4.07.2006

Braille rights

I was contacted by a school for blind children (this is a significantly sized school in a major city) to read one of my short stories. (Of course I said absolutely!) They have asked for a hard copy of this story as they wish to have it made into Braille for the students library. No money will be exchanged, I would be doing this for the children. The story is not published, yet if I ever wanted to publish would this cause a conflict? My initial thought is no, this is an apple vs. oranges situation. However, I wanted your advice before I proceeded.


There won't be a problem as far as I know. Braille licensing rights are pretty much always given to the publisher and no royalty accrues to the author. The author gets royalties for large print and audio but not Braille. I'm not sure why other than Braille existed long before audio did.

If you ever sell this story, make sure you tell your agent so the clause about Braille rights can be amended.

Do not just hand over the manuscript either. You need a contract and a dollar. I don't suspect them of chicanery but I like to have things written down. It assists me greatly if I have to sue vultures for their carrionon later.

1 comment:

Mac said...

Interestingly, copyright law in Australia allows them to make a Braille version WITHOUT your permission.

Basically if they make 'reasonable enquiries' and a disability friendly version isn't available, then copyright law allows them to just convert it without your permission

The tricky bit is that the law doesn't actually define what 'reasonable enquiries' really means, and it gets even trickier if the publisher suddenly releases an unusable version that still technically meets the requirements of 'available'.

Interesting how different countries handle the same issue ...

Mac
(PS: I am not a lawyer)