with respect to the unforseen future applications of information
>technology.  However, would this not complicate the granting of reprint
>permission if dual consent was required for every request (i.e. the
>acquiescence of BOTH the author and publisher)? Additionally, how
>would such joint ownership be expressed, practically speaking, in the
>language of the copyright agreement without being uselessly vague ?  
>Thomas J. Shelford
>Regional Sales Office - Elsevier Science Inc.


>Reference contributions from Chris Zielinski and Peter Goldie - would not
>several problems (typically potential problems rather than actual!) be
>solved if the author had joint copyright with the publisher?  That would
>allow the author to share in unforeseen exploitation through other media
>and put the author in a position to overcome misdemeanours in the 'out of
>print' area.
> At this point in time it could be genuinely advantageous to both sides
>since it would avoid the necessity to attempt to hhave the contract cover
>technical and commercial developments - which noone can forecast
>reasonably for the next few years.
>Shared copyright would not necessarily imply shared royalty payments; 
>but it would imply the author's right to be consulted and to agree.
>* John Sumsion
>* Senior Fellow,  Dept. of Information and Library Studies,
>* Loughborough University
Chris Zielinski, Secretary General
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