When you think of copyright, which is your response?
- Copyright is so much easier these days – hasn’t the Internet done away with most of the old restrictions?
- When I sign up an author, I just get the contracts department to send out our standard agreement.
- I don’t get involved with clearing permissions or selling rights – there’s a separate team doing that.
- If anything goes wrong, my firm’s got a big legal department.
The aim of the CLM session on copyright is to help an editor understand that you are virtually carrying a loaded gun. The live ammunition is the legal and financial commitment to an author that you will be making on your company’s behalf. You may feel you are just forging a good friendly relationship with your author, but both of you need to be clear about the implications of the promises and obligations you are making.
The session is broken into four main sections. First, a brief general outline of the principles of copyright – what is protected, for how long, and who owns intellectual property. We focus on UK law, but include the international context, and analyse the impact of technical advances resulting from the internet and digital technology.
Then we look at author contracts and any other licences that editors need to negotiate with their ‘suppliers’ – be they writers, series editors, IT developers, designers or app creators. These agreements form the core of any company’s business future, so it is vital to understand their content.
Next we look at third party permissions. You may want to include stuff in your publications from outside – whether it’s text extracts, photographs from a picture library, diagrams from other publications, or images from the web. Clearing these permissions is a time-consuming process, but you need to have a secure audit trail of the licences you’ve acquired, should you ever be challenged.
Lastly we look at other aspects of the law, like taking photographs of people to be reproduced with their permission, and the key issues of data protection and the human right to privacy. Use of brands and registered names of familiar products is also covered under related patent laws.
By the end of the session, you should have gained a better idea of the risks involved, and be equipped and defended with some basic precautions and safeguards.
How can I find out more?
PTC runs a one-day classroom course, Copyright - How to Get What you Need in the Digital Age, full information and how to book here