Copyright grants copyright holders a number of exclusive rights, co-authoring and cooperation of which are commonplace in the publishing industry. Examples of co-authoring and collaboration can be a co-author, illustrator, ghost writer, bookseller, or a work containing copyrighted material from another author or artist. When co-authoring or cooperation occurs, a number of critical questions and issues arise. These include: who is the author(s) of the work in the form in which the work is published? Who are the copyright holders of the work? Who decides when, where and how the work will be published? Who receives payments or royalties for work? The most appropriate time to resolve these issues is in a written agreement or agreements before work on the project begins. For now, you`re probably asking yourself, “Why would the doctrine of co-author authorship be important to a publishing house if its only effect is on authors?” You are right to recognize that the doctrine of authorship applies only to authors, but the reason why this doctrine is important to publishers is that the publisher is the author of a work that was created as a rental work. Therefore, the publishing house is concerned by the co-author if the publisher is not the “only” author of a work created as a rental work. One situation that may arise, in which the publisher may not be the sole author of the work, is when the work is commissioned by the publisher as a rental work, but the publisher does not meet the requirements of the doctrine of the work produced for rent. In this case, unless, in a written agreement between the publisher and the author, the publishing house has obtained the grant of rights – including ownership of copyright – in the work, the rights in the work would belong exclusively to the author. To avoid the loss of all rights in the work, the publisher would have to prove that the work is considered a community work and that the publisher was a co-author of the work. The publishing house was able to prove that he was a co-author when the publisher acted as an employee of the work. An example of such collaboration would be for an employee of the publisher or a freelancer recruited by the publisher to add copyrighted material to the work made for hire; such as illustrations made by a collaborator in the context of the artist`s employment or by an independent artist who has prepared the work of art as a rental work in accordance with the requirements of copyright law, or by the delivery of copyright to the publisher by the creative artist.
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