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3.4.2-3 What must authors consider before signing a publishing contract?

With regard to the obligation to desist vis-à-vis a publisher, authors must consider the following aspects in particular:

1. Do I wish to assign my copyrights to the publishing house, and if yes, which rights and to what extent?

When copyrights are assigned, the publishing house becomes the owner of the rights and the author may no longer exercise these rights to the extent that they have been assigned (obligation to desist vis-à-vis a publisher).

2. Or do I prefer to give the publishing house only the right to use my work?

Here there will be an ‘intermingling’ of the aspects of the law on publishing contracts and the law on licence agreements. In this case, the author can continue to exercise their rights. However, an obligation to desist vis-à-vis the publisher can also be included in the contract. For example, the publishing house can request an exclusive licence so that it alone may use the rights.

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