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Copyright Assignment or License 

Ethical and Legal Considerations

Annette Flanagin

Typically, copyright of a work vests initially with the author of the work. As copyright owner, an author may transfer rights to a publisher by copyright assignment, exclusive license, or nonexclusive license., A broadly worded exclusive license may provide much of the same rights to publishers as would a copyright transfer agreement. Thus, an owner of an exclusive assignment (through either copyright transfer or broadly worded exclusive license) may produce derivative works and sublicense specific rights to others. Some publishers permit authors to retain certain rights to their works, even when assigning copyright or granting an exclusive license (such as

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