Another interesting e-book twist
In making the announcement Mr. Wylie opened a new front, and a possible negotiating tool, in a debate over e-book rights for what are called backlist titles. Many traditional publishers have said they own the electronic rights to those books, but some authors and their estates have disagreed, arguing that since the books were published before e-books existed, the digital rights were not explicitly sold to the publishers.
“The fact remains that backlist digital rights were not conveyed to publishers, and so there’s an opportunity to do something with those rights,” Mr. Wylie said in an interview.
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