Q. I’m granting e-book rights, but not other electronic rights, to my publisher and I have been very specific in saying that the publisher can’t make any changes to the text or illustrations. The publisher is insisting on a clause that clearly states it has the right to insert hyperlinks, which makes sense to me since I know a lot of e-book programs allow the reader to click on a word to learn its definition. Is there any reason why I shouldn’t agree to the publisher’s clause?
A. The publisher’s request makes sense but, to protect yourself, you should include provisions covering the following:
- The hyperlinks will be added by the publisher and at its expense, and no cost incurred in connection with the hyperlinks will be charged to you.
- Publisher will remove, at its expense, any links to which you at any time object.
- If any hyperlinks are to a site that result in a transaction by the user and the publisher receives revenue from that transaction, you will be entitled to a percentage of that revenue. This percentage should be specified in the contract.
(Originally published in the Fall 2010/Winter 2011 issue of the Authors Guild Bulletin. © Mark L. Levine)
Answers to questions on this site are general in nature only. You should consult a lawyer for information about a particular situation. For more information about book publishing contracts and issues, see Levine’s book.