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Author agreement (assignment, fee)

Price:  £40.00(Inc. 20% VAT)(£33.33 Exc. VAT)
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Publishers taking ownership of the copyright in an author's work should consider this author agreement template.


This template is designed for use in circumstances where the publisher will benefit from a copyright assignment, and the author will be paid a fee, rather than a royalty. The fee payable to the author under this agreement can be split up, paid in instalments, and made subject to the author meeting particular deadlines.

Assignment vs licence

All author contracts contain either a licence of copyright or an assignment of copyright. Some kinds of book publishers (e.g. trade publishers) usually take a licence of copyright from their authors, while other kinds (e.g. many educational, professional and academic publishers) demand an assignment of copyright. A licence of rights is a permission to do things that would otherwise infringe those rights; whereas an assignment of rights is a transfer of ownership of those rights. Notwithstanding this stark distinction, an exclusive licence of rights can be so broad that its effect is similar to an assignment of rights. Perhaps the key difference between the licences and assignments in our template author contracts is that, upon termination of the agreement, licensed rights will revert to the author, while assigned rights will remain with the publisher.

Contract length

Our this author contract comes in three sizes: premium, standard and basic. The standard author contracts contain all the provisions of the basic document, with certain additions; similarly, the premium author contracts contain all the provisions of the standard document, with certain additions.

In addition to the provisions in the basic agreement, the standard agreement includes optional provisions providing for:

  • joint or multiple authors;
  • the preparation of an index;
  • more detailed treatment of the parties' responsibilities;
  • revisions of the work;
  • new editions of the work;
  • remainders (where appropriate);
  • licences to the Copyright Licensing Agency;
  • ownership of IP in titles;
  • termination in the event that a work goes out-of-print (in appropriate cases); and
  • contractual notices.
In addition to the provisions in the standard agreement, the premium author agreement includes optional provisions providing for:
  • rules governing infringement actions where the copyright in the work has been infringed;
  • limitations of liability protecting the publishers;
  • an option over future works by the author;
  • payments to authors' agents;
  • termination upon the change of control of the publishers;
  • alternative dispute resolution; and
  • the marketing of the work.
The premium template also include an index.

Basic version

  1. Definitions and interpretation
  2. Assignment of rights
  3. Delivery and acceptance
  4. Artwork
  5. Permissions
  6. Page proofs
  7. Publishers' responsibilities
  8. Publication
  9. Complimentary copies
  10. Author's undertakings, warranties and indemnity
  11. Fee
  12. Moral rights
  13. Term and termination
  14. Effects of termination
  15. Waiver and remedies
  16. Severance
  17. Variation
  18. Assignment
  19. Further assurance
  20. Third party rights
  21. Entire agreement
  22. Governing law and jurisdiction

Schedule 1 (Specification)

Standard version

  1. Definitions and interpretation
  2. Assignment of rights
  3. Delivery and acceptance
  4. Artwork
  5. Index
  6. Permissions
  7. Page proofs
  8. Publishers' responsibilities
  9. Publication
  10. Complimentary copies
  11. Revisions
  12. New editions
  13. Remainders
  14. Author's undertakings, warranties and indemnity
  15. Fee
  16. Copyright Licensing Agency
  17. Intellectual Property Rights
  18. Term and termination
  19. Effects of termination
  20. Notices
  21. Waiver and remedies
  22. Severance
  23. Variation
  24. Assignment
  25. Further assurance
  26. Third party rights
  27. Entire agreement
  28. Governing law and jurisdiction

Schedule 1 (Specification)
 

Premium version

  1. Definitions and interpretation
  2. Assignment of rights
  3. Delivery and acceptance
  4. Artwork
  5. Index
  6. Permissions
  7. Page proofs
  8. Publishers' responsibilities
  9. Publication
  10. Complimentary copies
  11. Marketing
  12. Revisions
  13. New editions
  14. Remainders
  15. Author's undertakings, warranties and indemnity
  16. Fee
  17. Copyright Licensing Agency
  18. Option
  19. Intellectual Property Rights
  20. Infringement actions
  21. Term and termination
  22. Effects of termination
  23. Limitations of liability
  24. Notices
  25. Waiver and remedies
  26. Severance
  27. Costs
  28. Counterparts
  29. No partnership etc
  30. Variation
  31. Assignment
  32. Further assurance
  33. Third party rights
  34. Entire agreement
  35. Alternative dispute resolution
  36. Governing law and jurisdiction

Schedule 1 (Specification)