Pre-order your copy of TAA’s newest book: ‘Guide to Rights Clearance & Permissions in Scholarly, Educational, and Trade Publishing’

Guide to Rights Clearance & Permissions in Scholarly, Educational, and Trade PublishingLearn what you need to know to avoid and manage copyright infringement claims that arise from the publication of your book, article, or media project with TAA’s newest book by intellectual property attorney Stephen E. Gillen, Guide to Rights Clearance & Permissions in Scholarly, Educational, and Trade Publishing. In this book, now available for pre-order, Gillen covers the unique rights clearance and permission issues related to writing scholarly works: [Read more…]

4 Factors to determine fair use of a copyrighted work

copyrightIn his webinar, “Fair Use or Infringement in 2018, and Other Current Copyright Issues”, Ken Norwick, author of The Legal Guide for Writers, Artists, and Other Creative People reminded participants that the purpose of copyright is “to give creators an incentive to create”.

The U.S. Constitution states that the purpose of copyright is “to promote the progress of science and useful arts”, said Norwick. However, in order to progress, he said, there must be a level of fair use of the creations that came before. Four factors exist in determining whether a use is qualified as fair use and thus not an infringement on copyright, said Norwick. They are: [Read more…]

2/9 TAA Webinar: ‘Fair Use or Infringement in 2018, and Other Current Copyright Issues’

Kenneth Norwick The Legal Guide for Writers Artists and Other Creative PeopleWhen is your (unauthorized) use of copyrighted content “fair use” and when is it copyright infringement? Join us Friday, February 9 from 2-3 p.m. ET for the TAA webinar, “Fair Use or Infringement in 2018, and Other Current Copyright Issues”, presented by Kenneth Norwick, a lawyer and author of The Legal Guide for Writers, Artists and Other Creative People.

Norwick will discuss several important pending cases, including the case challenging the practice of public universities in Georgia of including without license excerpts from textbooks in student course-packs and the case in the District of Columbia asking whether privately-created standards and procedures that are incorporated into government regulations can be owned by the private creators or become “public domain” when they effectively become “law.” He will also discuss the arguments on both sides of these cases and the reasoning of the previous court decisions in them and offer some suggestions that authors can follow when deciding whether and how to use the copyrighted works of others. [Read more…]

Copyright Office introduces online group registration of photographs

copyrightThe U.S. Copyright Office announced that it will begin accepting applications for group registration of photographs through the Office’s online registration system starting February 20, 2018. In most cases, applicants will generally be required to file such applications online, and may include up to 750 photographs in each claim.

The Office has also made other changes to streamline the practices relating to group registration of photographs, described in a final rule published in the Federal Register today. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: November 3, 2017

"Wondering leads to writing" ~Lailah Gifty AkitaThis week brought with it the close of our Textbook Awards program nomination period and the start of Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo). It also brought with it articles focused on creative process, tips to improve writing, and cautionary tales for textbook and academic authors alike. Articles include innovative textbook development using augmented reality and creative learning activities, secrets and tips for improving your writing, how to manage commitments, and topics of potential concern related to copyright, predatory journals, and peer review. As you begin this month of academic writing, keep in mind the words of Lailah Gifty Akita, “Wondering leads to writing”, and stay curious, pursue new ideas, and write. [Read more…]

TAA signs on to Copyright Alliance letter seeking changes to copyright provisions of NAFTA agreement

copyrightThe Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TAA) was one of 19 groups to sign on to a letter from the Copyright Alliance to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer asking him to “modernize the copyright provisions of the NAFTA agreement for the digital age and to establish a template for future agreements.” Meetings to renegotiate the NAFTA agreement began August 16, 2017.

“The internet’s global reach has made copyright protections and enforcement increasingly important to free trade agreements,” states the letter. [Read more…]

Pre-order your copy of TAA’s newest book: ‘Writing and Developing Your College Textbook: A Comprehensive Guide’

Writing and Developing Your College TextbookWriting and crafting a textbook and attending to authoring tasks is a time-consuming, complex—some would say monumental—project, even harrowing at times. The updated and expanded third edition of Writing a Developing Your College Textbook: A Comprehensive Guide, now available for pre-order, will empower you to undertake textbook development by guiding you through the nuts and bolts of the development process and providing essential background information on the changing higher education publishing industry, as well as how to choose a publisher, write a textbook proposal, negotiate a publishing contract, and establish good author-publisher relations. Click here to pre-order. [Read more…]

‘Guide to Textbook Publishing Contracts’ featured in ‘Wisconsin Bookwatch’

Blank square hardcover album templateThe following review of Guide to Textbook Publishing Contracts was published in the June 2016 issue of Wisconsin Bookwatch, published by Midwest Book Review. It is being posted here with permission.


The forming of contracts to the benefit of authors is a subject never taught in any creative writing class or workshop but it is a vital and necessary skill — especially for writers of textbooks. In Guide to Textbook Publishing Contracts, Stephen Gillen (a partner at the 145-year-old legal firm Wood Herron & Evans which specializes in intellectual property law) provides a complete and comprehensive course of instruction that is as ‘user friendly’ as it is do-it-yourself practical. [Read more…]

Register your own copyright: When, why, and how?

Zick and Brenda

Zick Rubin and Brenda Marshall Ulrich, copyright attorneys, Rubin & Ulrich, LLC.

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: [Read more…]

TAA once again stands up for authors in Google Books case

LegalscaleThinkstockPhotos-178999905More than a decade ago, in 2004, Google initiated a program, in concert with several university and large public libraries, to scan and digitize the entire contents of millions of books without regard to whether they were or were not still under copyright, ultimately making complete digital copies of more than 20 million books. Google’s goal was to expand its search business to include print works as well as online works. It spent hundreds of millions of dollars on this project, suggesting what Google believed to be its commercial potential. [Read more…]