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Why Authors' Rights are Important
In today's publishing world, it is very easy for an author to lose copyright of his works when signing publisher author agreements. In fact, most author agreements require that creators sign away all of their copyrights to the publisher.
Signing such agreements has very negative impacts on the author's reuse of his works. In most cases, after signing away his copyrights, the author can no longer use the work to make derivative works from it. The author cannot upload this work to a green open access repository or on social media sites, such as Academia.edu and ResearchGate. He also cannot share his work with colleagues or students and in all cases, the publisher has right to reuse the work in anyway that it sees fit. The author has lost all legal control of the work.
For more information, see the Author's Rights guide from Cornell University
Author Rights Addendum
SPARC Author Rights
The SPARC Author Addendum is a legal instrument that modifies the publisher’s agreement and allows you to keep key rights to your articles. The Author Addendum is a free resource developed by SPARC in partnership with Creative Commons and Science Commons.
A Very Short Guide to Publisher's Negotiations
Created by Arizona State University Libraries, this guide provides tips for negotiating author agreements.
Negotiating Author Agreements
By Laura Quilter, Librarian at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst Libraries.
Authors' Rights Explained
The Copyright Law
Section 106 of the U.S. Copyright Law defines the limited exclusive rights of the copyright holder as being the ability to:
- Reproduce the copyrighted work in copies of phonorecords;
- Prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;
- Distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease or lending;
- In case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works, to perform the copyrighted work publicly;
- In the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to display the copyrighted work publicly; and
- In the case of sound recordings, to perform the copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission
What this means is that creators of original works have the right to reproduce the works, make copies of the works, revise the works, perform the works and receive monetary gain from them.