RARA-AVIS: All rights: after all

From: Todd Mason ( Todd.Mason@tvguide.com)
Date: 11 Jul 2001

Ziff-Davis was famously buying all rights for stories for their fantasy and sf magazines in the '30s through the '60s, so probably were doing likewise for MAMMOTH DETECTIVE (or TALES OF THE SEA, for that matter), as well. But my understanding is that authors still have a right to include their own work, uncannibalized, in one of their own collections, and that attempting legal recourse in response to a writer's self-plagiarism of a story purchased by a publisher like Z-D would've been something not worth pursuing by the publisher. Though, certainly, Ultimate Publishing buying the rights to those sf and fantasy stories from Z-D along with their magazines certainly caused bad blood with the writers, when Ultimate exercised their right to reprint without payment...

For sharecropping, I believe you are correct. Likewise scripts for productions. TM

-----Original Message----- From: DJ-Anonyme@webtv.net [mailto: DJ-Anonyme@webtv.net]
"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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