Rights to Authorship--OJ book

First, I should point out that in no way am I an OJ fan, but…

Since the Goldman family have won the rights to his book, If I did it, then how do they have the right to modify the cover (in another thread) to look as if it is an absolute confession and change the title?

Doesn’t this make it look as OJ himself designed the book and cover?

Wouldn’t he have grounds for a suit against the Goldmans for changing his work? (I know it was ghost written) I mean, it’s basically putting a theme/idea in words that was NOT was OJ put out there. How is this right?

And please no, “He murdered two people, so fuck him!” replies. I’m just looking for precedent if I was to write something that a past, present, or future action could allow it to be altered to fit someone else’s wishes…

Moved to General Questions, because it looks like you are asking for a factual response. If I’m wrong, let me know.

Gfactor, General Questions Moderator

Most authors have absolutely no control over the title or covers (including both front and back covers, and the inside cover material) of their books. This usually comes as a surprise to everybody outside the industry.

The Washington Post said this back in July 2007:
Goldman Family Buys Rights To Simpson Manuscript

So, if I was to write a book about my innocence in a whatever case, and I made my title “I AM NOT GUILTY BUT INNOCENT!!!” the publisher could take my work and rename the title, and publish the front cover as follows:


without my consent?

Easily. Read Isaac Asimov’s autobiographies. He has a number of stories of his titles being ignored by editors.

It’s not his any more! The Goldman family owns it now, legally, and can do anything they want with it.

Sure. You’d have a case against them for other reasons, like libel or defamation. A good lawyer could probably find some clause of the contract that was breached if you needed to push it that hard. And the publicity would sink the firm. Of course, there are no real life examples of anything that stupid. But the general principle is sound. There are ten million examples of books being published with titles that were very much against their author’s wishes and ten million more of covers even worse than a bad title. Tough. You have no say at all in the matter, unless you’re up in the J. R. Rowling/Stephen King category. And even her first title in the U.S. was changed to something she hated. Couldn’t happen now, but it did then.