The author assigns to the publisher all of their rights as author and copyright owner. This implies that if the author wishes to do anything with the work (for example, put it in an open access repository, make it available on their own website, distribute copies to colleagues, etc.), they must first obtain permission from the publisher.
In other words, the publisher holds the copyright, not the author. Even after the death of the author, the copyright remains with the publisher until it decides to license the work or not. If the publisher chooses not to license the work, then it can be copyrighted again by another author, publisher, or company.
It is important to note that just because someone else may have rights to something does not mean that they will always choose to license it. For example, if I write a book and give it to my friend to read, this does not mean that I am free to publish it elsewhere. My friend may want to keep the book confidential and only allow me to read it or maybe even give some to others too. In this case, we would need my friend's consent before publishing it could happen.
Copyright protects an original work of authorship fixed in a tangible medium. Copyright exists only from the time that the work is created until one year after the creator dies or disappears completely. After this period, there is no further protection under copyright law.
As mentioned, publishers hold the copyright to books they print.
Authors frequently grant copyright in journal publications to the journal or publisher. In most cases, when a book is published, the author grants the publisher a license. The license might be called an "implied contract" because it does not use words like "sell" or "buy," but instead implies that the author will get paid and the publisher will get books sold. This arrangement has become more common as publishers have tried to reduce costs by avoiding buying out copyright.
An explicit contract between author and publisher usually includes language about who does what with the copyright. For example, the publisher might be granted exclusive rights for a certain time period. After that, the author can publish the work themselves or let another company publish it.
In modern times, authors often sell rights before they write a word. A writer might sell film or TV rights first, then go back and add details to their book project. Finally, they'll sell the book publishing company both print and electronic rights.
After an author sells rights, they no longer get a royalty unless someone else publishes the book within the allowed time frame. If not, they lost interest in the project. The only other option is to keep writing until you reach success or run out of money.
If the author assigns their copyright to the publisher, the publisher is allowed to publish their work for the life of the copyright without seeking permission from the author. It is also fairly usual for works that were previously available in print to be released on internet platforms. The author would usually assign their copyright to the publisher when they sign a contract with them. If an author doesn't want their work to be published by another party, they need to state this when signing the contract. The publisher cannot publish the work without the consent of the author.
Copyright protects original works of authorship including literary and artistic works, movies, songs, computer programs, and other forms of intellectual property. Copyright gives its owner the right to make copies or reproductions of the object of copyright protection. This right is called the exclusive right because it is only given to one person at a time. For example, if I write a book, I have the right to protect my work by not allowing it to be copied by others. Another person could copy my work without my permission but they can't sell their copies or display them for profit.
When I first publish a book, I am the only one who has the right to reproduce or distribute it. This means I can give copies to friends, post excerpts on social media, etc. However, once the book has been out for two years without being reprinted or updated, it becomes eligible for copyright renewal.
The author grants the publisher copyright. Unless otherwise specified in the agreement, copyright assignment is normally perpetual. If the author grants the publisher copyright, the publisher may, at their discretion, engage into arrangements with third parties to utilize the work. This would include arrangements for reproduction and distribution of the work.
In most cases, the author will be provided with a copy of any publication that includes their work or with a license allowing them to reproduce or distribute their work. The nature of this compensation varies depending on how the journal/publisher works. For example, some journals allow authors to choose whether or not they want to be paid for their work; others require it. Some publishers may even offer special discounts if authors agree to be paid for their work.
In addition to receiving payment, authors can also benefit from other types of compensation. For example, researchers often receive credit for their work which can then be used as qualification for promotions and more. Publish or perish pressure leads many researchers to seek out opportunities for their work to be used by others so that they can advance their careers.
Finally, authors have the opportunity to publish themselves or ask others to do it for them. These are called ghostwritten articles and they are quite common in certain fields such as science where researchers may have too much work to handle alone.