Defining “out of print”

Posted: July 25th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: In the News | Tags: , , | No Comments »

With an increasing number of options for print-on-demand (POD) and electronic publishing available to publishers and authors alike, it’s important for both to pay careful attention to the provisions in their contracts that define what conditions must exist for a work to be considered out of print and the rights subject to reversion.

These are perennial points of negotiation because the market for these formats is still evolving. Benedicte Page writes for today’s (UK) about how both sides are characterizing their concerns, with input from Random House UK and the Society of Authors.

In tandem with a careful evaluation of the out-of-print provision of their contracts, publishers and authors need to be aware of what rights have been granted, whether a publisher has the right to produce an electronic edition (and what forms of electronic editions), and whether there are any contractual barriers to publishing in POD or to licensing a work for a third party’s POD program. Provisions for reasonable royalty rates, or the ability to revisit the rates at appropriate times, are also key.