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Evans quoted in “The Atlantic” article about lack of fact-checking in pub industry

September 5, 2014 Leave a comment

Searching for Facts vs. Fiction - Magnifying GlassTo verify or not to verify; THAT is the question asked in an insightful and well-written article by Kate Newman titled “Book Publishing, Not Fact-Checking.”

Newman begins the article by stating “[r]eaders might think nonfiction books are the most reliable media sources there are. But accuracy scandals haven’t reformed an industry that faces no big repercussions for errors.”

Newman quoted me in the article to capture my perspective on why manuscripts should be vetted. I described the process I subjected client manuscripts to when I was in full-time practice. 

Newman makes an important and keen observation in her article: “[r]eliance on books creates a weak link in the chain of media accuracy.” she went on to say:

Fact-checking dates back to the founding of Time in 1923, and has a strong tradition at places like Mother Jones and The New Yorker. (The Atlantic checks every article in print.) But it’s becoming less and less common even in the magazine world. Silverman suggests this is in part due to the Internet and the drive for quick content production. “Fact-checkers don’t increase content production,” he said. “Arguably, they slow it.”

What many readers don’t realize is that fact-checking has never been standard practice in the book-publishing world at all.

Read the full article “Book Publishing, Not Fact-Checking” by Kate Newman at TheAtlantic.com.

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Prof. Evans Talks Lit Law at NJ Beach Writers Retreat

October 16, 2013 Leave a comment

UPDATE: Event was canceled, to be rescheduled in 2014.

The North Wildwood Beach Writers, in conjunction with Atlantic Cape Community College, will host their first Autumn Retreat on Oct. 27. The registration deadline is October 17th.

This one-day seminar, a satellite of North Wildwood Beach Writers Conference held in June every year, focuses on protecting your rights as an author.

Guest speaker is Tonya M. Evans, Associate Professor of Law at Widener University School of Law and an attorney specializing primarily in intellectual property (copyright and trademark).

Tonya is also a performance poet, singer and writer, and the author of numerous books, including “Literary Law Guide for Authors: Copyright, Trademark, and Contracts in Plain Language.” Her short story, “Not Tonight,” appears in “Proverbs for the People.”

In the afternoon, award-winning author Don Helin, (“Devil’s Den”) will discuss his perspective. Attendees will receive Continuing Education Credits from Atlantic Cape Community College.

The Retreat takes place at Jessie Creek Winery, 1 N. Delsea Drive in Cape May Court House, NJ from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A continental breakfast, gourmet lunch, and networking wine tasting are included.

Visit nwbwc.com for details and registration form. Or e-mail nwbwc12@gmail.com.

Evans Presents Legal Side of Writing Teleclass for “Write Your Book in 30 Days” Participants

August 7, 2013 Leave a comment

On Thursday, August 8th, Professor Evans will present the popular Legal Matters that Matter teleclass  to over 2000 members of the “Write Your Book in 30 Days” Challenge, created by Andrew Morrison and co-facilitated by Joy Farrington.

About The Legal Matters that Matter to Writers Teleclass
LWPdotcom_april2011It is an informative and engaging presentation tailored specifically for writers and independent publishers who want straightforward, clear, and concise answers to the most common and pressing legal issues in the publishing industry. After attending this workshop you will understand:

  • how copyright is created and protected
  • what is considered a fair use in print and on the Internet
  • what can and cannot be copyrighted
  • how legally to refer to real people, places, and events in one’s own work
  • the real deal about the myth of the Poor Man’s copyright
  • the critical timing of when to register your work with the Copyright Office
  • the most common contracts involved in securing, licensing and transferring copyright and other rights
  • things to consider when you are sealing the deal

Image of Literary Law Guide for AuthorsThe workshop is based on the award-winning Literary Entrepreneur Series of books Literary Law Guide for Authors, Copyright Companion for Writers and Contracts Companion for Writers.

About “Write Your Book in 30 Days”!
The Write Your Book in 30 Day! Challenge was created by Andrew Morrison and is co-facilitated, Joy Farrington.
During the challenge (which happens several times each year), participants are encouraged to write a 70-100 pages book that will help them brand their brilliance. Andrew and Joy believe that a book is the new business card and share with participants how to use their book to:
  1. Build their brand
  2. Gain New Customers
  3. Build Trust with Potential Customers
  4. Attract Media Attention
  5. Build an Author Platform
  6. Becoming known as an Expert in their Industry
  7. Creating a Stream of Passive Income

Click here to participate in the challenge & this EXCLUSIVE teleseminar

Music Copyright 101

April 30, 2011 Comments off

Music and Copyright

In previous posts, I have focused mostly on literary creations in the publishing industry (books, articles, magazines, and so forth). But copyright in a song (whether lyrics, music, or both) is created in the same way as in any other literary or artistic work. And music copyright is made up of the same bundle of rights, which includes the right to publish.

What Music Publishing Is All About

Although the Internet has in some cases removed the “middleman” from the music publishing equation in some sense (and of course there’s Platinum Hit), traditionally only those who were well-known songwriters could go it alone without the assistance of a music publisher. The reason is because it is a challenge for an emerging or undiscovered songwriters to commercially exploit her music on a significant scale without the help of a music publisher, one who licenses your songs to others for flat fees or royalties so that your songs get recorded or played or synchronized in TV and film and so forth. Performance royalties are all right, but music publishing, if properly managed, is really where the money is in the music industry.

Music publishing can be big business. It is also confusing to many songwriters who tend to focus on the creative aspects of writing rather than the business and legal sides. Essentially, there are two potential income streams involved in songwriting: first is the songwriter’s share as the creator and copyright owner, and second is the publisher’s share for the person or company that actually enables the song to be released to the public (i.e., to be published). This has been explained in the past as the two “pies,” where the total percentage of income is 200 percent (each of the pies equaling 100 percent).

This explanation is somewhat outdated and only adds to confusion. Others explain the writer’s share as 50 percent of the revenues and the publisher’s share as the other 50 percent.

Regardless of how you slice it (pun intended), in general, songwriters transfer some percentage (or all) of the copyright to the publisher, and keep the entire songwriter’s share of income and none (or very little) of the publisher’s share. The percentage of copyright transfers affects the way money is split between you and the publisher. [sample publishing agreement]

If you do a co-publishing deal in which you (or the publishing company that you form) team up with an established publisher, then you will most likely transfer 50 percent of the copyright to the publisher, keep the entire writer’s share of revenues, and split the publisher’s share of revenues fifty-fifty. [sample co-pub agreement]

Or you may be in a strong negotiating position and opt for an administration deal, in which case you will control copyright and keep all of the songwriter’s share, all (or most) of the publisher’s share, and simply pay to the company an administrative fee for handling the business of exploiting and managing your copyrights.

Click here for more information about copyright

Click here for music publishing sample forms

[Excerpt from Chapter 13 of Copyright Companion for Writers © 2007 Tonya M. Evans. This excerpt may be “shared socially” and republished provided this post is copied in its entirety and copyright information is included for attribution]

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