Publishing Law

Publishing Law

Publishing Law

Publishing Law

Synopsis

This welcome second edition now includes coverage of electronic rights and e-commerce, as well as recent changes in legislation, and provides a comprehensive guide to the law as it affects the publishing process.Legal points are explained with reference to important statutes, cases and relevant trade practices, and the new edition now contains a revised glossary amd lists of useful addresses and further reading.Written by the Copyright Counsel of the Publishers' Association and a practicing solicitor with many years experience of the publishing trade, this work will serve as a comprehensive handbook for all those who need a practical understanding of where and how the law may apply, including publishers, authors, and agents.

Excerpt

It seems a very long time ago - seven years in fact - since the idea of this book was first discussed at Frankfurt, and it is five years since the first edition was published. A great deal has changed in the publishing world since then - the internet, e-bookselling and e-publishing, on the one hand, and the equally rapid rise of e-piracy, cybersquatting, and infringing websites on the other. Some commentators get gloomy about this. Territorial rights are frequently under attack and copyright is often denounced as a hopelessly outmoded dinosaur, standing in the way of culture and the free dissemination of knowledge. Yet copyright is still at the core of publishing, and, with the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the new EU Copyright Directive, is adapting strongly to a digital world. Libel is still very much here, although there are new rules on liability of internet service providers, and so are obscenity, incitement to racial hatred, and contempt of court. Publishers and authors may still be negligent, or in breach of contract, or fall foul of the Trade Descriptions Act, or infringe other people’s trade marks or (now) their Human Rights. So, despite seven years of impressive technological change, we still think people in publishing need a user-friendly guide to the law, written in language they can understand (which was the original aim, and still is).

For this second edition, the author has changed from a solo act (Hugh) to a team effort (Hugh and Chris, and a number of contributors), which - given the speed and complexity of legal developments nowadays - seems advisable, especially since Hugh now concentrates almost entirely on copyright, and spends half his life in departure lounges, or on the train to Brussels. We hope the end result is a positive combination of trade knowledge and up-to-date legal skills - but only the reader can judge, of course.

We could not have got this far without the help of our friends and colleagues. We would particularly like to thank Paul Mitchell, one of Taylor Joynson Garrett’s most distinguished partners, for commenting in detail on chapters 2 and 3 and Charlie Pring of Taylor Joynson Garrett, for sterling service in helping update a number of chapters. We must also thank Niri Shan, Tom Carl and Tim Pinto for their expert comments on chapter 7, Nick Cody for reviewing chapters 10 and 11, and Peter Willis for his invaluable help with chapter 12. The Registrar of Public Lending Right, Jim Parker, once again kindly supplied new statistics of the PLR scheme in chapter 3.

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