2011 Pre-Meeting Workshop: Third Party Permissions

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Scholarship is based in large part on academics expanding on their own ideas or building on the work of others to advance their own theories. The writings of these academics, the bread and butter of university press publishers, usually contain some sort of third party material. Effective management of third party permissions by a publisher is crucial to a successful publishing plan.

The practical challenges for press staff related to permissions for third party material are to know how to advise authors on permissions without compromising terms of the warranty and indemnification language of a book contract, assure that rights are obtained to the extent necessary to publish a book successfully, and organize information about permissions in a meaningful and useful way. More philosophical questions arise when authors complicate publications with the unnecessary inclusion of third party material or when they and their publishers find themselves at odds with rights holders over terms of rights.

This workshop will tackle some of the practical challenges related to third party rights and start a conversation about the philosophical issues that will hopefully lead to more cooperation among the various parties.

Organizer: Stephanie Vyce, Harvard University Press

Panelists: Linda Steinman, Davis, Wright, Tremaine, LLP; Kristina Stonehill, Assistant Acquisitions Editor/ Rights & Permissions Coordinator, Wayne State University Press; Christopher Hudson, Publisher, and Kara Kirk, Associate Publisher, MoMA


Authors and publishers working together

Linda Steinman, Davis, Wright, Tremaine, LLP

Presses include language in header contracts placing the responsibility of clearing rights to third party material with authors. These authors, however, typically need help deciding when permission is needed and what to ask for. Linda will help us understand better the realities of warranty and indemnification language as it related to third party materials and what a publisher can and should do to partner with its authors in this area.

The right person for the job

Kristina Stonehill, Wayne State University Press

Typically, authors consult with editorial assistants when they have questions about permissions. When needed, EAs consult with staff in rights and permissions. Wayne State University Press is streamlining this process by shifting management of incoming permissions to the Permissions Coordinator. Kristina will talk about what led to this decision and how this new position will better serve the press and its authors.

Tools for organization

What is the best way to keep track of piles of permissions from different sources related to different books? This portion of the workshop will discuss database options that can be used to manage all of this important information.

Text permissions

A discussion of how publishers and rights holders can work together to advance scholarship while still respecting the rules of third party rights.

Image permissions

Christopher Hudson and Kara Kirk, MoMA

Image permissions present their own challenges. Christopher Hudson and Kara Kirk will speak from the joint perspective of a publisher and rights holder and how presses and museums can work together more effectively.

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