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Copyright and publishing

License agreement

By license agreement, the author gives the licensee the right to use the work in a specific way and to the extent agreed in the contract.

  The requisites of the license agreement are provided in the Czech Republic by the Civil Code (Act No. 89/2012 Sb.), in § 2358-2389.

License agreement may be concluded as:

  • Exclusive – the licensee is the only one who may use the work in the manner and to the extent provided for in this agreement. Even the author is not allowed to use the work in the same manner and extend as the licensee, unless the agreement provides otherwise. The exclusivity agreement should be concluded in writing.
  • Nonexclusive – the author is not limited in further use of the work or in the extent of its use. The work may only be used by the author or another non-exclusive license may be granted to others.

  When concluding a license agreement (mainly with publishers), it is good to consider what type to choose not to restrict further use of the work, such as its publication in Open Access mode or exposure in the repository. For example, Horizon 2020 requires that scientific information can be used, disseminated, mined, reproduced, etc.

Requirements of license agreements:

  • Renumeration – it must be determined (specific amounts or by revenue) or it must be clear that the parties want to conclude the contract without determining the remuneration, in which case the usual level of remuneration is agreed. The contract may be free of charge, but this must be explicitly stated in writing.
  • Scope/ conditions – unless stated otherwise:
    • Quantity (number of copies covered by the license) – usual.
    • Place (distribution of the work) – in the Czech Republic.
    • Duration of the license – no longer than one year from the moment the license is granted.
  • Is the license exclusive or nonexclusive? Unless agreed otherwise, the license agreement is considered non-exclusive.

  On the contrary, unless otherwise agreed, publishing licenses are considered exclusive! However, this does not apply to periodicals.

  • Sublicenses – possibility of granting a license to a 3rd party (must be explicitly given in writing). The author must be informed about the granting of the license to another person, written consent is required.
  • Definition of (individual) uses (e.g. dramatization of a work, writing a screenplay, publishing a book – both printed and electronic).

  License agreements can only be concluded for uses that are known at the time of the contraction.

When publishing, it is necessary to have all contractual agenda in order – not only with the authors of the text, but also with translators, cover designers, illustrators, photographers, typographers, authors of introductions and afterwords, etc.

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