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The Role of Entertainment Attorney in Book Publishing

Intellectual property (IP) is a type of intangible property that is a product of the human intellect. Examples include paintings, films, fiction and non-fiction books. The entertainment industry deals in valuable IP every day. Where there is value in property, there is a need to protect it. A few ways to protect intellectual property are through copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets. 

There are various ways through which the law protects intellectual property through these legal constructs, but specific intellectual property laws exist to protect the publication of books.The following information is important to know regarding protection of an original publication.

The Need of an Attorney to Protect Your Publication

Do you have a question about how to protect an original piece of writing before seeking publication? If you are looking to publish a book, you may need to know how to protect your work so that it cannot be replicated by others without permission and attribution. 

Copyright protects written and artistic works from being copied or duplicated unless they have express permission. If someone uses your work without authorization, you can file a lawsuit against them. 

A work is technically copyrighted as soon as it is created but you may want to secure your copyright by placing a copyright notice on the work, and to register your copyright through the United States Copyright Office. An entertainment lawyer can assist you with the process. This is especially true if you intend to place your work into the commercial marketplace for financial value.

The Need for a Book Publishing Agreement

One should not agree to publish a book without a fairly negotiated legal agreement. A qualified attorney who is experienced in the field of publication law will be able to help you negotiate better terms with a publishing agency. 

If you are an aspiring writer, bear in mind that a literary agent’s primary interest is in having you sign a contract with a publishing house interested in publishing and marketing your book. The sooner you sign the contract, the sooner the agent receives commission from the publishing house. 

Do not allow yourself to be hurried into making a decision without proper informed consideration and counsel. Hiring an attorney to represent you in any contract negotiation not only adds gravitas and leverage to your bargaining position but also may reveal to you important issues that may not have been considered without the advice of legal counsel. The value of experience in these situations cannot be overstated.

Law That Protects Writers From Publishers

It is always useful to conduct thorough research when taking on a new endeavor. Without a basic understanding of how the intellectual property system functions, authors and publishers may find navigating the publication house an overwhelming challenge. As a writer, you should be well-informed of the various challenges that publication of a book or original manuscript entails. 

A qualified Book Publishing Attorney will provide guidance on the many issues that may affect the author. Issues such as publishers who attempt to exploit the author’s naivety, authors who take the entrepreneurial route through self-publication, and determining whether there are any legal risks within the material itself, such as whether there is any libelous content that might leave the author vulnerable to a lawsuit. In addition, there are laws that protect authors who collaborate or perform work-for-hire agreements with various entities and organizations.

An attorney who is skilled in the field of publication law knows what legal options there are available to protect your creative works. Examples of creative works that can be copyright protected include books, E-books, videos, audiobooks, manuscripts, and screenplays. It is important to protect your IP rights by taking appropriate legal steps before seeking commercial publication so as to maintain the financial viability of your work.

A Few Reasons to Consult an Attorney for Book Publishing

A writer should consult with a qualified attorney who is well versed in publication law. There are a few areas of consideration that every author should bear in mind prior to publication of a book:.

● Significance of Copyright-

Copyright gives an author a diverse bundle of exclusive legal rights over the work for a limited but extensive period of time. These rights allow the author to maintain and control the economic use of the work in several ways and to be financially compensated for its use (i.e. paid royalties). Irrespective of the nature of publication, copyrighting the book means protecting the intellectual property of the author.

● Royalties, Fees, and Advances-

Generally, publishing agreements cover the remuneration paid to the author on a contractual basis. Often, a certain dollar amount is paid as an advance that must be earned through contract performance (writing the book) before royalty payments commence. 

A copyright applies fairly directly to a fee-based payment system; however, licensing agreements tend to work better with royalty-based payments. An experienced entertainment lawyer can help you determine which is the best option in your situation.

● Moral Rights-

The idea of moral rights refers to specific rights of authors that are granted under copyright law. Moral rights, generally speaking, are the right to claim authorship of the work to the exclusion of others, and the right to object to any distortion or modification of it, without the express permission of the author or owner of the copyright. Moral rights in the United States can be complicated. 

Most moral rights in the United States are protected through contracts between parties or through individual states’ laws or the derivative work rights in U.S. copyright law. In the U.S., copyright law sometimes favors financial interests over protection of creative attribution.

Book publishing is an area where protection of intellectual property is of utmost necessity. Hiring a Entertainment Lawyer is imperative to the protection of the financial and moral value of your book. Locate reputable entertainment lawyers at The Hollywood Lawyer to assist with all your publication and copyright needs.