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xcribe16

Ownership of manuscript -- author or editor/typist

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Over the past five years, I have typed and edited ten books for an author that were self-published and sold on Amazon.com in both paperback and e-book Kindle formats. The author did not use computers so the books were created by an exchange of printed pages between us through the mail. Once finalized, I would reformat the book, using Microsoft Word, into the correct specifications for publication on Amazon and would submit the books for listing and sales. I was paid a fee for each book. I kept the books in digital format on my computer. Recently, the author has requested me to send him the books in digital format. My question is, who owns the digital copies of these books, the author or me? And should I request compensation for providing these copies to him?

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11 minutes ago, xcribe16 said:

My question is, who owns the digital copies of these books, the author or me?

 

The author does.

 

11 minutes ago, xcribe16 said:

And should I request compensation for providing these copies to him?

 

If you have a written agreement with the author under which you're doing this work for him, then that agreement may specify whether you can charge him for those items.

If not, its up to you whether to charge.

But: you did work, and you, generally, are entitled to be paid for your work.  Even if you don't own the products of the work.

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18 minutes ago, xcribe16 said:

who owns the digital copies of these books, the author or me?

 

I disagree with the unequivocal nature of the prior response.  The answer depends on whether you had a written contract with the author and, if so, whether that contract says anything about this.

 

 

19 minutes ago, xcribe16 said:

should I request compensation for providing these copies to him?

 

That's up to you, but the terms of your contract (if there is one) may impact this.

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