As textbook and academic authors, your copyrights are your livelihood, and the value of your copyrights is often enhanced by registering them in the U.S. Copyright Office – something that you can easily do for yourself. Yet, as publishing and copyright attorneys, we find that many text and academic authors know less than they should about copyright registration. Here’s our sample Q&;A conversation with an author who wanted to know more about when, why, and how to register the author’s copyrights:
It’s a pity when surface problems scuttle otherwise strong scholarship. As an academic editor, I’ve noticed that poorly handled quotations are particularly damning. Inelegant use of prior scholarship can give the impression that a writer is unsophisticated, or even amateur.
Naturally, research does involve mining books and articles to inform our own arguments, which are ideally novel and substantial but still reference that prior work. Often there may be temptation to repurpose existing literature that seems to say exactly what needs to be said in order to get to ideas that are original. It can certainly be difficult to think around the particular ways in which influential scholars have formulated cornerstone concepts.
Long-time TAA member Neil A. Weiss died recently at his home in Prescott, AZ. Weiss was the author of more than two dozen highly successful textbooks on finite math, introductory statistics, probability theory and real analysis, including Introductory Statistics, 10e, and Elementary Statistics, 9e., and dozens of academic journal articles.