The attorneys at Morningstar Law Group are leaders who are frequently asked to share their legal insights and expertise. Here is a sampling of the wisdom our attorneys are sharing at industry conferences, in published articles, and at continuing legal education events.
Reps and Warranties in Publishing Agreements
August 27, 2021
Insight by Attorney Mitch Tuchman In the 1970 comedy Brand X Taylor Mead, playing the president, is asked by a journalist, “Sir, what will you do when the inevitable happens?” “I’m an optimist,” he responds, “I don’t think the inevitable will happen.” But inevitably it does. In publishing and other agreements each party seeks to […]
World Rights in Book Publishing Agreements
August 18, 2021
Insight by Attorney Mitch Tuchman A publisher typically tries to negotiate for “world rights”, asking an author to authorize an exclusive, worldwide license to exercise all of the author’s rights under copyright and the ability to authorize sublicensees to exercise one or more of those rights (e.g., foreign language translation) throughout the duration and territory […]
Book Publishing Agreements: Copyright Ownership & Licenses
July 19, 2021
Insight by Attorney Mitch Tuchman Who Owns the Copyright in a Book? The nature of most trade book publishing agreements is not a transfer of copyright ownership from the author to the publisher but a license granted by the author to the publisher to exercise some or all of the author’s rights for a reasonable […]
Understanding Book Publishing Agreements: Territory
July 2, 2021
Insight by Attorney Mitch Tuchman What Are Martians Reading This Season? Does your publisher sell books on Mars or license rights on Venus? If not, then “throughout the universe,” which we see from time to time as the defined territory in publishing agreements, is not appropriate. Perhaps the publisher simply does not want to risk […]
How Long Should a Book Publishing Agreement Endure?
June 23, 2021
Insight by Attorney Mitch Tuchman This is the 2nd article in a series intended to introduce readers to publishing agreements. Click HERE for Mitch’s 1st installment. Authors don’t live to see their copyrights expire. By law those rights endure 70 years postmortem and frequently pass unheralded through their owners’ estates to uninformed or indifferent heirs. […]
New to Publishing Agreements? What You Need to Know.
June 18, 2021
Insight by Attorney Mitch Tuchman In a world before self-publishing—and still today—authors with the ability to write but not the wherewithal to print and sell books in commercial quantities engaged publishers to do so. Publishers in turn undertook to manufacture and distribute books—and maybe sublicense rights to create derivative works—looking to the resulting revenues to […]
Why Would a Writer Need an Attorney?
July 24, 2020
The answer to this question and more was shared by attorney Mitch Tuchman at the recent virtual event hosted by the North Carolina Writers’ Network. Sharing his expansive knowledge and deep experience in publishing and copyright law, Mitch has spoken to this group on numerous occassions. Well-received, the organizers of the event shared “Our writers clearly […]
Copyright Office Provides Welcome Innovation for Bloggers and Creators of Other Short Texts
July 1, 2020
Good news from the Copyright Office for authors of blogs, newsletters, social media posts and other short works published online. Beginning August 17, 2020, authors will be able to apply to register claims of copyright in groups of up to 50 short works on a single application and for a single low fee: $65. A bargain by […]
Mercedes Case Reveals Integrated-Work Copyright Stopgap
December 15, 2019
As Appeared in Law360, October 26, 2019 Stripped, the Mercedes-Benz USA LLC G500 runs $124,000 (manufacturer’s suggested retail price) and comes in 24 colors. In the lead-up to the January 2018 North American International Auto Show, Mercedes planned an ironic, down-scale Instagram Inc. campaign featuring photos of its Jeep-like G500s barreling through Detroit’s boho Eastern […]
Copyright Law Update: New DMCA Regulations Loosen the Reins for Internet of Things
November 9, 2018
You may know the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) from the widely deployed DMCA take-down notices that copyright owners use to remove putatively infringing content from the Internet. Enacted in 1998, the DMCA is more, however, with provisions scattered throughout the Copyright Act. One such DMCA provision comes into play every three years. Section 1201 […]