Understanding Authors’ Rights

Intellectual Property
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The phrase of Authors’ Rights refers to copyright laws which protect the rights of authors. Although the term “authors’ rights” is used it can mean the artist, architect, musician, songwriter, scriptwriter and thus any person responsible for creation of the work. Authors’ rights include the commercial value aspect of creating a copyright protected work and the authors’ rights as related to moral rights. Authors have intellectual property rights to their work which have a specific time limit calculated according to the type of copyright protected work. The intellectual property rights give the author the right to financial gain from a piece of work which can be by means of royalties where a license agreement is in place or by means of direct income when the author sells a work directly.

Authors’ rights also refer to the rights of the author to allow public display or performance of their work. As such the author has the authority to deny the right to public performance of a piece of work. An author can for instance, deny the right to embed a video from YouTube in a website or from being displayed at all. Authors’ rights, as related to moral rights, include the right to be identified as the author of a work and to make objections regarding the application or distortion of a piece of work if it will harm the reputation of the author. Authors’ moral rights differ from country to country.

When it comes to authors’ rights for ghost writing it is important that the person who commissions the work ensures that a contract is in place whereby the ghost writer sells the work and ownership thereof to the person who commissioned it. Although with ghost writing no by line may be needed, it is custom to allow the ghost writer the right to use the authorship to the work in their CV or profile.