Legal Professionals Debunk Publisher's Claims

The team of lawyers I decided to hire is based in Zurich, Switzerland. Their firm has been recommended by another legal firm that was suggested by a legal adviser at my university ETH Zurich.

The team consists of at least three lawyers and two of them investigated the draft of publishing agreement in depths. After they carefully studied the document, they concluded that the publisher's claim

"If the author wants to have a say in what licenses are concluded for reuse of his content or parts of it, then that is covered by the author’s moral rights (by Swiss law ...) ... So you have the right to refuse any modification of the book and clause 6.4 cannot take it away. "

is not true. In fact, they suggested various changes in the draft so that that they would protect my right to have a say when the publisher decides on any derivative product out of my book. Here is their recommendation of changes in red.

The recommendation of changes appears in almost all pages and looks substantial. Yet, the changes are so tiny relative to what the publisher claimed to have, the copyright of the book itself.

Why should one give away all possible rights to a publisher who hardly contributed to the book itself? My book is a result of my research and teaching that have been supported by universities in Canada, Japan and Switzerland that I worked for. Many teaching assistants and students helped in many ways to improve the lecture and the lecture notes.

I am speechless when I see the reality of publishers trying to take the ownership of the precious work resulted from many researchers and students who are supported by our academic society.

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Last updated: May 11, 2019