The Writer's Legal Companion

By Brad Bunnin; Peter Beren | Go to book overview

11
LEGAL RESOURCES FOR THE WRITER

INTRODUCTION

Many writers don't seek legal help because they don't know where to look for it, or because they fear they can't afford competent advice. The purpose of this chapter is to convince you that there are ways to understand the laws and legal procedures that affect you, and to work with a lawyer without ending up in the poorhouse.

The place to start is with your own education. A multitude of resources exist, designed to help you better understand the law and how it may affect you. Those resources include self-help books such as this one, the programs and publications of writer's organizations, informal networks of writers, and numerous workshops, seminars, and periodicals. Even the federal government provides potentially valuable help if you know where to look. Appendix A contains an annotated list of books, periodicals, and organizations to assist you.

Once you've used these resources to take your legal education to its practical limit, this chapter will help you decide whether you need a lawyer and, if you do, how to find one and get the most legal help for the least legal expense.


WHEN DO YOU NEED A LAWYER?

The first step in deciding what legal help you need is to recognize and define the problems you face. If you look back through this book, you'll see that the substance of each chapter deals with decisions that may

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The Writer's Legal Companion
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - The Publishing Contract 5
  • Introduction: About Contracts and Intimidation 5
  • In Conclusion: A Little General Advice 68
  • 2 - Publishing in Magazines 69
  • Introduction 69
  • 3 - Collaboration 85
  • Introduction 85
  • 4 - The Legal Relationship Between Writer and Agent 103
  • Introduction 103
  • 5 - Watch Your Words: The Confusing Law of Defamation 115
  • Introduction 115
  • 6 - The Right to Be Left Alone: Protecting Privacy and Publicity 133
  • Introduction 133
  • 7 - What is Copyright? 143
  • 8 - Copyright Formalities 165
  • Introduction 165
  • 9 - How to Protect Your Copyright 195
  • Introduction 195
  • 10 - Tax and the Freelance Writer 201
  • Conclusion 209
  • 11 - Legal Resources for the Writer 211
  • Introduction 211
  • 12 - The Author and the Business of Publishing 225
  • Introduction 225
  • Conclusion 266
  • 13 - New Information Technologies and the Author 269
  • Introduction 269
  • Appendix a Resource Directory 283
  • Appendix B a Glossary of Publishing Terms 291
  • Appendix C Publishing Agreements 299
  • Appendix D Copyright Material 319
  • Appendix E Permissions Guidelines 331
  • Appendix F Author's Questionnaire 339
  • Index 345
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