Intellectual Property Law

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I authored a novel in 1982. I own the copyright. There was…

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I authored a novel...

I authored a novel in 1982. I own the copyright. There was some trouble with the publisher, which bankrupted one division. My copyright attorney at that time negotiated an agreement that they would not reprint the book. I find used books for sale listed as published by three different (than original publisher) publishers, one of which was the major company controlling the division that was bankrupted. Some of these other publishers are listed as publishing in Oct 1982. The original book was May 1982, and there should not have been any additional publications.

Lawyer's Assistant: What state are you in? And has anything been officially filed?

Arizona. No filings. I just discovered used books being sold with an inconsistent publisher.

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a local attorney? Has anything been filed in court?

No. The additional printings were made in 1982. I realiza that was a long time age. Some used books are offered for sale at a very high price.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

In 1982, the publishing division was bankrupted. I received no payments beyond the 1/2 advance. My attorney at that time negotiated with the primary officers (of both the division and the overcompany) that no reprints were to be made. The division transferred contracts to the overcompany with no provision to pay authors. My attorney thought she stopped that, especially as the copyright was held by me, not the publishing division.

Submitted: 11 months ago.Category: Intellectual Property Law
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Answered in 1 minute by:
9/25/2017
IP Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 11 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,410
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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IP Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 11 months ago

This appears to be a classic breach of contract. A breach of contract just simply means that one party was obligated to perform and they have either have not performed or have said that they will not perform. Typically, the aggrieved party is entitled to be returned to the same position they were in before the breach. There’s a site that I’ve used in the past where you can find a good template for advising of a breach of contract (click here). It's a bit easier (and cheaper) than going through litigation and I have seen it be effective in the past. If this doesn’t work, sadly, the only other option is to either go through an informal mediation or file a lawsuit in your local court. One thing that you have to keep in mind that the other party may try to argue that the statute of limitations has passed. However, if you can prove through the discovery process that there were sales that occurred within the statute of limitations than the breach of contract will start from the oldest date within the SOL. Also, although I provided an initial answer, it’s important that you are 100% satisfied. If you feel I have done so, please rate me 5 stars and let me know if you have any follow up questions. As a side note, you can also click here in the future to request me individually.

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