Tag Archives | publishing

Who owns the rights to Goebbels’ Diaries?

A Munich appeals court could Thursday rule in favor of the daughter of a Nazi grandee who is demanding a share of the revenues from a biography of Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s minister of propaganda.

“Goebbels” by Peter Longerich

“Goebbels” by Peter Longerich

The higher regional court will hold a hearing on the case about “Goebbels” by Peter Longerich, professor of modern German history at Royal Holloway, University of London. The judges could rule on the case the same day, said a court spokesman.

Cordula Schacht—daughter of Hjalmar Schacht, Adolf Hitler’s economics minister—claims to have inherited the copyright to Mr. Goebbels’ diaries, and to be entitled to royalties for the publication of any excerpts from them.

Ms. Schacht has so far only claimed a share of revenues from sales of the German version which has been on sale since 2010. The English-language version of the biography is due to hit shelves May 7.

More details at: Publisher Awaits Verdict on Quoting Goebbels’ Diaries – WSJ

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Planning for Copyright Permissions

Pocket Copyright Guide for Publishers This excerpt is from chapter three: Obtaining and Managing Copyright Permissions of Pocket Copyright Guide for Publishers. As copyright is the lifeblood of publishers, a basic knowledge of copyright law is crucial to working effectively with authors on such issues as transfers of copyright, terms of copyright, terminations and ownership.

Publishers deal with permissions to use copyrighted content on a daily basis. Chapter 3 addresses permissions to include portions of copyrighted books, articles, etc., in a publisher’s own works as well as granting permission to use works on which the publisher holds the copyright.

This chapter is broken down into tips on Obtaining Permissions as well as Granting Permissions.


Including portions of others’ works in something that a publisher is producing likely requires permission in order to avoid infringement of the copyright. Recall, however, that not everything is subject to copyright protection such as facts, book titles, names of authors, etc. Further, not every use of a copyrighted work requires permission.

Who, What and When

Determining whom to contact for permission may be confusing since identifying who owns the rights to a copyrighted work is complicated. As a general rule, one is obligated to contact the rights holder, i.e., the individual or organization that owns the rights. For literary works, this is most often the publisher, but could be the author, the heirs of the author or an organization. A first step is to check the Copyright Office registration records.

Orphan Works

In the case of an orphan work, the copyright owner is either unknown or cannot be located. The 2006 U.S. Copyright Office Orphan Works study recommended that, after someone uses best practices to identify and locate the copyright holder but fails, if the person proceeds with the use of the work without permission, he/she would not be liable for damages.

Proof and Attribution

Attribution means including a statement that credits the author with writing the work. Failure to attribute may result in a plagiarism charge, plus it is not good business practice for a publisher to fail to credit an author for his/her work. Attribution does not substitute for permission to reproduce, however, and could even result in an infringement action.

Implied Licenses

Courts rely on the custom and practice of the community involved to determine the scope of an implied license. It is risky to rely on an implied license in a commercial setting rather than seeking permission.


Publishers also find themselves on the other side of the table when authors, other publishers, librarians and teachers approach them for permission to use portions of the works they have published. As a matter of business planning, publishers should develop clear policies on what types of permissions it will grant and which ones it will deny.

In-house Permissions Systems

To manage permissions in-house, publishers must dedicate staff time and effort to record permissions granted, handle royalties received, disburse the royalties to authors and others, and to ensure that similar requests are handled in the same manner. Today, computer systems can assist with this task, but still a system is required.

Use of a Royalty Collection Agency

Many publishers rely on the Copyright Clearance Center or iCopyright to manage copyright permissions for them. Both organizations have services for publishers that are discussed in Chapter 6.

Pocket Copyright Guide for Publishers by Laura N. Gasaway and edited by Iris Hanney contains information vital to the publishing community.

Learn more about how copyright law affects your work or order it now.

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Yale’s Posen Digital Library Brings Jewish Culture Online

Yale University Press has launched the Posen Digital Library, which makes available online the artworks, literary works, and artifacts from The Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization.

Created by Yale University Press and the Posen Foundation, the 10-volume Posen Library collects the best of Jewish culture from throughout the ages, from biblical times to the present. The first volume, covering the period from 1973 to 2005, was published in print in November, 2012. James E. Young, professor of English and Judaic studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, is the Posen Library’s editor-in-chief.

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Unlimited Priorities Coordinates Publishing Partner Agreement Between Accessible Archives and Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library

Cape Coral, FL (January 30, 2015) – Unlimited Priorities LLC, a firm specializing in support for small and medium-size companies in the information and publishing industries, has announced that it has finalized a publishing partners agreement between Accessible Archives, Inc. and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library located in Springfield, Illinois.

Accessible Archives, Inc., a publisher of electronic full-text searchable historical databases, will preserve in digital format a number of primary source collections relating to President Lincoln and the State of Illinois.  Once the materials have been digitized and made fully searchable, they will be available to genealogists, scholars, students, and those studying historical issues of personal interest as new or enhanced databases by Accessible Archives.

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library

Established in 1889 as the Illinois State Historical Library by the Illinois General Assembly, it later was renamed the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library to reflect its essential role in telling the story of Abraham Lincoln’s life.  The library holds an impressive collection of Lincoln materials, among them Lincoln family letters and a prized collection of Lincolniana and assassination materials.  In addition, the library contains the premier collection of materials on Illinois history, including myriad books, original maps and thousands of boxes of personal papers and other records relating to Illinois’ political, business, and cultural leaders.  The Library’s county history collection provides at least one history from each of Illinois’ 102 counties, which over time will become available through Accessible Archives.  The Library also stages exhibits that showcase its impressive historical holdings relating to all aspects of Illinois history, including an extensive Civil War collection and strong offerings on slavery and abolition, early settlement, church and community histories, and Illinois coal mining. Continue Reading →

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NFAIS Webinar: The World According to Google

Understanding Google’s Expanding Content Ecosystem

NFAIS LogoFrom phones to tablets to games, headwear, browsers, and even autonomous cars and balloon-based networks, Google has been moving forward with breathtaking speed towards dominating and breaking through in seemingly countless market segments. One thing’s for sure in the midst of all this: where other companies think about carving up market pies, Google is on the march constantly to invent new pies and to reinvent old ones in order to acquire, analyze and generate more usable “signals” for customers and marketers than ever before.

On September 19, 2013 NFAIS will hold a 90 minute webinar from 11:00am – 12:30pm EDST for its annual update on the Google landscape. John Blossom, award-winning industry analyst and President, Shore Communications, Inc, will bring you up to date on Google’s major product and platform initiatives and put them into an encompassing context of how Google products are influencing the strategies of publishers and content service providers. The webinar will include insights based on John’s attendance at this year’s Google I/O developers’ conference.

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Michael Weinstein on the Future of Bookstores


There’s been a great deal of conjecture lately about the future of the bookstore: What will happen to the B&N stores (especially if they do plan to reduce the number of stores)? What about independent bookstores? Will Amazon crush bricks-and-mortar stores out of existence? Oh, lordy, will there even be such a thing as a bookstore!?!?

Read on at  Reports of the Bookstore’s Death Are Greatly Exaggerated – by Michael Weinstein

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OverDrive and ALA Prove Library Borrowers Are Also Buyers

An extensive online poll of library ebook readers (PDF) finds that library patrons purchase an average of 3.2 books (both print and ebooks) each month, and a majority would consider purchasing books discovered on a library website.

Library Borrowers Are Also BuyersEbook borrowers, who are at OverDrive-powered public library websites in the U.S., also report that their digital content purchases have increased in the past 6 months. Sponsored by OverDrive with the American Library Association’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP), the survey constitutes the largest study of library ebook usage to date, with more than 75,000 people responding.

Confirming earlier studies, such as the Pew Internet Project’s “Libraries, Patrons, and E-books,” the survey found that a significant percentage of library users regularly purchase books they first discover at the library. In fact, 57% of those surveyed said that the public library is their primary source of book discovery.

Read on at  New Findings Reaffirm Library Borrowers Are Also Buyers.

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Project Gutenberg Opens Self-Published Works Respository

The generous souls at Project Gutenberg opened a new venue supplementing their traditional collection of public domain classics. (And, by the way, that collection of usually all the works, even minor ones, of major authors and the major works of minor authors now runs more than 40,000.) But what about contemporary works, particularly by people who have not found or perhaps do not want to go with traditional publishers?

Now Project Gutenberg has opened a separate collection and discovery area for such works referred to as a Self-Publishing Portal. Anyone can access and search the site to view and/or download documents. If the reader chooses to register with Project Gutenberg, as all the authors have, they can participate in the Authors Community Cloud Library and post comments, feedback, ratings, and reviews. A book details page and Wall will attach this social network style input for other readers to see.

Learn more from Barbara Quint’s full article at Project Gutenberg Launches Repository for Self-Published Works.

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An XML-based Workflow System for ClerkBase

Unlimited Priorities is investigating the introduction of an XML-based workflow management system for ClerkBase, Inc. a publishing company focused on the needs of municipal governments. Their core product gives the public easy search and retrieval tools to access public documents such as meeting agendas, minutes, city codes, and manager reports. ClerkBase wants to establish a common format for these documents, convert the legacy ones and put in place a workflow management system so that all new documents can be rapidly converted to the same formats. Because ClerkBase is growing rapidly they need to ensure that they are using the most efficient and cost effective methods to publish their content.

Unlimited Priorities is reviewing their current processes and helping them develop a strategy for vendor selection to ensure that all documents could be converted to a modern XML format by introducing a state-of-the-art workflow management system.

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Join us at the London Book Fair, April 16 – 18

Unlimited Priorities will be at the London Book Fair.

Now in its 41st year, The London Book Fair continues to be the global market place for rights negotiation and the sales and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels.

With over 400 seminars and events, 1,500 international exhibiting companies and 24,500 publishing professionals, The London Book Fair encompasses the broad spectrum of the publishing industry.

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