Cover image for The writer's legal guide
The writer's legal guide
Crawford, Tad, 1946-
Personal Author:
Second edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Allworth Press, [1998]

Physical Description:
xxii, 305 pages : forms ; 23 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
KF390.A96 C734 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
KF390.A96 C734 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

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This legal guide aims to answer every question a writer is likely to face concerning their rights and the law. Originally published in 1996, this edition includes a 16-page update section that covers developments to the middle of 1998.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

All writers on legal topics need a handbook explaining in plain English the myriad of legal issues arising from the first moment of putting words on paper. This second edition (1st ed., 1977) is timely, readable, and comprehensive. It compares favorably both with similar writer's guides and introductory legal handbooks such as the "Nutshell" series popular among law students. The update section alerts readers to important 1999 legislative changes affecting copyright, income taxation, and estate planning. Case law involving well-known authors such as Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, James T. Farrell, Betty Friedan, Maya Angelou, and Dr. Seuss enliven discussion of defamation, privacy, unfair competition, and multimedia rights. Especially useful are chapters on choosing agents, understanding and negotiating contracts, preserving intellectual property rights (including electronic rights), and preparing income tax returns. Additional chapters review the pros and cons of self-publication, explain how to file Freedom of Information Act requests with the federal government, and provide sound advice on avoiding or, if necessary, mediating legal disputes. Many chapters cite additional resources on specific topics such as writers' groups, grants, and attorneys. Recommended for all levels. H. Leskovac; Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newar

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Updatep. xv
1 The Business of Writingp. 11
Writers Groups
Lawyers for the Arts
Value of The Writer's Legal Guide
2 Copyright: Gaining and Keeping Protectionp. 17
The Value of Copyright
The "New" Copyright Law
Effective Date
Single Copyright System
What Is Copyrightable?
Who Can Benefit From Copyright?
Term of Copyright
Exclusive Rights
Transfers and Licenses
Selling to Magazines and Other Collective Works
Entering Contests
Ownership of the Physical Work
Publication with Copyright Notice
Form of Copyright Notice
Placement of Copyright Notice
Defective Notice
3 Copyright: Registration and Depositp. 37
Choosing the Copyright Form
Advantages of Registration
Group Registration
Alternate Deposit
Deposit for the Library of Congress
Filling Out the Copyright Forms
4 Copyright: Works for Hire and Joint Worksp. 47
Who Is an Employee for Work for Hire?
Specially Commissioned or Ordered Works
Joint Works
Community Property
A Proposal for Reform
5 Copyright: Infringement, Fair Use, and Permissionsp. 57
The Test for Infringement
Substantial Similarity
Damages for Infringement
Who Is Liable for Infringement
Fair Use
Archival Copying
Parody in Advertising
Unpublished Works
Educational Fair Use
Locating Copyright Owners
6 Copyright: Past and Presentp. 71
Intellectual Property
A Monopoly on Copying
In the United States
International Copyright Protection
United States Protection for Foreign Writers
Trade Sanctions, GATT, and Bilateral Agreements
United States Goals
Restoration of Copyright
Enhanced Enforcement
Protecting Electronic Rights
The Legacy of Copyright
7 Other Rights of the Writerp. 83
Moral Rights
Unfair Competition
Protection Against Defamation
Right to Privacy
Right to Publicity
Protection Against Misappropriation
Writers in the United States
8 The Limits of Expressionp. 97
Invasion of Privacy
Censorship in the United States
9 The Freedom of Information Actp. 113
How to Make a Request
A Case Study--The Nation Magazine v. Department of State
Obtaining Assistance
10 Contracts: An Introductionp. 121
Offer and Acceptance
Competency of the Parties
Legality of Purpose
Written and Oral Contracts
Assignments of Contracts
Nonperformance Excused
Remedies for Breach of Contract
Statutes of Limitation
Protection of Ideas
Contracts for Readings and Lectures
11 Negotiating Book Contractsp. 133
Grant of Rights
Subsidiary Rights
Electronic and Multimedia Rights
Reservation of Rights
Delivery of a Satisfactory Manuscript
Additional Materials and Permissions
Royalty Reductions for Certain Sales
Reserve Against Returns
Payments, Statements of Account, and Inspection of Books
Duty to Publish and Keep in Print
Warranty and Indemnity
Artistic Control
Original Materials
Competing Works
Free Copies
Infringement by Others
Advertising and Promotion
Security Interests
Other Provisions
12 Magazines and Syndicationp. 165
Licensing to Magazines
The Grant of Rights
The Assignment and the Due Date
Fees and Payment
Other Issues for the Writer
Electronic Rights
13 Dramatic Productions, Films, and Televisionp. 175
Dramatic Productions
Films and Television
14 Electronic Rights and New Mediap. 181
The Multimedia Paradigm
The Struggle Over E-Rights
Collective Licensing
Paying Revisited
The World-Wide Copying Machine
Contracting for Electronic Rights
Electronic Publishers
The Author's Registry
Audio Rights
Towards a Fruitful Future
15 Agents and Agency Contractsp. 195
Authority of the Agent
The Value of Agents
Choosing and Dealing with the Agent
Reading Fees
The Agency Agreement
Scope of the Agency
Agent's Commissions and Expenses
Payments and Accountings
16 Collaboration Agreementsp. 209
Copyright and Authorship
Income and Expenses
Control of the Work
The Publishing Contract
Dispute Resolution
17 Packagersp. 215
18 Vanity Presses and Self-Publicationp. 219
Vanity Presses
A Case Study: Exposition Press
19 Taxes: Income and Expensesp. 227
Accounting Methods and Periods
Types of Income
Prizes and Awards
Professional Expenses
Writing Supplies and Other Deductions
Work Space
Professional Equipment
Travel, Transportation, and Entertainment
Commissions, Fees, and Salaries
Schedule C-EZ
Beyond Schedule C
20 Taxes: Beyond Schedule Cp. 247
Self-Employment Tax
Estimated Tax
Retirement Plans
Child and Disabled Dependent Care
Bad Debts
Net Operating Losses
American Writers Living Abroad
Foreign Writers in the United States
Employee Expenses
Forms of Doing Business
21 The Hobby Loss Challengep. 257
A Test: Three Years out of Five
Profit Motive: The Nine Factors
The Cases
An Overview
22 The Writer's Estatep. 265
Written Works
The Will
Choosing Executors
Estate Taxes
The Gross Estate
Taxable Estate
Unified Estate and Gift Tax
The Estate Plan
23 Grants and Public Support for Writersp. 279
The National Endowment for the Arts
NEA Funding
State Support
The Writer in the Great Depression
24 How to Avoid or Resolve Disputesp. 287
Warning Signs
Mediation and Arbitration
Forcing Arbitration
Small Claims Court
Retaining a Lawyer
Selected Bibliographyp. 293
Indexp. 295