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Who has the rights to my published articles?
Thread poster: Edward Potter

Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:06
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jan 5, 2005

Hello Prozians. Does anyone know who owns the rights for the following situation:

For the past year or so I have been contributing articles to the local English language city guide in Valencia, Spain. I do not get paid for these articles but I do get some "free" advertising in exchange. Well, as it turns out, my column seems to be among the more popular in the magazine and the articles could conceivably have more value than previously thought.

So, my question would be, who has the rights to these columns? They were written by my hand but published by the magazine (for no monetary compensation).

And one last thing, the editor has put his little paws on my writing several times to my dislike. I don't know if this would have any bearing on my question or not. Any input will be appreciated.


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xxxHirschmann  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:06
English to German
+ ...
I guess that EU law is similar to what I know Jan 5, 2005

According to German copyright law, only the author of a written work - and even a translator - has the rights on his work. An author may, however, authorize a third party (e.g., a publisher) to publish, i.e., commercialize, his work and grant him the right to pass on this license to others.

Copyright law in Spain may deviate somewhat from copyright law in Germany unless already EU-harmonized.

[Edited at 2005-01-05 20:55]


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shfranke  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:06
English to Arabic
+ ...
Put that publisher under a contract to compensate you for your production Jan 5, 2005

Greetings.

No dilemma apparent there. That publisher seems to have extended your works way beyond whatever was the "pro bono" sprit or understanding under which you originally created and contributed those items.

Put that publisher under a contract to compensate you for your future productions.

HTH.

Regards,

Stephen H. Franke


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:06
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Spanish law text Jan 5, 2005

http://noticias.juridicas.com/base_datos/Admin/rdleg1-1996.html

AFAIK, Spain subscribes the Bern Convention.


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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:06
Member (2011)
Multiplelanguages
+ ...
rights on published articles Jan 5, 2005

I've published several dozen articles (maybe 100 now) in many magazines, journals, reviews, books, etc (http://www.geocities.com/jeffallenpubs/thematic.htm OR http://www.geocities.com/jeffallenpubs/puboutlets.htm)

Some magazines and books have clearly specified a contract on ownership (namely publications through John Benjamins Publishing company) through a form that I must sign.

For many of the conferences (and their proceedings) there is also a written understanding about publishing new information and that it not be already published info.

All magazines, journals, reviews and conferences that I have written for have had the opportunity to edit the articles/papers. You can always ask for a look at the final copy to make sure it is OK with you (especially the title).

I have in many cases requested permission from the publishers to translate, republish, distribute, etc a number of my articles, and in all cases it was granted.

As for being paid for writing, it all depends on how you negotiate it and your purpose for writing them. I know some writers in my field who refuse to write if they don't get paid for it, yet then don't publish much.
If you've already been writing for this magazine for a while without any financial compensation, it might be hard to get money now. Maybe not.

Jeff
http://www.geocities.com/jeffallenpubs/


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Сергей Лузан
Russian Federation
Local time: 23:06
German to Russian
+ ...
They are yours Jan 5, 2005

Edward Potter wrote:

So, my question would be, who has the rights to these columns? They were written by my hand but published by the magazine (for no monetary compensation).

And one last thing, the editor has put his little paws on my writing several times to my dislike. I don't know if this would have any bearing on my question or not. Any input will be appreciated.


Dear Edward!
I have over 900 publications. In such cases the usual practice is if have no signed agreement, you may publish them again and receive fees for it.
Of course, it depends upon the particular national legislation. In some countries advertising might be considered as a kind of non-financial compensation. But it´s quite hard to prove. And you were edited without your consent - it´s considered as a violation in some countries as well.
Happy 2005 and more fees!


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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:06
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
More information Jan 6, 2005

I am writing for this publication because I enjoy writing the articles. Its circulation is about 4,000 and I have known the editor for a long time. The following message is written at the beginning of every issue:

[All articles, past and present, printed in this magazine are copyright of the editor/publisher John Doe. ©2004 Legal Deposit XXXX12345678A.]

Is there any legal basis to back this up? Does simply writing it give force to the copyright claim?

Jeff wrote: [Some magazines and books have clearly specified a contract on ownership (namely publications through John Benjamins Publishing company) through a form that I must sign.]

So it seems that I must sign a consent form of some type giving up my author's rights, correct?

Ñåðãåé wrote: [I have over 900 publications. In such cases the usual practice is if have no signed agreement, you may publish them again and receive fees for it.
Of course, it depends upon the particular national legislation. In some countries advertising might be considered as a kind of non-financial compensation. But it´s quite hard to prove. And you were edited without your consent - it´s considered as a violation in some countries as well.]

The value of the advertising is rather minimal and I don't especially need it. Once again, my main motive is for personal satisfaction, and the editor really wants me to write my article every month.

More comments, please.


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Copyright is yours Jan 6, 2005

[quote]Edward Potter wrote:

I am writing for this publication because I enjoy writing the articles. Its circulation is about 4,000 and I have known the editor for a long time. The following message is written at the beginning of every issue:

[All articles, past and present, printed in this magazine are copyright of the editor/publisher John Doe. ©2004 Legal Deposit XXXX12345678A.]

Is there any legal basis to back this up? Does simply writing it give force to the copyright claim?

Unless you have signed a contract that effectuated specifically that your writing's copywrite is automatically transferred from you to whoever published it, the copywrite is yours.
I don't know to what extent your above quoted John Doe's alledged and self-assumed copywrite has legal binding. But I think it is arguable. Copywrite must be purchased, as what it is they want the right to publish your writing product. Whether you have not the means to publish and they do makes no darn difference. I am the author of six books, published in Japan, I gave them the copywrite of five-years. During this period they are free to reprint, as the right belong to them, and thereby I cannot do anything about it. After that initial five years, I have the right to sell it to another publisher, self-publish, publish via website.
Again, I do not think there is any international treaty on this, so each country's law binds this matter. However, unless under very unusual circumstance, non-monetary and small conpensation such as advertising is not a good ground for them to assume your copyrite.
This is my general understanding.

Susan Koyama


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Сергей Лузан
Russian Federation
Local time: 23:06
German to Russian
+ ...
No WRITTEN consent - no exclusive copyright of the editor/publisher John Doe. Jan 6, 2005

So it seems that I must sign a consent form of some type giving up my author's rights, correct?

Even so. To tell the truth, I have another problem as an author now. Many newspapers and magazines have Internet versions of their issues. My stories are republished w/o any consent of mine (it does't matter to me) & without any additional fees either (it's the matter of my wife's concern). They are even edited what matters to me. Perhaps, I would recommend the following way out - let you make your own Home page and put there original versions of your published articles. You may also ask the editor to publish E-mail address of your home page. I used to work with Danes and saw their newspapers. E-mail of every cintributor is put their, and even sometimes address of his/ her home page. You may try to come to an agreement with the editor to put your articles after, let's call 3-6 months not to violate his financial interests.
& "Copywrite must be purchased" as it was mentioned in the answer above.

[Edited at 2005-01-06 12:06]


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E.LA
Spanish to German
+ ...
copyright Jan 6, 2005

The copyright is yours. Not importing if you got money or not. You must sign a contract where you give the copyright to somebody else (or give an verbal agreement).

Satisfaction of writing an article is one thing, but if the popularity is so high, you should start to ask for payment.

Not because of the money, but because of respect.

You can see that in several magazines they write a copyright under their name for all articles included - to protect it for third parties. But in fact, the copyright is with you, so you can go now and sell the articles to others. As it was said already.

Good luck


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