Copyright transfer agreements (CTAs) are at the heart of the author rights debate. These legal instruments determine which rights academic authors retain or cede to the publisher to distribute and share their work and yet both novice and experienced authors across disciplines struggle to understand them. Based on workshop experiences and empirical research, the presenter will explore what are the qualities of a “good” CTA and which aspects of standard copyright transfer agreements pose the greatest difficulty for academic authors. The session will close by soliciting audience input on how publishers could alter their CTAs to improve the experience for all parties involved. A presentation as a part of the ABC Copyright 2020 Fall Speaker Series, hosted by the University of Alberta Copyright Office.