This is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. If you would like legal advice regarding copyright or your author's rights.
Copyright is established in title 17 of the U.S. Code and grants authors certain copyrights, sometimes called author's rights, to works they create as outlined in chapter 1 section 106. These include the right:
Copyright is automatic with creation of the work, though you can transfer your copyrights. Publishers usually ask for transfer of all copyrights through a Copyright Transfer Agreement (CTA) in order to publish books or articles, but authors needn't transfer all of their copyrights for this to occur. The publisher really only needs the right to distribute. Authors should know the Copyright Basics and should learn their rights and how to exercise them as well as consider using an addendum to preserve their author's rights.
Another alternative is to consider using a Creative Commons License especially for items in open access journals or repositories. Creative Commons licensing does not replace copyright, it just lets others use works in certain ways, that author chooses, without them having to ask the author's permission first and encourages creativity, sharing, and innovation.
For more information, check out these links: