Owning a book is not the same as owning the copyright to the book.
Obvious, right? You probably own lots of books and you’ve never thought you owned the copyright to those books.
Still, people conflate “book” with “copyright” all the time.
On March 20, 2022, The New York Times continued its reporting on the alleged theft of Ashley Biden’s diary by Robert Kurlander and Aimee Harris. Harris and Kurlander purportedly tried to sell the book to the ironically named, Project Veritas.
The Times reported that the Department of Justice is conducting a criminal investigation of how Ms. Harris came to be in possession of the diary and the role played by Project Veritas and then wrote that:
“Project Veritas finalized a deal with Mr. Kurlander and Ms. Harris to buy the rights to publish the diary for $40,000, wired them the money and signaled that the group planned to soon publish it, according [sic] a person with knowledge of the case.”
If Kurlander and Harris somehow came by the diary without breaking any state or federal laws, they would have the right to sell the physical object to whomever they please but they still don’t have the right to publish the diary and, it should go without saying, they can’t sell or license rights they don’t have.
Ms. Biden wrote the diary. She owns the copyright. Publication without her permission is copyright infringement.
 Ashley Biden’s Diary Was Shown at Trump Fund-Raiser. Weeks Later, Project Veritas Called Her. March 20, 2022 The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/20/us/politics/project-veritas-ashley-biden-diary.html?referringSource=articleShare