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Literary Agent’s Entitlement to Commission

Co-author, Gerald M. Levine Literary agents stand in relation to authors as adventurers to booty: payday depends on placing literary works and licensing rights. Their entitlement to commission is contingent. They earn their commissions by placing authors’ works with publishers and promoters capable of exploiting their economic value. Commission is spread over the economic life […]

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Taking Down an Infringing Copy from the Internet

Co-author Gerald M. Levine There is a statutory remedy for removing an infringing copy from the Internet. It can be taken down. The principal legal mechanisms for protecting copyright of works copied on the Internet without permission and in violation of an author’s copyright is laid out in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The major […]

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When Does “In Book Form” Include Grant of EBook Rights?

Co-author Gerald M. Levine In agreeing to publish a work publishers typically demand author “grant and assign” an exclusive license to “print, publish and sell” the work for the “term of copyright and all continuations, extensions, and renewals thereof” in stipulated languages and territories. In modern publishing agreements the language is clear that the grant […]

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Copyrightability in “Original Works of Authorship”

To be protected by copyright, to have copyrightability, requires a certain degree of creativity. The Copyright Clause of the U.S. Constitution provides for copyright protection to “original works of authorship.” The Supreme Court has stated that for a work to be protected it has to “possess[] at least some minimal degree of creativity.” Feist Publ’ns, […]

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Recourse for Copyright Infringement (Q & A)

I haven’t registered my essay.  What rights do I have against someone who has copied from it? An infringer can be sued in U.S. federal court, but only after a registration has been filed for the work.  One of the privileges of registration is standing to maintain an action.  If registration precedes infringement and you […]

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Damages and Penalties for Copyright Infringement

Co-author Gerald M. Levine Copyright infringement has consequences. The Copyright Act protects the integrity of an author’s work by granting the copyright holder certain exclusive rights in both her original and derivative works. It has teeth. This means the author controls who may do what to her work. For example, without a license from the […]

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