Authors Rights and Permissions
What are Author Rights?
People often use the terms "author rights" and "literary rights" to mean copyrights. Copyrights are legal rights that attach to certain types of intellectual property. Copyrights are granted under federal law to authors of creative works at the time of the work's creation in a fixed, tangible form. Authors do not have to apply for or file a copyright.
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)
The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you obey the following license terms:
Attribution – You must give appropriate credit.
NonCommercial – You may not use the material for commercial purposes.
ShareAlike – If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.
When the manuscript has been accepted the authors have to fill in the Publication Copyright Agreement (in order to grant the publisher the right of first publication and other non-exclusive publishing rights) and to send it to the editorial office.
Authors are allowed to deposit a copy of their paper (submitted, accepted and published version) into a repository on their choice.
The owner of a copyright has the authority to use the work in one of six ways (examples of each provided as bullet points):
- To reproduce the work
- E.g., make physical or digital copies of your work for colleagues, students, or others
- To prepare derivative works based upon the work
- E.g., prepare a subsequent article, chapter, or book that builds upon their original or prior research on a particular topic
- To distribute copies of the work
- E.g., distribute physical or digital copies of your work to colleagues, students, or at conferences
- To publicly perform the work
- E.g., show video of your field work in the classroom or at conferences
- To publicly display the work
- E.g., show photos, exhibits, and figures from your works in the classroom or at conferences
- To publicly perform sound recordings via a digital audio transmission
- E.g., for those working with sound recordings, to digitally transmit your work (broadcast online, etc.)
What are exclusive rights?
Copyright law states that only a copyright owner may engage in the six aforementioned rights. However, because knowledge and society would fail to progress if only a copyright owner could engage with copyrighted works, there are two ways in which others are legally permitted to use copyrighted works. These are referred to as copyright limitations.
It is absolutely essential that authors obtain permission to reproduce any published material (figures, schemes, tables or any extract of a text) which does not fall into the public domain, or for which they do not hold the copyright. Permission should be requested by the authors from the copyright holder (usually the Publisher & Author to some extent).
Permission is required for:
- Your own works published by other Publishers and for which you did not retain copyright.
- Substantial extracts from anyone's works or a series of works.
- Use of Tables, Graphs, Charts, Schemes, and Artworks if they are unaltered or slightly modified.
- Photographs for which you do not hold the copyright.
Permission is not required for:
- Reconstruction of your own table with data already published elsewhere. Please notice that in this case, you must cite the source of the data in the form of either "Data from..." or "Adapted from...".
- Reasonably short quotes are considered as fair use and therefore do not require permission.
Graphs, Charts, Schemes and Artworks that are completely redrawn by the authors and significantly changed beyond recognition do not require permission.
Contractual limitations arise when a copyright owner engages in a private agreement with another party that affects the ownership or use of the copyrighted work. The six exclusive rights discussed above are commonly referred to as a "bundle of rights" because copyright owners control each of the rights individually and as a group. When a copyright owner contracts with another party to permit use of their rights, the owner can give away one, some, none, or all of their rights. He or she can transfer or license the rights. He or she can enter into an exclusive or non-exclusive, irrevocable or revocable license. Because the flexibility to give away rights is so tailored-made, authors wield a lot of power in negotiating their authors rights agreements with publishers.