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Law and Authors: A Legal Handbook for Writers (Introduction)

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Document pages: 13 pages

Abstract: Drawing on a wealth of experience in legal scholarship and publishing, Professor Jacqueline D. Lipton provides a useful legal guide for writers whatever their levels of expertise or categories of work (fiction, nonfiction, academic, journalism, freelance content development). This introductory chapter outlines the key legal and business issues authors are likely to face during the course of their careers, and emphasizes that most legal problems have solutions so law should never be an excuse to avoid writing something that an author feels strongly about creating. The larger work draws from case studies and hypothetical examples to address issues of copyright law, including explanations of fair use and the public domain; trademark and branding concerns for those embarking on a publishing career; laws that impact the ways that authors might use social media and marketing promotions; and privacy and defamation questions that writers may face. Although the book focuses on American law, it highlights key areas where laws in other countries differ from those in the United States. The purpose of the book is to explain to those in the publishing industry, or contemplating venturing into the industry, the nuts and bolts of the law as it applies to authors.

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