New York, NY asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for New York

Q: Do I need permission from a publisher or author to create an Audio Book from a book that is currently out to the public?

There is a book that has been out for over 10 years that I would like to create an audio book of and sell the audio book do I need permission from author and/or publisher to do this?

I am wondering if this works like the music industry in that the rights of the book is retained by the author and publisher but the newly made sound recording would be owned by the producer or recording company...

To create an already released song for example a musician does not have to ask permission to record and sell a song that is already out to the public. The copyright of the work is retained by the writer and publisher and credit given on the album but the sound recording would be a new work owned by whoever recorded it...?

1 Lawyer Answer
Morgen Bowers
Morgen Bowers
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Chatham, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Yes. Unless the book is in the public domain (meaning it is no longer subject to copyright protection), you need permission to make a derivative work such as an audio book. The contract between the author and the publisher determines from whom you need the permission.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.