The Copyright Permission and Libel Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers

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9780471146544: The Copyright Permission and Libel Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers
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"A thoughtful, comprehensive, and invaluable guide for writers."--Bernard Lefkowitz, Professor, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

"Easy to read and understand . . . should be on every publisher's reference shelf."--Jan Nathan, Executive Director, Publishers Marketing Association

For anyone who has ever faced the confusing web of copyright and libel laws, this practical, problem-solving guide is a godsend. In clear, jargon-free language, legal experts provide the information and techniques you need to prepare a manuscript or multimedia work for publication. You'll learn how to:
* Clear rights for all types of copyrighted materials, including quotations, photographs, fine art, motion picture stills, song lyrics, and more
* Protect yourself against libel suits
* Determine if a work is in the public domain
* Assess if quoting without permission qualifies as fair use
* Locate rights holders
* Negotiate clearances
Includes library of sample forms:
* permission letter
* interview release
* model release
* work-made-for-hire agreement
* copyright assignment
* photograph license

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Review:

Any writer or editor not concerned about copyright and libel ought to be. While the laws governing copyright are more straightforward than those regarding libel, disregarding either can land a writer or publication in a lot of hot water. Very hot. While the authors of The Copyright Permission and Libel Handbook state outright that their guide should not take the place of an attorney, they explain copyright and libel issues in great detail, so that, at the very least, you'll know when to be on the alert. Copyright is relatively simple. "If you intend to use someone's copyrighted work," say Jassin and Schechter, "unless the use is considered a fair use, you must obtain that person's written permission." Of course, "fair use" gets tricky. One court determined that the Moral Majority's reproduction of a full ad from Hustler magazine was a fair use, while another ruled that The Nation's reproduction of 300 words from President Ford's 20,000-word unpublished memoirs was not.

Libel is more complicated. Each state (and the District of Columbia) has its own libel laws. And, no, fiction is not exempt, even if you've changed the name and hair color of an otherwise identifiable person. "The best defense to libel," say the authors, "is verifiable truth." Included: detailed checklists--concerning fair use, copyright protection, copyright permission, libel, and "media perils" insurance--and sample forms for requesting permissions, obtaining releases, summarizing permissions, and writing libel disclaimers. --Jane Steinberg

From the Publisher:

This no-nonsense guide arms writers with all the legal information and techniques needed to obtain permission and copyrights. Discusses libel problems and issues that frequently occur during the preparation and publication of an author's work. Covers the latest information regarding online and multimedia works, including clearing permissions for television and film clips, music and lyrics, and photographs.

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