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RE: Double-licenses -- Tasini et al

More info on freelance contracts:

There is a web site for the American Society of Journalists and Authors
(http://www.asja.org), which supplies information to help freelance
authors negotiate contracts with publishers.  Among other things, it
publishes "Contracts Watch," available on the web site, which advises
authors about how to protect their intellectually property rights,
including what kinds of clauses to avoid in publishers' standard form
contracts.  It also discusses which publishers will negotiate, what kinds
of negotiated clauses and payments they will generally accept, and so
forth.  I only looked at the latest issue (Jan. 99), but from that it
appears that publishers are all over the place with respect to what terms
they are offering and whether or not they are willing to negotiate.  From
the info on the ASJA site, it appears that many authors negotiate either
for additional compensation or to change the contract language so as to
retain copyright in their articles.  So, you still can't really be sure
that the publisher holds the copyright in the article and not just the

One other comment.  Ms. Hunter's message mentioned that freelance authors
relinquish their rights to the publishers "in perpetuity."  A nice idea,
but since the authors don't hold copyright in perpetuity, they can't give
away something they don't own.  When the material enters the public domain
at the end of the statutory copyright term (admittedly a long time these
days), we, the public, own it "in perpetuity."  Ask yourself:  Are there
public domain materials in those electronic databases in your library, and
does the click-on license "educate" the users as to their rights in those

I guess I've probably exceeded my 2 cents worth now.  Sorry to be so wordy.

Terry Cullen, Esq.
Electronic Services Librarian
Seattle University School of Law Library
950 Broadway Plaza, Tacoma, WA  98402-4470
Email:  tcullen@seattleu.edu
Phone:  253-591-7092  FAX:  253-591-6313