7 Habits of Legal Publishers
Did u ever hear someone say the word Legalese? Legal publishers seem to be always in a pickle. A single mistake could have dire consequences for a single person, company or a group of individuals. It’s an extremely bristly form of publishing that requires precision and attention to details. Legal content requires skilled specialists at the helm and publishers need to take that into account. Legal publishing, depending on the country, needs to be up to date with current law as it should reflect in the published materials. Technology evolves with local legal practices. To be in legal publishing, certain rules or observations have to be followed by legal publishers everywhere.
- Intellectual Property – When it comes to legal publishing, intellectual property is conceitedly the most debated subject. Intellectual property (IP) is a global term referring to creations commonly seen in trade books. Essentially, a mere thought can be considered an IP. When it comes to publishing, this subject becomes more potent. It’s extremely important to know the ins and outs of IPs as it becomes a more defining feature of legal publishing in the near future.
- Publishing Agreements – Publishing agreements are a big part of the structure betweens authors and publishers. For legal publishers, it is king. Agreements are varied across the board. There are some that are attached with performance or as a royalty or advance for the copy of the agreed title. Licenses and fees will accompany agreements or royalties and fees. Both are considered a very common practice in the legal publishing industry. As a publisher, the agreement should be made very clear from the beginning. Clear and well defined agreements will be a life saver and save you the hassle of possible lawsuits in the future.
- Content Liability – Legal content has to be on the up and up. If it isn’t, the consequences could be dire. Many forms of legal infringement could be committed by a simple piece of publishing. For example, a single piece of published work could: be libelous or cruelly false; be obscene or indecent; infringe on copyright, moral rights, database rights, trade mark rights, design rights, rights in passing off, or other intellectual property rights etc. All publishers and especially legal publishers need to take heed of this when it comes to content liability.
- Brand Names and Trademarks – Using brand names and trademarks could be risky business for any legal publisher. Using any trademark, whether registered or not, to describe a product or service could draw unnecessary attention to your published work. It’s something that should be avoided. The same could be said of brand names. If used intentionally or unintentionally in a negative light, it could result in defamation lawsuits. This will result in unnecessary losses for the publishers.
- Registration – As with everything else, all your published material has to be copyright protected. In the legal industry, it becomes even more paramount.
- Embrace Digital Media – Digitizing all legal materials including law journals should be a step forward for all legal publishers. As more people ingest material on mobile and digital platforms, editorial and other legal publishing materials will be some of the more downloaded material around. Legal publishers should probably start digitizing their entire catalogues as soon as possible.
- Apps – This is more of one for the future. With an increasing public needing to find information at a moment’s instance, apps serve exactly that purpose. Big data has become entrenched with legalese and the need to find an exact case law could be a wonderful route for publishers in the near future in order to the legal publishing market.