i wasn’t planning on blogging about e-book copyright rights (copyright rights??) because i thought it would be a non-issue. once again, and probably not for the last time, i’ve been proven wrong.
the question is: who owns the digital e-book rights for backlist titles? you might think the author, since it’s a format that technically didn’t exist on a massive scale several years ago. you might think the publisher of the hardcover and/or paperback editions. and of course, foreign language rights (think harry potter-47 languages, oui?). but did you think about a third party owning those rights?? of course not. well, apparently, someone did.
start your journey with the new york times story on jane friedman’s open road publishing house . then mosey on over to tele-read’s article about random house vs. jane friedman and then leap to the future where author stephen covey decides amazon.com deserves exclusive rights to a couple of his titles, and maybe more.
historical note: steven covey is using RosettaBooks as his e-book distributor. never heard of RosettaBooks? not a legal eagle, eh? RosettaBooks was sued by Random House over digital publishing rights back in 2001!!! headline screams: random house claims digital rights to past books. should it also say . . . AGAIN??
okay, kids, time for a pbj, juice box and a nap. that post tuckered me out. zzzzz.