The author, by the fact of being so, acquires two types of rights: moral rights and exploitation rights or property rights (copyright).
Moral rights are not transferable and no expiry.
Exploitation rights include distribution rights, reproduction, public communication and derivatives. These rights are transferable, with or without any considerations. The transfer of exploitation rights to third parties can be done by two ways: cession and licensing.
In the case of cession, there is a transfer of the ownership of these rights and, in the case of license is established the right to use or exploit the object protected by industrial or intellectual property in certain conditions or.
There are two important projects which provide information on editorial policies regarding the use of their materials in repositories (copyright, self-archiving, etc.)
Dulcinea: is a national project being coordinated by the Universitat de Barcelona, the CSIC and the Universitat de València.
Its goal is to reveal the publishing policies of Spanish magazines regarding access to their archives, copyright entitlements over the same and how they could affect their subsequent self-archiving in institutional or thematic repositories.
Access Dulcinea here.
Sherpa/Romeo: is one of the services offered by Sherpa, a project being led by the University of Nottingham for the development of institutional Open Access repositories at universities for the purpose of facilitating the swift and efficient distribution of research.
Access Sherpa/Romeo here.