April 25, 2005
Joint Author Agreements
Copyright law has some potentially unexpected surprises for co-authors. Co-authors usually have a “duty to account” to each other for revenues generated from the jointly-authored work. Co-authors may also have a duty not to “waste” the jointly owned asset (the co-authored work). In theory, granting a non-exclusive license without generating revenues could be "waste."
To avoid the application of unexpected rules to co-authored papers, I enter into an agreement with my co-authors. I believe this is relatively unique; my understanding is that (perhaps not surprisingly) most professors don’t deal with this detail. My general goal: I want to be free to recycle the paper without obligation to the co-author, and I’m OK if the co-author does the same. I’m not vouching for the legal consequences of this document, so use it advisedly. I welcome your comments.
Posted by Eric at April 25, 2005 10:13 AM | Life as a Law Professor
Since you are going to the trouble, why not include mutual representations as to originality and adhereing attribution norms (i.e., no plagairism will be committed)? This problem arises more often than one would like to think.
Posted by: Black Jack at April 25, 2005 08:17 PM