Wednesday, January 12, 2011
What are first serial rights?
Kirsch's Handbook of Publishing Law, refers to publication in a periodical after the book has been published. Nowadays, the term is sometimes (perhaps mistakenly) used to refer to the general first right to print something in a periodical (whether magazine or newspaper). Posting material on the web is considered a separate set of rights known as "electronic rights." Those two worlds are obviously mashing together with magazine applications on mobile devices. If your agreement refers to electronic and FSR separately, you're definitely okay. If it doesn't, you can consider discussing the issue with the publisher, specially asking what the publisher believes it is acquiring. Based on trade usage and the historic basis of the term, you're porbably okay to go ahead with the arrangement.