Intellectual Property Law

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QUESTION: I'd like to know if (and how) I can challenge my…

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QUESTION: I'd like to know...
QUESTION: I'd like to know if (and how) I can challenge my "co-authors" author-status and reduce it to that of a "contributor." I'd like to know precedents that could apply to my situation.CONTEXT:
(1) I wrote 80% original ideas in a book that I self-published with "Person B."
(2) My work can stand on its own, whereas hers are only additions to my structure, flow, and thesis (stories to illustrate the points I was making, which overall became about 20% of the word count).
(3) Now she's requesting 40% of the royalties and we're not coming to an agreement, plus other rights.
(4) She is threatening to sue me, even when the book is at a loss and this is a financially illogical idea.
(5) There is no written agreement, and we never formally copyrighted the book.
(6) Even when the joint work was published as a whole, the parts each of us wrote can clearly be separated. Also, I wrote full chapters without her ideas or stories.
(7) I'm considering this as a defense strategy, since I believe her work is more of a contributor than an author.
Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Intellectual Property Law
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Answered in 15 hours by:
12/29/2017
IP Lawyer: DamienJD, Lawyer replied 7 months ago
DamienJD
DamienJD, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 5,418
Experience: Attorney. Well versed, understanding, friendly
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Hello: My name is ***** ***** I am an attorney.

Determining authorship verses contributor is a fact-based analysis. However, there could be some guidelines to determine the amount of contribution.

For example, you would determine each person's:

• Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
• Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
• Final approval of the version to be published; AND
• Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Since you had no written agreement, any oral agreement could be considered also.

If you want to discuss this further, just let me know.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
1) You mentioned "substantial." What would be considered "substantial"? (2) What are the implications of the works being so that they can be separated? (that is, one share can stand alone, but the other can't)
IP Lawyer: DamienJD, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

Substantial is a factual issue based on reasonableness. This would mean that if this went to trial, for example, the jury would decide if there was a substantial contribution. The standard would be what a reasonable person would believe is substantial. Evidence could be drafts of documents, hours spent researching, emails showing multiple correspondences, etc.

Separately the work done could be evidence also. If one can stand alone (mostly) and the other cannot stand alone, that would be evidence also.

Have I answered all of your questions?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
No, you haven't answered my question, which says that I want to know HOW to challenge the other person's status as author, AND precedents (similar legal cases). You haven't given me either. I expect more from this site than what I can google myself (Your answer came from googling author vs contributor: http://www.bmj.com/about-bmj/resources-authors/article-submission/authorship-contributorship). You also told me in a trial it would all come to the jury, but that doesn't answer either. Thanks.
IP Lawyer: DamienJD, Lawyer replied 7 months ago
Okay. To find case law can take a few hours of research using a legal database. As you mention, Google would not work. Would you like that service?
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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I understand. Since that was something stated in the original question, and it's assumed any lawyer who grabs a question will respond to it rather than offer additional services, I would rather have someone else catch my question as is. Thank you, though.
IP Lawyer: DamienJD, Lawyer replied 7 months ago
You are welcome. Your question was opened for a long time most
likely because of your request for case law so I thought I would help you out. Best regards.
Ask Your Own Intellectual Property Law Question
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Thanks.
IP Lawyer: DamienJD, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

You are welcome.

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