An annotated checklist for mathematical authors
Make sure that it's clear what the `work' is, especially if it involves electronic items. There is also a question whether it is `your' work. Of course you will know if you stole it from someone. But even if you wrote the paper entirely on your own, you may not realise that your employer can claim ownership of your mathematical work. In France and Germany this can't arise. But in any English-speaking country you would be wise to check your contract of employment to see what it says about the copyright in works that you wrote as part of your employment, particularly if you are working for a government agency. Be warned also that your contract of employment need not be the end of the story, because the law in different countries makes different assumptions about copyright ownership if your contract of employment is not specific about it. For example in Canada the assumption is that your employer holds the copyright unless your contract of employment says otherwise; though as author you have certain rights over the publication of articles written by you. If you are a US public servant and the work was done as part of your official duties, then there is no copyright in it within the US, though there may be outside the US; if you are in this position you probably know where to seek advice on the matter. In France it is essential that your copyright agreement says explicitly that P is allowed to publish the work.
This raises no legal problems.
For example you probably want to allow offprint services to distribute offprints of your work, and to charge a fee for copies.
This is a very important clause. Students and researchers need to be able to make photocopies of your written papers or parts of your books. If your work is electronic, then nobody can load it onto their computer or bring it up on their screen without copying it (from disk or Internet to RAM, from RAM to screen); so for electronic works this clause is absolutely essential. Usually P takes responsibility for negotiating licences for colleges and libraries; though P may contract this out to an agency. Your contract must give P permission to do this; though P will notice if you ask him to accept a contract that doesn't. You should try to avoid details at this point, because there are many subtleties that you probably aren't aware of. (For example, should electronic access from the college be controlled by password, IP address or domain name?) Librarians and publishers both complain bitterly that the other side often makes unreasonable demands; best you keep out of these fights.
For normal scientific reviewing, fair use or equivalent rules will usually allow the small amount of copying that may be involved. But creating an abstract, or quoting more extensively than is required for purposes of scholarly comment, may fall outside these rules. If you grant P the right to handle such matters, dealing with requests for uses such as these will generally fall to P's ``rights and permissions'' department.
This normally applies only to books. There are some journals and conference proceedings for which you have to pay P.
It's up to P what he will accept along these lines; but he will not usually accept an obligation to publish without a clause that the work must be of acceptable quality. But in any case you and P have a common interest in having people or libraries buy the work.
This applies to books rather than journal papers. It is not a thing that publishers will normally accept as an obligation. Nevertheless one does meet authors who have a grievance about the way their work was advertised. There is nothing to prevent you asking for such a clause, particularly if P is one of those charming publishers who threaten to give your book less favourable treatment if you don't go along with their other requests on the copyright form.
You can reasonably ask to be informed if a chapter of your book is going to appear in someone's collection; you can't reasonably ask to be informed every time an offprint is issued. Also P will be a fool to give you a cast-iron guarantee in this clause. By the time P needs to send you the information, you may have left the country and be impossible to trace. Any clause of this kind should require P only to use `best endeavours' (or some similar phrase) to get the information to you.
You are in uncharted territory here. It is more sensible to require this for electronic material in a standard text format than it is for graphics files that may need some particular software application to run them. P may reasonably insist on a `best endeavours' clause in any case. Some publishers say explicitly that they will not patch up your files if these are incompetently written. This is a very reasonable requirement, and you should assume too that P will not sort out the mess if you have used an outdated format (for example an obsolete version of TeX).
P would be stupid to accept this obligation without very severe restrictions. Legal proceedings are expensive and sometimes the chance of conviction is low. Also as it stands this is an obligation into the indefinite future (or at least until the copyright lapses, which in North America is normally 70 years after the death of the author); why should P lumber himself with this? You should rest in the knowledge that plagiarism is a threat to P as well as to you. Note that in most countries P will not be in any position to take plagiarists to court if P doesn't have a legal interest in the work. But the details vary from country to country.
By international agreement you as author have a moral right to claim authorship of your work and to object to any distortion, mutilation or other modification of it which would be prejudicial to your honour or reputation. Like all moral rights, this stays with you for ever and it doesn't need to be stated in the copyright agreement; but different countries have taken different steps to safeguard this right. In any event the moral right is rather vague. You may want to demand something stricter, for example that no change is made in the text of your paper. Don't be surprised if P puts restrictions. For example P has to protect himself against possible libel or plagiarism by you; he may insist on being able to make alterations that are necessary for legal reasons, and he won't want to be delayed by having to check with you first. (This arises particularly with electronic files that P keeps on his website. He can hardly alter journals already delivered to libraries.) In return you can reasonably insist that any such emergency alteration is approved by an academic editor. Don't be surprised either if P insists on being able to make purely electronic or formatting adjustments; this is reasonable.
As it stands, this prevents P from publishing a work of yours which has already been published, even when the person who holds the necessary authority has authorised P to republish. But if P knows that this is the situation and still wants to publish, P will presumably withdraw the clause. There can be a tricky scenario when the previous publication was on paper, very likely before electronic publication was invented, and the proposed new publication is electronic. Both you and P need to be sure that the previous publisher can't stop you making the new publication. This may depend not only on the text of the earlier copyright agreement, but also on the legal system of the country in question. Unless you are extremely sure of your situation, find the copyright agreement with the previous publisher and show it to a reliable lawyer.
Caution here. Unless you are very sure of the full facts, you should never do more than guarantee that you have taken all reasonable steps to make sure you are entitled. For example an electronic paper may contain software that some company issued as freeware, but later the company changed its mind and demanded that users of the software should pay for a licence. You (and hence P) may still be legally liable, though you may be able to plead in mitigation that you didn't know about the change. This is very uncommon, but the fact that it can happen at all should warn you to take care with a clause like (b).
You can agree to this more safely than (b), but you should still be careful, particularly in Britain where the libel laws are stiff.
There might be a good reason for these, but common sense suggests you should be extremely suspicious. If you do have grounds for suspicion, you might ask for a clause saying that no oral statement should be taken into account apart from the text, which should be taken to constitute the entire agreement.
This includes keeping the work on a public website after P has published it. If you have given somebody else an explicit licence to include it in their website, then in general you can't prevent them keeping the work on their site; but usually in such cases the licence is implicit, so that you can write to the owner withdrawing the licence, and the owner is then obliged to remove the work from the site. The legal terminology of most countries allows three possibilities.
In Germany (iii) is technically impossible, but German publishers sometimes refer to (i) as `transfer of copyright'. In the US (where the terminology of (i)-(iii) does apply), your legal rights and those of P don't depend on copyright being registered with the Copyright Office. But if you are a US resident and want to use your copyright as a basis for suing someone, you must have registered; moreover if you want to sue for statutory damages and attorney's fees, you must have registered either before the plagiarism occurred, or within three months of first publication. In cases (i) and (ii), you hold the copyright and you will need to register it yourself. In case (iii), P holds the copyright and may ask you to state in the contract that you allow P to register it.
This has become a real problem, where a publisher holds the copyright on a book that is out of print and is unwilling to republish it (or to republish it with changes that you want to make), though other publishers are willing. So in case (a)(iii) you should consider insisting on a clause that P will agree to grant a licence to another publisher on reasonable terms if the book goes out of print. If you insist on being able to authorise further publication or copying yourself, bear in mind that for people who want to publish or copy, P may be much easier to find than you, particularly if P is a famous publishing house. You can make yourself a little easier to reach by entering into a collective licensing scheme such as those run by the UK Copyright Licensing Agency or the US Copyright Clearance Center, or any similar Collection Society. Some publishers specifically exclude registration with a licensing agency even if you retain copyright; this is a bit of a cheek and you might want to press them on it.
This possibility arises very easily if the work is published electronically; you are bound to be tempted to correct false theorems, and maybe to attach relevant programs when they become available. But it can also arise with printed work, for example if you retain copyright, and then later you allow another publisher to include some of the work in a published collection, and you update the work for this new publication. If you do retain copyright and P is asking for a restriction of this kind, you will need to agree with P a way of drawing a line between the kinds of revised publication that will devalue P's version unacceptably and those that won't. You are on your own here--there are no standard agreed formulations. (But some may emerge as it becomes commoner for authors to retain copyright.)
This is a common clause in contracts that allow you to publish the work yourself. It seems very reasonable. Sometimes P will require that the acknowledgment is in a suitably prominent place, for example on the first page.
It's normal to make copyright agreements irrevocable by either party. But if you and the publisher agree, there is nothing in the law to prevent you granting copyright or licence for a limited period or in a restricted area of the world, or simply leaving it open for either party to revoke the contract after first publication.
A copyright contract should contain a `jurisdiction clause' saying what jurisdiction applies; sometimes it does this by saying where the parties can sue. If both publisher and author are in the same country (or the same legal jurisdiction, e.g. a state of the US, or Scotland for example), the law makes the default assumption that the laws of that country or jurisdiction apply. The legal situation is very complicated if publisher and author are in different countries and the contract contains no jurisdiction clause.