Code of Practice on Author Contracts

The Publishers Association’s Code of Practice on Author Contracts applies only to agreements under which an author assigns or licenses an interest in the copyright of a work to a publisher, and does not apply to agreements whereby an author invests money in the publication of a work.

The publishing contract must be clear, unambiguous and comprehensive, and must be honoured in both the letter and the spirit.

The Publishers Association

A constructive and cooperative relationship between book authors (and the people acting for them) and their publishers is vital to successful publishing. Dissatisfaction may arise, however, when a title is not the success that the author and publisher hoped for, or due to misunderstandings of the publishing contract. In order to help eliminate the causes of such misunderstandings, the Publishers Association’s Code of Practice on Author Contracts attempts to address some of the areas which may lead to avoidable conflict and is recommended to publishers in their dealings with authors.

The Code of Practice is made up of 20 principles, which while not binding on publishers include detail on key matters to be defined in author contracts, ownership of copyright, the author’s moral rights, and more. The document was originally published in 1982 and was revised in 1997 and in 2010.