Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Say "No" and walk away

Every writer wants to gain exposure and selling articles is a great way to validate our work. But don't sell out, and don't agree to post your work on web sites without retaining your rights.

Here's a brief excerpt of the actual contract underlying one of the many 'content sites' that urge writers to submit article for distribution on the web. This example is a company that pays you money! Yes, folks, that's right! They will pay you for your article, but .... they pay $1.50 for every one thousand page views, or clicks on your article. Not even enough to buy a magazine!

What's worse, the firm's contract states:

"Content Producer hereby irrevocably (i) grants to Company a worldwide, perpetual, fully-paid up, royalty-free, transferable right and license, with right to sublicense, to reproduce, publicly display, distribute, and perform, transmit, edit, modify, create derivatives works of, publish, sell, exploit, use, and dispose of such Work for any purpose and in all forms and all media whether now known or to become known in the future, the right to retain all revenue and income derived therefrom, and any and all other related rights of whatever kind or nature --- "

I think I've made my point. Contact me if you have any questions.

1 comment:

Joan Price said...

This is such good advice! I've been approached many times by websites who offer me "exposure" by publishing my articles.

Although I've earned my living with my writing (selling use of it, not giving it away) for decades, there are times when I am willing to contribute an excerpt or spinoff or even donate a regular column to help promote a new book.

The snag is when they want to *own* the work I submit! When I point out the meaning of the terms of their contract and why I'd never sign it, the editors are (or act) surprised and say, "our lawyers drew that up -- I never really read it."

It's a shame, because sometimes contributing a bit of content can be mutually beneficial -- and I have such an arrangement with a couple of sites right now. But I'd never agree to give away my work forever and stand out in the cold dying of "exposure"!

Joan Price

Author of Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty (Seal Press, 2006, )

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