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Copyright Permissions Acquisitions
By Janet Woods



Copyright administration is thought of as an additional overhead cost for major publishing companies. Thus, many companies try to avoid the additional cost by assigning permissions acquisitions to current in-house staff members such as a secretary or an administrator. Secretaries and Administrators are not typically trained in how to avoid copyright infringement. Large publishing firms understand the high cost associated with a copyright infringement law suit. They realize that having experienced permissions editors perform their copyright permissions administration is well worth it. It can positively affect their book publishing revenue stream simply by avoiding the high cost of copyright infringement. To hire an in-house copyright administrator includes the associated cost of salary, benefits, computers, workspace and training. Having the capability to outsource permissions acquisitions to experienced permissions editors can result in cost savings while simultaneously increasing productivity to meet publication deadlines.

Experienced Permissions Editors, are like your private investigators who do all the research necessary to obtain rights to tables, charts, art, cartoons, and text that are created by others contained in what is being published. Besides the research, it requires a lot of follow-up, detail work and organizational skills. I have found that most authors try to avoid having materials that need permissions. However, I have also ran into authors who do not understand that changing a word to text, or changing the order of a table and chart does not eliminate permissions clearance. Copyright law says that you cannot copyright data, but the method in which the data is presented can be within copyright law. So if the table or chart is similar, it should get the same scrutiny as if it were copied.

Outsourcing copyright administration is an additional cost to the process of publishing, but it is a cost that is justified if you want to avoid the high cost of copyright infringement. Avoiding and protecting against copyright infringement for the company should be the primary focus of any experienced Permissions Editor and is well worth it.



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About the Author

Janet Woods, CONNECT
Forest Park, IL 60130
312 813 0472

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