1. These indemnity clauses can also apply to editors, as I discovered when I became the editor of the Journal of the History of Sexuality. Along with the excellent advice in Gillian Frank’s article, authors and editors should also seek legal counsel from their universities. I insisted upon receiving (and was granted) a guarantee that my university would pay any legal expenses arising from such law suits before I would sign my contract for the editorship. This was not easy, since university legal departments do not particularly like dealing with individual faculty members (as opposed to upper-level university business) — just one more sign of the corporatization of university administrations. I think it is important to push legal services departments on university campuses to become aware of this issue and to help individual authors and editors to push back. All universities have a stake in making it possible to produce scholarly work without the threat of personal financial ruin. We need to make it very clear that protecting individual scholars in these cases is imperative to the preservation of academic freedom.

  2. I am an author who had hopes of republishing my book. When I read the indemnity clauses in the contracts I can’t sign it. I have no problem with the third party lawsuits but the publishers want complete impunity across the board. To be held “Harmless” no matter what they do. This puts the publisher in a position where they could easily defraud the royalties funds and the author would not be able to recover. I’m sorry but I already know, people do steal. I’m not signing it.

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