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Re: Thoughts on copyrights



Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord wrote:

> Dear Friends
>
>  ...snippage...

>         In a related story, I=92ve just written an article for
> Instructor
> magazine (for teachers) on Holiday Gift Books. It=92s the first time
> I=92ve
> written for a magazine. Going into it, I decided that I wanted the
> exposure and the experience regardless of the circumstances, which are
>
> that the pay is poor and it is considered =93Work for Hire.=94 This mea=
ns
> that they have hired me to write the article for them, even though it
> was my idea. They own the article and the copyright, not me. Of all
> the
> unfair things about this, the line in the contract that bothered me
> the
> most was the one that said that they could reproduce it whenever and
> wherever they wanted, and they didn=92t even have to put my name on it.
> At
> this point, I=92m not worrying about it. If nobody likes the article,
> they
> won=92t want another one. If it=92s well-received, I may have more
> bargaining power. We shall see.

-----Wow, that clause would really bother me, too. But then
work-for-hire is the worst of all possible contractual agreements. I
don't honestly know how they can expect writers to swallow that. I used
to write articles for Photo District News and other pubs.; one of the
beautiful things about writing is the ability of the author to
"repackage" the words, change the slant, focus, etc. and resell the work
to another publisher...usually after an agreed upon amount of time.
That's called first publication rights. They paid more if they wanted
second publication rights or something different or more exclusive.

I don't know if things have changed (are writers poorer today?), but the
work-for-hire wasn't very common. It is very heavy-handed. It actually
enriches the publisher if the work becomes popular and they reprint
it...totally to their benefit!

Personally, if I had a record of publishing in this special field, I'd
refuse.

Good luck and thanks for your post.


Darryl Baird


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