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Old 01-20-2020, 07:01 PM   #16
pwalker8
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The judge can also rule them the property of the court even if disposed of before bankruptcy filing. A man returned his truck to the bank before filing bankruptcy. The judge ruled that the bankruptcy took precedence and the truck was seized by the court.
Apache
A lot depends on what actually happened and why. The truck likely would not have been seized if the bank had foreclosed on the loan due to lack of payment before the bankruptcy. Both actions would have been court ordered. In general, one judge can't overturn another judge's decision if they are at the same level.
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Old 01-20-2020, 07:44 PM   #17
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Only if executed *before* bankruptcy.
Once the bankruptcy court takes over any such clause is void.
The copyrights become corporate *assets* to be sold to pay off creditors; secured debtors first and then if anything is left, the unsecured debtors. The contracts go to whoever buys them, even for pennies on the dollar.
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The judge can also rule them the property of the court even if disposed of before bankruptcy filing. A man returned his truck to the bank before filing bankruptcy. The judge ruled that the bankruptcy took precedence and the truck was seized by the court.
Apache
You both neglected to mention that the lawyers are in line ahead of the secured creditors.
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Old 01-20-2020, 09:59 PM   #18
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For the most part, author contracts assign copyright for the duration of the contract, which generally speaking is _not_ the same as the duration of copyright. All you have to do is look at some of your favorite authors and see the various publishers they have used over the years. As an example, Jerry Pournelle's West of Honor started with Pocket Paperback in 1978 and was later published by Baen Books in 1987. Last time I looked, copyrights last longer than 9 years. Birth of Fire was published in 1978 by Laser Books, and was later published by Baen Books. One can go through numerous authors who were in the business long enough to have a backlist and see this.

Most authors who aren't desperate and know what they are doing, have various out clauses, typically depending on sales. If sales drop below a certain figure per year, then the rights revert to the author. Fairly obviously, if the book is out of print, then odds are the sales have dropped below that figure.

Small niche publishers and authors that use them tend to be in a different space. In general, authors in this space tend to fall into the desperate group, i.e. they can't interest the bigger publishers. Some are mid-tier authors who are on the downward slope, or are trying to find someone who will publish their backlist (Stackpole probably falls in this group). The mid-tier authors, if they have any sense at all, will only assign the paper rights to the niche publisher and keep the eBook and audiobook rights separately.

My father use to talk about one of his first professional jobs where the employees were paid on Friday and everyone rushed to the bank in case some of the checks bounced. Needless to say, he started looking for another job as soon as this started to happen. This is no different. Stinks to be in that situation, but any author in this situation who hasn't been paid his royalties and didn't go to a lawyer after the first missed payment is not a very wise business person.
I'm pretty sure many authors aren't particularly good business persons. Some are, of course, but I don't think they're the majority.
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:25 PM   #19
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I'm pretty sure many authors aren't particularly good business persons. Some are, of course, but I don't think they're the majority.
There is something of a generational divide.

A lot of the old school/legacy writers followed the Sue Grafton "perfect your craft and let the universe take care of you" philosophy but most of the newer authors are a lot more business savvy. Out of self-defense.

Even the tradpubbed do their own marketing and reader outreach these days.
Websites, blog interviews, even online ads; not just for Indies anymore.
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Old 01-21-2020, 05:44 AM   #20
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So ... I guess that means it's a good idea to download & secure via Calibre & Aprentice Alf any books bought from their site, eh?

That's always a good idea, wherever you get your DRMed books from.
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Old 01-21-2020, 08:02 AM   #21
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I'm pretty sure many authors aren't particularly good business persons. Some are, of course, but I don't think they're the majority.
Well, that's why they should be hiring lawyers and agents who know the business. While plenty here pound their chest about how useless agents are, this is the sort of thing is the reason someone who is a bad business person should hire one.
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