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The information presented in this guide is intended for informational purposes and should not be construed as legal advice or guidance. If you have specific legal questions pertaining to the University of Arizona, please contact the Office of the General Counsel.

Rights Granted to Copyright Holders

What are the entitlements granted to a copyright owner? The right to:

  • Reproduce the work
  • Distribute (publish/sell) copies of the work
  • Prepare derivative works (translations, audio version of a book, etc.)
  • Perform (recite, act, play) the work
  • Display the work
  • License any of the above to 3rd parties
  • Give copyright away entirely

These rights are exclusive to the author/creator of a work until and unless those rights are assigned or transferred (for example, in a publishing agreement).

Copyright Agreements

Publication agreements commonly require authors to assign their entire copyright over to the publisher in exchange for publishing their work.

  • If an author exclusively transfers all of the copyright in a work to a publisher, then the publisher owns the work. The author may not be able to reuse the work without permission or grant permission for others to use the work.
  • Consider granting a publisher a non-exclusive right to the work (e.g. for first publication). This allows the author to retain copyright in the work (and the entitlements).

Learn more about retaining your copyright: