Friday, May 8, 2009

Who is Publishing Your Work?

Some presses are becoming more aggressive about the rights of authors contributing to press-owned publications. These practices pertain to contributors/anthology editions more so than to editorial contracts--one press I have contributed to in the past requires that I rescind all rights to what I've written, with no royalties. I can then apply to use the content for specific reasons ("fair use") permissions (if I am aware that this is possible and ask for the form).

Other writers share that though they give up rights to the publisher, they simultaneously have the rights to use the content in workshops or courses. This is a more reasonable practice, but the rights are still signed over to the publisher.

In some international cases, my understanding is that there are presses where the authors do retain the copyright.

However, in the first cases mentioned here, writers contribute for academic reasons/motivations/pressures, and the presses are capitalizing on the academic need. With that in mind, I am re-considering where I contribute.

Looking at Athabasca Press gave me hope Athabasca Open Press.

Your experience and thoughts?

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