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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 11551
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I have several old stories which I wrote in the 1950s. I am

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I have several old stories which I wrote in the 1950s. I am now 84, and am considering trying to publish a collection of my earlier work. Of those stories which were printed, many were accepted on the "First British Serial Rights" terms, whih I gathered meant that I still owned the copyright. However, two of my best stories were published in The London Mystery Magazine, which bought them on "outright sale". Unfortunately, the London Mystery Magazine and its proprietor, Norman Kark Publications" went out of business some years ago, so I have no idea who now "owns" the copyrights of my work. I should like to find how to buy back these copyrights, or failing that to arrange some deal whereby I might print an acknowledgment. How do I find the owner? What is the normal procedure for authors in this situation?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
I am a lawyer with a special interest in media and copyright law and will help you with this.
It may be that the copyright in the two stories you had published were sold on by the publisher or any liquidator of the publisher.
It will not be realistic to try to trace this after so long.
What you should do is publish the stories but make it clear that whilst you assert the moral right to be identified as the author, the works were published under copyright of the London Mystery Magazine and give the year of publication. This should be sufficient to acknowledge the position as you understand it and I think it would be extremely unlikely that any party would now pursue for royalties.
Happy to discuss further.
Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
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