You automatically have a basic set of copyrights when you create an original work and the work is 'fixed' in some format—it might be a digital document on your computer, or notes on paper. Those exclusive rights are to:
According to current federal copyright law, those rights exist for "life of the creator plus 70 years." As the orginal creator, you may keep all of those rights, keep some of them or share some of them.
However, when you create a new work and take it to a publisher, typically you transfer all your copyrights to the publisher. At that point, you no longer have the right to make copies and distribute your article, perform your play, or make your article part of a new book. In exchange for absorbing the costs of copies and publication, you've given your publisher your copyrights—and later, you might need to seek permission to use your original work.
Today authors are encouraged to retain or share some of their rights and plan ahead for new uses of their works. Examples might be to ask for non-exclusive (shared) rights for two of the exclusive rights—making copies and distributing them.
For instance, give your publisher exclusive rights of copies and publication for the first 6 or 12 months, so they can maintain their market prominence and you can get efficient and widespread distribution of your work. After that time, you might share copy and distribution rights so you could:
Remember the other exclusive rights as well, and negotiate the first right to adapt a work with your attribution, or for local use (or a stated number of times, as in a public performance). Negotiating limitations like giving away 1st publication rights in an 'embargoed' timeframe can be a good compromise.
Think about how you would like to personally share your work and then ask for those rights from your publisher, thereby retaining rights while allowing the publisher to do what it needs to do in the industry. Also, some of the 'future' rights described above would not fall within the Fair Use Doctrine (i.e., systemmatic re-use), so negotiating future use is important and time-saving to your teaching.
You can accomplish new copyright agreements by simply crossing out contract language to meet your needs, or by using an Author Addendum that specifies what you want. Sign and date your publisher's Copyright Transfer Agreement and note "subject to addendum." (See the Case_addendum.)
By asking for broad rights, you have room to negotiate back to a reasonable compromise so both you and the publisher retain some rights. Addendum forms help authors with this process and are encouraging new practices in the publishing industry. Case and other academic institutions have developed addendum documents that are helping to create more flexible publishing environments
Publishing models now include a growing repository movement, open access journals, hybrid environments like PLoS Clinical Trials, and independent publishers like BioMedCentral that provide immediate free access to peer-reviewed biomedical research.
NIH requirements to submit NIH-funded research articles to PubMedCentral for public access within 12 months of journal publication also are important in author-publisher negotiations. Complying with the NIH Public Access Policy-Copyright Considerations and Options discusses copyright and the NIH Public Access Policy, compliance options, suggested cover letters and more. Joint White Paper, 2008, SPARC, Science Commons, ARL.
More Information about Copyrights & Author Addenda, from Copyright@Case:
Citation Analysis on New Publishing Models