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Model copyright agreements

Revision as of 15:02, 16 February 2006 by (Talk)

The AALS Special Committee on Law Review Publishing Agreement published a a model author-journal agreement in 1988. The agreement and and essay on "Why a Model Author/Journal Agreement?" by Marci A. Hamilton, can be found at

There are sample agreements at Boston College Law Review and at Tulsa Law Review.

Materials that allow you to make a license that meets your needs may be found at CreativeCommons

Open Access Law Journal Principles are guidelines for law journal copyright policies.

[Links to text of some models should go here]

Here is the agreement I have used with a large number of journals. I know Michigan Law Review also has a very enlightened policy on this issue.

Mark Lemley


This is a publication agreement and copyright license (“Agreement�?) between John R. Allison, Mark. A. Lemley, Kimberly A. Moore and Derek Trunkey (“Author�?) and the Georgetown Law Journal (“Journal�?), regarding a written work currently entitled “Valuable Patents�? (“Article�?).


1.1 The Author grants to the Journal the nonexclusive right to publish, reproduce, distribute, and use the Article in any form, either separately or as part of a collective work, including but not limited to the nonexclusive right to publish the Article in an issue of the Journal, copy and distribute individual reprints of the Article, authorize reproduction of the entire Article in another publication, and authorize reproduction and distribution of the Article or an abstract thereof by means of computerized retrieval systems (such as Westlaw, Lexis and SSRN). The Author retains ownership of the copyright in the Article, and all rights not expressly granted in this agreement.

1.2 In addition to the nonexclusive rights granted above, the Journal shall have the exclusive right to print publication of the Article for a period beginning when this Agreement is executed and ending six (6) months after publication of the work in the Journal.

1.3 The Author grants to the Journal the power to assign, sublicense or otherwise transfer any and all rights granted under this Agreement, provided the Journal does not modify the Article without permission from the Author.

1.4 The Journal agrees to properly affix the author's copyright notice to all reproductions of the Article, and not to modify the article or permit it to be modified without the Author’s permission.


2.1 The Author retains ownership of the copyright in the Article, and all rights not expressly granted in this agreement, including the nonexclusive right to reproduce, distribute, adapt, perform, and display the Article in print or electronic form.

2.2 In no case, however, may any subsequent print version of the Article or any part thereof be published by another publisher within six (6) months of the actual publication date of the Article in the Journal without the express written consent of the Journal, unless the subsequent publication is substantially different from the Article as it appears in the Journal.


3.1 The Author represents and warrants that to the best of the author’s knowledge the Article does not defame any person, does not invade the privacy of any person, and does not in any other manner infringe upon the rights of any person. The Author agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Journal against any damages it is obliged by a court to pay arising from a violation of this warranty.

3.2 The Author represents and warrants that the author has full power and authority to enter into this agreement and to grant the rights granted in this agreement.

3.3 The Author guarantees that the article furnished to the Journal has not been published previously.


4.1 This Agreement shall remain in effect for as long as copyright protection subsists in the Article.


5.1 The Author agrees and acknowledges that the Author will receive no payment from the Journal or the Journal’s publisher for use of the Article or the rights granted in this Agreement. The Journal will publish the Article, and provide the Author with free copies of the bound issue in which the Article appears and free reprints of the Article as per its normal policy. The Author will have the opportunity to order additional reprints at the Author’s expense before the issue containing the Article goes to press.

5.2 The Journal agrees and acknowledges that the Journal will not receive any payment from the Author for publication by the Journal, nor shall any payment be due the Journal should the Author properly exercise any of the rights in Section 2 of this Agreement.

5.3 Neither party has any duty to account to the other for the proper exercise of any rights granted under this Agreement.


6.1 This Agreement supersedes any and all other agreements, either oral or in writing, between the Author and the Journal with respect to the subject of this Agreement. This Agreement contains all of the warranties and agreements between the parties with respect to the Article, and each party acknowledges that no representations, inducements, promises, or agreements have been made by or on behalf of any party except those warranties and agreements embodied in this Agreement. No agreement, statement, or promise not contained in this Agreement shall be valid or binding.


Signed: ___________________________________________ Date: ___________ Mark A. Lemley

Signed: ___________________________________________ Date: ___________ John R. Allison

Signed: ___________________________________________ Date: ___________ Kimberly A. Moore

Signed: ___________________________________________ Date: ___________ Derek Trunkey

Signed: ___________________________________________ Date: ___________ Georgetown Law Journal

More background reading than you probably want at


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