In my article — Writing Advice for Authors — I implore all authors to demand, and get, Copyright in their name from their publishers.
Agents and publishers will tell you Copyright in your name doesn’t matter — yet many publishers will fight you to the death to keep the Copyright in their name and not yours.
Why do publishers demand to own your Copyright when you do the writing?
Why do authors allow publishers to own their Copyright?
The answer is simplicity: When it comes to ownership, publication rights, reprints and out-of-publication ownership, it is simply easier for the publisher to “own it whole” so they don’t have to fret, wonder about, or pay an author for extra or embedded rights.
As well, when a book goes out-of-print, ownership of the book automatically returns to the author if the original Copyright is owned by the author. The author does not have to write a letter to the publisher to inform them of republication intent or anything else. Once the publisher is done with the book, the author pulls back all rights — and publishers don’t like having that sort of automatic and intentional loss of a property even if it is normal, proper and moral.
Fight for your Copyright. Take less money if you must. Do not let publishers tell you Copyright doesn’t matter and then have them deny it to you in total. Copyright does matter or it wouldn’t be such a sharp and sticky negotiating point.