Britt and Jim, I'm not sure I can post to this listserve because I'm not a member but with regard to your comment below, yes I think the artist has to be very proactive now...

Over the years I've worked this issue into my initial response to a prospective client, here is the cost of the illustration, please note it's Usage Rights only and copyright can not be transferred to the Journal, if this is all good I'll send you an official Illustration Agreement with more details shortly. 

And I send a Permission for Use PDF with my invoice when I send my final art to the client with a note saying something to the effect of, Please let me know if you have any issues with this document and the journal  I'm happy to work with them and their legal team directly to make sure everyone is happy. 

While I really want to educate my clients and put the copyright issue front and centre, I don't want them worried about this battle as well as persuading the journal to publish their article. 

So far so good... sounds like it may be in part due to those big institutions you mention Jim. If so, I'm grateful to them!

Beth Croce, CMI
medical artist and director,
biomedical art, illustration & jewelry

On 28/01/2015, at 3:10 PM, Jim Perkins wrote:


You're absolutely correct. The document that the author signs usually
states that s/he is transferring full copyright of the manuscript and all
accompanying materials - including artwork - to the journal. As I said
earlier, many authors just sign these agreements blindly and never
consider whether it violates the agreement they have with the illustrator.

If the illustrator granted limited rights to the author, then the author
has no legal authority to transfer copyright of the artwork to the
journal. But if the illustrator takes any action against the journal, the
author gets caught in the middle and isn't happy. You are correct that
this inevitably leads to bad feelings between the author and illustrator.
So, yes, the illustrator must be very proactive in checking the submission
requirements of the journal and making sure the journal will accept a
limited license rather than full transfer of the copyright.

There has been a lot of discussion about this on the AMI listserv. Much of
the discussion focuses on large clinics, medical schools, and teaching
hospitals that have their own in-house illustration departments (places
like Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, etc.). The staff illustrators would
create artwork that belonged to the clinic or med school, but then the
scientists and physicians would sign away the rights to that artwork every
time they submitted a paper to a journal. Since the journal now owned the
copyright, the illustration department would have to pay a licensing fee
back to the journal to use their own artwork! Some of the these clinics
and medical schools finally realized that they were giving up a valuable
commodity by signing away the rights to their work. So they forbid their
faculty and researchers from signing these sorts of agreements. Initially
this created a standoff, but the publishers eventually backed down because
they depend on the researchers at these big institutions for so much of
their content. This has opened the doors for independent illustrators to
also negotiate with the publishers to retain their copyright.


On 1/27/15 10:53 AM, "Britt Griswold" <[log in to unmask]>

> I assume an artist has to be very proactive about reminding the author to
> send the author/artist
> agreement to the Journal when less than full copyright is in the work
> agreement? Do Journals just
> assume if the author signs over full copyright, that means the art as
> well.  It just seems like
> policing this stuff would be nearly impossible; and that trying to clean
> up the mess afterward is a
> good way to never work for those authors again.
> On 1/26/15 11:05 PM, Jim Perkins wrote:
>> This is good advice. In fact, many journals these days demand full
>> copyright to all submissions,
>> including the author's text and all accompanying artwork. As Nicolle
>> said, the authors gladly sign
>> these agreements since they see it as a necessary condition for getting
>> their work published. They
>> may not realize (or care) that it violates the terms of their agreement
>> with the artist.
>> Many illustrators have had success negotiating with the journals to
>> accept something less than a
>> full transfer of copyright. At a minimum, however, most journals are
>> going to insist on one-tiome
>> print rights PLUS a limited use license in perpetuity. That's because
>> most journals now offer an
>> online, archived edition and they want to be able to use the artwork in
>> the online version long
>> after the printed version is published. This would prevent you form
>> putting any kind of time limit
>> on the usage.
>> I think your best bet is to grant them:
>> 1. One-time print rights for a single printed edition of the journal.
>> 2. Non-exclusive rights to use the artwork in an online or electronic
>> archive version, /but only in
>> the context of the original printed article/. In other words, they can
>> only use the artwork as it
>> appears in that one printed article. This prevents them from
>> repurposing the art for other articles
>> or adding it to their clip-art collection.
>> Since you're granting them a non-exclusive, limited license, you keep
>> the copyright and can use the
>> artwork for anything else you want, but it satisfies the needs of the
>> journal at the same time.
>> Jim
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