Copyright Agreement Process

For detailed information about the copyright agreement process, refer to Chapter 3 of the Student Journal Editors Handbook.

 

The copyright agreement process should be started as soon as an article has been accepted for publication:

 

Step 1:     Determine which of the three copyright agreements should be used:

  1. The Author Assignment Agreement is the default for most authors.
  2. The Author Licensing Agreement is the default for the Berkeley Technology Law Journal, authors in the online journal companions, and authors specifically requesting to retain the copyright.
  3. The Online Companion Author Licensing Agreement is appropriate for articles not available in print format.

 

Step 2:     Author Assignment Agreement will be used:

  1. Send a table of contents that lists the authors and article titles, with or without page numbers, to the Publications Coordinator as a Word document attached to an e-mail message.
  2. Use the new unilateral Author Assignment Agreement template.
  3. Fill in the appropriate fields to customize the agreement for each author - these fields are identified on the template in BOLD CAPS:
      • In the leading paragraph, add the author’s name, article title, and journal name.
      • In the 4th paragraph, add the journal name, volume and issue numbers, and year of publication.
      • On Page 2 of the agreement, add the journal name, mailing address using the appropriate format described on Page 3 of this handbook, and the journal’s or Publication Coordinator’s fax number.  (You may save the Page 2 changes on the original template as a time-saver for future agreements.)
  4. Include the required text in your email/cover letter accompanying the agreement and email the agreement to the author.
  5. Follow up with authors to confirm that agreements have been signed and returned. Authors may fax, scan and email, or mail the counter signed agreements to the journal using the appropriate journal address format.
  6. Forward all signed agreements to the Publications Coordinator.

 

Step 3:     Author Licensing Agreement will be used:

  1. Send a table of contents that lists the authors and article titles, with or without page numbers, to the Publications Coordinator as a Word document attached to an e-mail message.
  2. Use the Author Licensing Agreement template to create a customized agreement for each author.  Fields are identified on the template in BOLD CAPS.  Save each agreement as a separate electronic file.
  3. Email the agreement files to the Publications Coordinator for execution by the Business Contracts Office.  The best practice is to forward all agreements for an issue at the same time, each agreement as a separate attachment to the email message.  Include a table of contents that lists the authors and article titles, with or without page numbers.
  4. Photocopy each executed agreement before distributing them to the appropriate authors.
  5. Mail original executed agreements to the appropriate authors for counter signatures.
  6. Follow up with authors to confirm that agreements have been signed and returned.  Authors may fax, scan and email, or mail the counter signed agreements to the journal using the appropriate journal address format.
  7. Forward all signed agreements to the Publications Coordinator.

 

Step 4:     Online Companion Author Licensing Agreement will be used:

  1. Use the Online Companion Author Licensing Agreement template to create a customized agreement for each author.  Fields are identified on the template in BOLD CAPS.  Save each agreement as a separate electronic file.
  2. Email the agreement files to the Publications Coordinator for execution by the Business Contracts Office.  The best practice is to forward all agreements for an issue at the same time, each agreement as a separate attachment to the email message.  Include a table of contents that lists the authors and article titles, with or without page numbers.
  3. Photocopy each executed agreement before distributing them to the appropriate authors.
  4. Mail original executed agreements to the appropriate authors for counter signatures.
  5. Follow up with authors to confirm that agreements have been signed and returned.  Authors may fax, scan and email, or mail the counter signed agreements to the journal using the appropriate journal address format.
  6. Forward all signed agreements to the Publications Coordinator.

 

AUTHOR’S INDEMNIFICATION CLAUSE

While simple changes to agreements, such as eliminating fees for reprint permission requests, and other revisions can be negotiated, no changes can be made to the author’s indemnification clause in either agreement template.  As explained by the campus Business Contracts Office, “indemnification means that one party agrees to protect the other party from financial loss that might arise out of the agreement, based on a claim or demand by someone who isn’t part of the agreement (a third party).” 

 

For journals, one of the author’s warranties is that his/her article doesn’t infringe another party’s copyright.  The University didn’t write the article (an act not under the control of the University) and, therefore, does not want to assume financial liability for defending an allegation of copyright infringement.  The author’s indemnification clause mitigates this financial risk for the University.