The correctness of Peter's view is supported by the fact that British
book publishers (at least in our limited experience) now include a
specific clause in the licence agreement granting them rights to
distribution on CD, or any other electronic form now known or ever
invented. It could be argued that if the "old-fashioned" agreement
already gave them this right, such a clause would not be needed (or of
course it could just be a "belt and braces" precaution by their
On Thu, 25 Jan 2007 14:20:20 +0000, Peter Fairbrother
Peter, Thank you and I stand corrected.
Can anyone explain how various newspapers like the Times etc do CD's
then given they fall under British law ?
On a slightly different angle, Magicalia have recently revised their
contracts to authors but still only relate to printed rights.
Surely the time is now here to bring First Electronic rights into the
field before they get left behind altogether ?
Visit the new Model Engineering adverts page at:-
I'm not entirely sure, but for eg letters and reader's contributions etc the
papers generally insist that you either assign them the copyright or licence
all rights on a non-exclusive basis - for freelance work published since the
introduction of the online version they will also demand electronic and CD
In general copyright in articles by staff writers, and commissioned works,
ie most of the CD, will also be owned by the paper, and only older freelance
work will be in any question. That's partly why eg Reuter's reports are
re-written by staff writers - the new form of words is then owned by the
paper, and the facts in the Reuter's report are not subject to copyright.
For older stuff by freelance writers where copyright is not clear they may
make a minimum good-faith effort (look it up in a couple of databases) to
find and pay the copyright holder, and then just wait for people to demand
royalties, which they then pay.
That would be lawful, and I doubt any royalties would amount to much as the
material involved would be only a small part of the whole CD, but I don't
know for sure if that's what they do - I don't know of any cases, but they
would not normally reach a Court.
On a US note, a few years ago the NY Times was accused of blacklisting
freelance writers who demanded fees for work previously published in the
paper and then published electronically - there was a US Supreme Court case
in June 2001 that said that they had to pay the freelance writers for
subsequent publication in electronic form (on the 'net, not on CD).
This is not quite the same situation as the photographs in National
Geographic, partly because photographs are different to written works, and
partly because publishing on a CD is different from publishing
electronically - in the US publishing a CD of an entire magazine could be
considered still to be first publication (if you accept the 2nd Circuit's NG
decision) due to the implied inclusion of "privileges of revision", which is
US legalese and doesn't actually mean anything like it sounds like, in US
(but not in UK) first serial rights.
I'd have thought so. First electronic, CD, and all other media yet to be
Sorry - Quoting went funny somewhere. The point *I* was trying to make
was that we had already had feedback somewhere that ME and MEW prior to
the last couple of changes of owners had contracts in place that meant
that they could not simply copy content for other uses, it needed to be
cleared with every author. David Fenner had confirmed the situation
prior to his retirement from MEW and this was one of the reasons for the
new owners wanting to replace the contracts - that and to reduce
payments ;) Now if someone has information to the contrary ......
Tony, from what I can see - or rather NOT see in my Yahoo Groups folder
- it seems to be the "Geometer" and "Beginners Workshop" groups at the
least, Norman may know of some others.
These had many of the old "Duplex" articles in them which were quite
interesting. James Early had spent a considerable time making PDF's of
these which may otherwise have been lost to many.
Interesting. The situation as I understand it (at least, for the
articles I have written for the mags over the years) is that what the
mag bought from me was essentially the right to publish the article in
a single issue of the mag; however, I retain the copyright to my
articles. The wrinkle here though is that the magazine retains
copyright of their particular choice of layout, etc. - so you can't
reproduce pages of the mag without infringing both the mag's and the
author's copyright, but if you were to present the same material in a
different form (on a web page, say) where it was obvious that you
hadn't simply photocopied bits of the mag, then only the author's
copyright would be infringed.
So if these were PDFs of scanned pages from the magazine, then
Magicalia actually has a legal right to tell the group to remove the
material. However, if you take the trouble to transpose the text,
pics, and drawings into a suitable word processing/image editing/CAD
format, and post that on the web somewhere, and you have the Author's
permission, then, assuming the Author has the same agreement with the
mag that I do, I believe you can raise the proverbial digit in the
general direction of Encanta.
For example, many of the articles I have written appear on my website
- not as magazine page images, but as web pages of my own
construction. If I chose to do so, I could grant you the right to
publish those articles on your website, post them, on a Yahoo group,
or whatever, and Encanta would have nothing to say about it.
This is interesting - surely the consequence of this is that they can
continue to sell left over back issues but that there is no other way of
profiting from the material without infringing the author's copyright -
even reprinting back issues might infringe author's copyright - in which
case all the offending material might be lost if the copyright holder
cannot be found.
Tony Jeffree wrote:
Hi Russell -
That is essentially correct, although, as I say, it will depend upon
the nature of the agreement between the author and whoever the
publisher was at the time.
Up until recently, I have been submitting articles on the basis of
"First British Serial Rights" (FBSR) - which is essentially the right
to be the first to publish the article in Britain, but the copyright
remains with me. I don't think that making photocopies of back issues
strictly comes under FBSR, but on the other hand FBSR isn't clearly
defined (Google on it and you will see varients on the theme).
I have recently signed an agreement with Encanta that covers work
going forward, and that gives Encanta the following rights over
articles I submit for publication (paras copied from the actual
1. 'Exclusive First publication rights' - An exclusive right to
publish the Contribution in whole or in part into the first
publication of the Magazine. For the purpose of this right, first
publication means the initial print run of the Magazine, any
subsequent print runs of the magazine, and the publication via any
electronic medium of a facsimile representation of the printed version
of the magazine, provided that any subsequent print runs and
electronic versions are complete and identical in content to the
printed version of the magazine from the initial print run.
2. 'Non-exclusive rights to provide photocopies' - The non-exclusive
right to publish, sell, rent, distribute or otherwise supply copies of
the Contribution in whole or in part to any third party in the form of
So under this agreement, they would get to print off photocopies of my
articles from back issues and sell them, or put a facsimile of the
whole magazine onto a website, but they wouldn't get to re-use my
articles in a new publication (a "special" on CNC, for example)
without asking for a further license. After they have done their
initial publication, I get to do with the material exactly what I
choose, as the agreement simply assigns the above limited rights to
publish, it doesn't assign ownership of the copyright; that remains
with me. Clearly, what I can't do is to offer "firts publication
rights" to anyone else (as Encanta have already had that), but I can
do pretty much anything else with the material that I may choose to
do. For the moment, most of it ends up on my website.
Thanks for that explanation. I was interested to see that your change
of agreement reflects changes in other publications too.
I've googled FBSR and followed a few links - as I understand it now -
Magicalia don't hold author's copyrights and copyright in the
"Typographical arrangement of published editions" has expired for
everthing published before the end of 1981 and I haven't seen many
articles on Yahoo from after that.
So it seems that Magicalia have no rights - but if the lawyers were
acting on behalf of eg Duplex they would have a case.
I find this irritating - it seems to be bullying to threaten an
individual with a court case where the threat is in the costs rather
than the outcome.
Tony Jeffree wrote:
Hi Russell -
I couldn't agree more. If the "typographical arrangment" copyright was
all they ever owned, and it has expired in the case of the articles in
question, then Magicalia have no business getting involved.
Tony, they appear to have completely disappeared from the Groups.
They were here:
I have been in touch with Carl Carlson of the Quorn groups.
Please tell him that I am supporting his concerns.
Again, I believe that J W Early has most of mlathemods ones.
Here, I helped post the Martin Cleeve stuff from the 50's.
I have also written to James
My quick scan this morning suggests one large chaos with only photos
left in many groups.
By all means, readers can have any support from me.
I feel that this is the beginning of the end of model engineering. I
hope that I am wrong!
Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.