Re: Copyright: Form, Content, and Prepublication Incarnations

From: Fytton Rowland <J.F.Rowland_at_LBORO.AC.UK>
Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2001 12:59:05 +0000

I find it very hard to believe that this is an accurate statement of US
law! It implies that, if I write a novel and then I choose to sell its
copyright absolutely to Stevan Harnad, he can then publish it, not just for
his financial benefit, but with "Stevan Harnad" as author! Surely not.

In European Union law the distinction is clear. Copyright, as the term
"intellectual property" implies, is a piece of property that can be bought
and sold; so if I sell the right to make copies of my novel to Stevan, he
can quite legitimately sell as many copies of it for his sole profit as he
likes (but with me identified as author on the title page). But EU law
also has "moral rights", which have no financial value and are
non-transferable, and these include the right of the author to be
identified as author of the work. I realise the US law is different, but
surely it cannot allow false attribution of authorship?

Fytton Rowland.

At 05:30 AM 11/9/01 -0500, Joseph Pietro Riolo wrote:
>On Thu, 8 Nov 2001, Stevan Harnad <> wrote:
>> But you can't publish his words and claim to be their author.
>I can only if the original author sold his whole copyright
>without any restriction to me. The point that I want to tell you
>is that the U.S. copyright does not give the author, except for
>the authors of visual art, the right of authorship.
>> (Let us not get into the technical question of how many words, or how
>> different they have to be to be no longer the author's words. Since we
>> are concerned only with refereed research papers, if you publish my
>> paper as your own, you are in violation of CA. Let's leave the questions
>> of originality, priority, attribution, citation and credit to the
>> referees, editors, patent offices, funding agencies and prize
>> committees. Those are not copyright issues.)
>If I publish your paper as my own, I am in violation of copyright
>in respect to the right to reproduce. It has nothing to do with
>authorship. If you grant me the permission to copy your paper
>without any restriction, I can copy your paper and publish it as
>my own work.
>Joseph Pietro Riolo

Fytton Rowland, M.A., Ph.D., F.I.Inf.Sc., Lecturer,
Deputy Director of Undergraduate Programmes and
Programme Tutor for Publishing with English,
Department of Information Science,
Loughborough University,
Loughborough, Leics LE11 3TU, UK.

Phone +44 (0) 1509 223039 Fax +44 (0) 1509 223053
Received on Fri Nov 09 2001 - 13:12:19 GMT

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