Getting Less Than You Didn't Bargain For
It is not uncommon for lawyers to write articles and expect no monetary compensation from the publisher. They benefit from the opportunity to showcase their expertise or special insights on an emerging legal issue. It is perhaps an overreach for a publisher to claim rights beyond the initial publication, but that doesn't mean they won't do it. The lawyer may accidentally give away all future opportunity to reuse the publication for personal or firm benefit. To state the obvious you must...
Read the Fine Print
- You can't publish it on the practice group page of the intranet
- You can't publish it on the firm's external website
- You can't distribute it internally to your colleagues
- You can't forward it to your clients
- You can't reprint it for in house educational materials
- You can't reprint it for a client seminar
- You can't reprint it as a marketing handout
In short -- the attorney and firm might find themselves creating intellectual capital and then for a lack of due diligence, end up paying a third party for the right to reuse the publication for the most routine marketing and educational opportunities.
As libraries have grown more digital, professional librarians have developed a high degree of expertise negotiating content licenses and can be an excellent resource in reviewing licenses for publications and negotiations with publishers. If you have such in house talent, don't be afraid to tap your resident negotiator.