Publisher's Right?

Questions for the resident (former) agent
Post Reply
4075mva
Posts: 2
Joined: February 22nd, 2013, 8:10 pm
Contact:

Publisher's Right?

Post by 4075mva » February 27th, 2013, 11:27 pm

I have written a sequel to the utopian novel Islandia (published 1942). The author's daughter, Sylvia Wright picked up the copyright in 1958 and renewed it in 1970. She has since died and left the copyright to all the surviving members of the family. When I contacted the family spokesman for permission to base a sequel on the original work, he mentioned that I will have to deal with the publishers. The last version of the novel was published by Overlook Duckworth, by permission of Henry Holt and Company. But, the copyright was held by Sylvia Wright. Does the publisher have rights I would also need to obtain in order to quote the original novel, use the characters, and the setting?
(The family has been encouraging, but has not yet given me permission while all the extended members read my draft.)

Doug Pardee
Posts: 146
Joined: February 18th, 2011, 6:56 pm
Contact:

Re: Publisher's Right?

Post by Doug Pardee » February 28th, 2013, 1:26 pm

I'm not Nathan, but I can tell you right now: you need a lawyer for this. One that specializes in copyright issues. Accept no substitutes.

User avatar
Nathan Bransford
Posts: 1381
Joined: December 4th, 2009, 11:17 pm
Location: New York, NY
Contact:

Re: Publisher's Right?

Post by Nathan Bransford » March 1st, 2013, 12:34 pm

4075mva wrote:I have written a sequel to the utopian novel Islandia (published 1942). The author's daughter, Sylvia Wright picked up the copyright in 1958 and renewed it in 1970. She has since died and left the copyright to all the surviving members of the family. When I contacted the family spokesman for permission to base a sequel on the original work, he mentioned that I will have to deal with the publishers. The last version of the novel was published by Overlook Duckworth, by permission of Henry Holt and Company. But, the copyright was held by Sylvia Wright. Does the publisher have rights I would also need to obtain in order to quote the original novel, use the characters, and the setting?
(The family has been encouraging, but has not yet given me permission while all the extended members read my draft.)
This is a tricky situation - who you need to contact for permission depends partly on what's in the agreement between the author and the publisher and what rights to the work the Estate or the publisher has. To be on the safe side I would definitely try to secure both the Estate's and publisher's permission before you move forward.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 1 guest