Model Language for Publishing Contract–Author’s Addendum

Mary Minow, librarian and copyright lawyer, has come up with yet another jewel. This one is something for authors.

She suggests that they add the following language to their publisher contracts:

Author’s Rights To Allow Library Loans

Notwithstanding any terms or conditions to the contrary in any author agreement between Author and Publisher, Author shall retain the non-exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free right to authorize the loaning of digital copies of Author's work, facilitated by libraries on a one-user-at-a-time basis.

How's that for bold? Authors want readers, and libraries are willing to pay the author for every copy they buy.

The challenge in the 21st century isn't going to be to get published. It will be to get NOTICED. That hand-selling of favorite authors, that recommending to new readers a wonderful new find, are just what libraries are about.

I hope this one will get picked up by LOTS of writers. Well done, Mary!


Jamie, I really like this. It is just the sort of approach that needs to be taken. Certainly there are authors who would choose to have their works carried by libraries in digital format and who cannot today because of their publisher. I will ask an attorney I know who represents authors what he thinks about it.

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