Monday, May 21, 2007

Battle for books copyright

On The Guardian Books blog, Nicholas Clee looks at why new print on demand technology means that publishers are looking to retain copyright even when a book goes out of print.
Standard contracts allow rights to revert to the author if a book goes out of print and if the publisher shows no inclination to reprint it. That made sense when the only way to publish a book was to order at least several hundred copies from a printer. But digital technology is changing the business. Books can be held in digital files, to be downloaded or to be printed on demand. They need never be unavailable. What, then, becomes the definition of "out of print"?

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