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Author Rights and Publishing Resources

Understand and take control of your rights as the creator of new research and scholarship

Termination of Transfer

In the U.S., termination of transfers laws enable authors to regain rights in their works that might have been signed away—even if their contracts contain language to the contrary. Many authors use terminations because their works have become commercially successful, and they want to recapture rights to enjoy more of their work’s financial success. Other authors pursue termination of transfer after their work falls out of print, or is otherwise not as widely available as they might wish it to be. For these authors who want their works to be widely shared and enjoyed—who want to take advantage of an internet ecosystem that might not have existed when they signed that contract all those years ago—termination of transfers is a powerful option for getting their works back out in front of audiences. However, the statute requires that authors wait at least 35 years to exercise this right (and serve notice between two and ten years in advance), and the law is far from simple.

The Termination of Transfer tool linked below allows authors to learn more about termination of transfers laws as well as a tool to check a work's eligibility. Contact Taylor Davis-Van Atta in UH Libraries (tgdavisv@central.uh.edu) to schedule a time to discuss this option.

[Source: adapted with permission from Authors Alliance]

 

Rights Reversion

If your goal is to broaden your readership by making your own decisions about how to make your work available, you might want to consider “rights reversion.” A right of reversion is a contractual provision that permits authors to work with their publishers to regain some or all of the rights in their books when certain conditions are met. But authors may also be able to revert rights even if they have not met the triggering conditions in their contract, or if their contracts do not have a reversion clause at all! Reversion can be a powerful tool for authors, but many authors do not know where to start.

Below are several resources that allow you to learn more about rights reversion. Contact Taylor Davis-Van Atta in UH Libraries (tgdavisv@central.uh.edu) to discuss this option further.

[Source: adapted with permission from Authors Alliance]