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1978 Copyright Act Lets Authors Break Contracts with Publishers in 2013

Rights for Judy Blume's "Wifey", published in 1978, could revert back to Blume according to the 1978 Copyright Act

Judy Blume’s “Wifey” was published in 1978

Authors who published books in 1978 could benefit from a copyright law that allows them to terminate any contract after 35 years. According to a post on PaidContent.org, Section 203 of the 1978 Copyright Act was put in place to protect young artists who often sign away rights for almost nothing. With authors like Judy Blume and Stephen King among the bestselling authors who published books in 1978, this Copyright Act could further threaten the embattled publishing industry’s attempts to stay financially solvent and competitive in the face of Amazon. If the numbers in this March 1990 NY Times article still hold true, backlist titles account for 25-30% of publishers’ sales.

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One response to “1978 Copyright Act Lets Authors Break Contracts with Publishers in 2013

  1. Pingback: Hyperion Will Sell Its Backlist to Focus on Books | people who write

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