Q: If author assigns copyright to publisher for royalty, who is responsible for protecting copyright against infringement?
Assigned copyright to publisher in 1975 in exchange for 8% royalty. Publisher sold for a few years then stopped. 1990, someone in the next town starts publishing the work, claiming they created it, same name, colors, images, context. Has been publishing it since. Quite successful. Author just found out that the work has been being published and used since 1990 with no royalties. No permission. No contact from original publisher. Does author have any rights? Shouldn’t publisher be responsible for protecting authors work from infringement?
A: Check the contract.
In some places you can recover the copyright after 35 years.
You should consult with an attorney.
Typically both parties have the right to defend the copyright.
Depending on the contract, it may not be an obligation for the licensee to sue or protect the copyright.
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