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I wrote a book with another indiviudal. My idea..mostly my words. She edited. Now is stating she sent application for

Ridgefield, CT |

copyright without consulting me. And is making decisions about publishing, etc and withholding information. Do I have any legal rights or how do I stop this from going any further?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. You may have rights, but more facts are needed as to your professional relationship with her and what you intended in working with her. You should consult a copyright lawyer.

    This answer is for general information only. It does not constitute legal advice, does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not confidential. If you need legal advice, you should consult a lawyer privately about your particular facts and circumstances.


  2. You should certainly consult an experienced copyright lawyer. Much depends on whether you signed a written agreement with this person, and if so what that agreement says. If you and the other persons are joint authors (which you might be if you both contributed copyrightable authorship to the book) and you have not assigned your rights to the other person, then neither joint author can grant an exclusive license for the book without the other joint author. Any publisher will want to get exclusive rights. Another important question is whether this person listed you as a joint author on the copyright registration.

    Again, if you want to protect your rights you will really have to involve a qualified copyright lawyer, who can give you more specific advice based upon the facts and details.

    Views expressed are mine and do not represent the views of Arent Fox LLP (or its partners, employees or clients) or the New York State Bar Association. This answer is provided for the purpose of furthering the analysis, understanding and discussion of copyright law. This answer is not an advertisement for my services, nor is it given for the purpose of soliciting my retention as your lawyer. Nothing in this answer is intended to serve as legal advice, nor should you rely upon this answer to serve as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please seek out and retain qualified legal counsel to provide such advice based upon your specific facts and circumstances. Nothing in this answer creates an attorney-client relationship with you. To be my client, you must be a client of my firm, which means that we must make certain disclosures to each other, check certain facts, make financial arrangements, and enter into a written agreement with and approved by my firm.


  3. Your 1st sentence implies that you're "joint authors," and intended to share the copyright to this book. Your 2nd sentence seems to step back from that a bit. Joint authors don't have to consult each other about licensing the jointly owned work, as long as they account to their co-author.

    If you didn't intend to be joint authors, and if her contributions weren't sufficient to make her a joint author, then maybe she isn't.

    The best practice is to have a written collaboration agreement that spells out the parties' rights, and it sounds like you didn't do that, so now you need to see an IP litigator to discuss the details of your situation.

    PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE YOU COMMENT, EMAIL ME OR PHONE ME. I'm only licensed in CA. This answer doesn't make me your lawyer, and neither do follow-up comments and/or emails and/or phone calls, and you shouldn't expect me to respond to your further questions if you haven't hired me. We need an actual agreement confirmed in writing before any attorney-client relationship is formed. This answer doesn't constitute legal advice, and shouldn't be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue.