Sunday, March 19, 2017

Top 10 Legal Issues Confronting Authors & Publishers

Many writers will choose to self-publish and they should be aware of legal issues surrounding the publication of their work.  Additionally, some 350,000 new books will be published this year by traditional publishers, and the authors of those books also need to be aware of their legal rights and legal obligations in connection to the words they write.  Below are many common legal issues that publishers and writers may need to address:

1.      Copyright challenges.
o   Permission to use.
o   Fair usage.
o   Licensing of materials.

2.      Plagiarism

3.      Contract disputes
o   Agenting.
o   Publishing.
o   Printing.
o   Licensing Agreements.
o   Rights Sales.
o   Distribution/Re-seller Agreements.

4.      Libel.

5.      Defamation.

6.      Privacy violations.

7.      Errors of fact that lead readers to take an action, based on faulty information.

8.      Not properly crediting those who contributed to the production of the book, including co-writers, artists, photographers, editors, etc.

9.      Book bans and free speech violations.

10.  Censorship challenges.

So where does one turn to avoid, prevent, or cure a legal dilemma?

There are many lawyers who deal with copyright issues – as well as the matters stated above.  Some are First Amendment lawyers, others specialize in entertainment law.  Look for free services that may be supplied by the ACLU or other non-profits.

The smartest thing to do is first make sure that what you submit for publication are your original words, that you use quotes around what’s not yours, that you don’t quote excessively from any one source and that you properly site your sources.  Don’t lie and don’t falsely accuse others.  Be factual and double-check your writings.  But if you have any concerns, consult a lawyer prior to publication. 

It’s cost effective to prevent a problem than to deal with one afterward.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby 

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