Many publication agreements require that authors sign away full or partial copyrightto their works.
This short video from the Center for Digital Research and Scholarship (CDRS) at Columbia University discusses the ramifications of common publication agreements and gives advice for authors interested in keeping their rights.
About Author Rights
You have author rights that apply to all original works
You hold the copyright to your work as soon as you write it
You hold the copyright for your lifetime plus 70 years
Your copyright is inheritable, or you can sign it over to another person
You have the ability to give away your rights
Author rights include:
The right to reproduce your work, including publishing, copying, etc.
The right to create derivative works that build upon your existing work
The right to distribute the work through publication, sales, copying, etc.
The right to display, perform, or broadcast your work in public
The right to receive attribution for your work
Signing away your rights
This is most often done when signing a publication agreement
You lose your rights under copyright (with some fair use exceptions)
Current and future use of your work can be partially or completed controlled by the new rights holder depending on the agreement
Keeping your author rights
Author rights may sometimes be negotiated. For example, an addendum to the publisher agreement may be attached when publishing a new article so that you may keep some or all of your rights.