1. Balmarog
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    Balmarog Member

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    Retaining IP after publishing

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Balmarog, Sep 28, 2011.

    After publishing a story, does the author retain the rights to characters, settings, ect?
    What if I were to publish one story, but then I decide that I want to write a sequel or just another story dealing with one of the original characters? Is that something you normally need to worry about?
     
  2. skeloboy_97
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    skeloboy_97 Senior Member

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    I'm not published, but I should think you should be fine, as long as you wrote it. ;)
     
  3. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    I think this all depends on the contract.
     
  4. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    It does depend on the contract, but I've never seen a publishing contract that takes your copyright. Usually all they ask for is some period of exclusivity, during which you won't resell the work to anyone else.

    I really don't think it's anything you need to worry about.
     
  5. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    This may be a silly question, but what about movie/game rights? Or are they included in a Copyright?
     
  6. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    That's an interesting question. My guess is that yes, they're included in the copyright, and in order to be bound on that front the contract would have to specifically include them. Contracts sometimes include stuff like the non-exclusive right to include in a future compilation anthology, or non-exclusive audio rights, but I've never encountered anything like movie/game rights, probably because I'm a short story writer rather than a novelist.
     
  7. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    Interesting, I will have to look more into this, I am curious.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'm assuming that by 'story' you mean a novel and not a 'short story'... the right to adapt your copyrighted work in any way, to any medium, is part and parcel of your copyright...

    that said, whatever contract you sign with your publisher will spell out who retains or is assigned what rights... which is one of the reasons it's best to have an agent handle those details, since most new writers won't know what's what in re all the legal lingo in a contract...

    in re characters and settings and all, that's considered aspects of your 'intellectual property' and that, too, is protected by your copyright to some extent... to learn more, you need to study up on all the ins and outs of copyrights at the source:

    www.copyright.gov
     

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