If you’re a salaried employee, you almost certainly don’t own the copyright to blogs you write, especially if you were hired specifically for writing blog. If you are a freelancer who is being paid for each post you make, you would likely be considered an independent contractor. Independent contractors generally do fully own the blogs they write themselves.
Next, you must determine whether or not you are bound to a contract that limits or completely takes away your rights to your writing.
If you have signed an agreement with the company or individual you write for, you should first determine what kind of agreement it was. It could generally be one of three agreements:
an Assignment Agreement,
a License Agreement
an Employment Agreement
An Assignment Agreement generally requires you to give up all of your rights to the work you write forever.
A License Agreement merely limits your rights. It may give your employer the right to republish your work, but generally, you could retain the right to publish your work in other places.
Finally, standard employment agreements only dictate the terms of your employment and don’t discuss intellectual property rights. Some employment agreements though for creative professionals like bloggers contain either Assignment or License clauses.
To determine what rights you may still have if you have a signed contract in place requires either you or a trained lawyer to review the language of the contract. New Media Rights may be able to help you review your contract to determine this, completely free of charge.
If you are blogger who is concerned about whether you actually own the copyright to the work that you produce or if you employ a blogger and want to make sure that your agreements are accurate and non-exploitative, feel free to contact New Media Rights via our contact form to find out whether you qualify for free or reduced fee legal services. We also offer competitive full fee legal services on a selective basis. For more information on the services we provide click here.
Don't Panic is used in undergraduate & graduate classes nationwide to teach business and legal concepts to non-lawyers. Professors & Teachers can request a discounted copy from support @ newmediarights.org
What's the best way to avoid legal problems for your business or creative work? Read our book!