Romney, WV asked in Copyright for West Virginia

Q: Who owns the copyright to a biography I have hired an author to write about me?

I, or my wife if I pass before the work is done, has to approve the contents of the biography before publication. In the original contract, which was quite vague, I owned the work. The author is saying the original contract is so vague that it is her intellectual property that she owns. The biography is costing me $25,000 plus expenses. I am 100-years old and would like a resolution to this before I expire. The writer has suggested drawing up a new contract giving her all of the rights to the work.

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1 Lawyer Answer

A: If you have paid someone to write a biography, you certainly have enough money to pay an attorney for advice concerning this matter, as opposed for seeking free advice, which simply isn't worth very much. It should all be set out in a contract, and you are going to employ an attorney to draft the contract. Get that done so that you own the work that you paid for.

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