What are ghostwriters?

Good to know

Ghostwriters are writers (and thus authors) of a work (e.g. an autobiography or a speech). They do not identify themselves as the author, but write the work on behalf of someone else (e.g. a politician), in whose name the work is published. This is legally permitted if the original author agrees with the customer to publish the work created by the author under a different name (known as a ghostwriter’s agreement). The original author thus agrees that their name will not appear on the work. However, this does not mean that the author renounces their authorship. The right to recognition of authorship is not affected, because it is a personal and non-assignable right (Art. 9 para. 1 CopA). Authors who nevertheless wish their names to be cited in the work are entitled to insist on this under copyright law, but this would constitute a breach of the ghostwriter agreement, which states that the author waives the right to be designated as such. The author could then be liable for damages due to breach of contract.