RE: RARA-AVIS: Re: Recycling

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 10 Jul 2001

Anthony wrote:

"While up until the 60s it appears to have been fairly common for some performance artists to sell or turnover the rights to their music to their record labels, . . ."

Long past the early '60s, actually, but that's a different story.

"I'm not sure if that's ever been true with writers and thus the author would own the copyright not the publishing company. The rights purchased would be limited to first North American or European or Asian or Wherever and possibly foreign and paperback too, but there would be a limit to what rights the publisher owned. I doubt any would have the ability to sue unless the author were to publish with them one month and then with someone else in the same covered area the next."

Interesting, thanks.

However, aren't there literary "works for hire" (the way many musicians, artists, journalists, etc, were and are screwed)? For instance, who holds the copyright on the post-Pendleton Executioner books? Or other series, for that matter? Who holds the copyrights on all the pseudonymous Brett Halliday/Mike Shaynes? (Does Dennis Lynds own the copyright to all of his works or just to those for characters he created?) I have no idea about the answers to any of these questions, but I bet it's the publisher, not the hired writer.

Don't we have a few writers here who have done pseudonymous work for name franchises like Shayne? Who owns the stories you wrote?


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