Academic common room
Royalties - what does your contract say?
worstofbothworlds · 08/08/2017 16:24
Issue with colleague with whom I am writing a book.
Colleague says that colleague's university will be entitled to all colleague's royalties.
I feel this cannot be true as what academic - who might want to retire on the proceeds of their lovely popular book - would sign that?
I feel that colleague is probably mistaken and the contract mentions IP (which I believe is common) and not royalties.
Anyone got any examples? Probably totally outing myself here but hey ho.
Justasec · 08/08/2017 22:32
Not an author but some professional experience. Yes quite a few institutions will require any book written while working for them has royalties going to them. Often happens when they'll be using their 'work' time to write (or benefiting from the fact they work for that institution iykwim?) You could still be right and they have misread their contract but it is quite common for this to happen.
Deianira · 09/08/2017 10:12
I've never heard of this in my discipline - admittedly Humanities royalties are often so tiny and insubstantial that it wouldn't make much difference either way, but the sort of institutional ownership of books written in 'work time' that Justasec mentions is certainly not something I've ever heard of happening. I wonder if it varies substantially by subject area? Are both your institutions in the same country? That might also make a difference I suppose.
Summerswallow · 09/08/2017 11:39
This would not be the case in my institution as no-one would write books, just easier things if it had to be done in 9-5. I get paid royalties for books and for articles that are used by others through ACLS.
worstofbothworlds · 09/08/2017 11:57
Yes I have definitely already received royalty cheques for a chapter I've written.
Colleague is now saying that consultancy/invited speaker money goes into a Uni account which colleague can use for research/travel so it sounds like colleague was confused and is backtracking. I suspect that is where colleague's royalty money will go (and where I can choose, but don't have to, put my royalty money - but I think I will)
We are both in the same UK nation. Colleague's university is post-92 and mine is 1994 group.
Summerswallow · 09/08/2017 12:15
I think consultancy money may be different than book royalties though and it depends what deal your uni will allow. I know colleagues who do not consider their current consultancy deals at their unis favourable and so do far less consultancy work than they might otherwise do, it's just making work for yourself unless you genuinely get extra money yourself.
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