Copyrights of the Article Written on Demand

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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silanar
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Copyrights of the Article Written on Demand

Post by silanar » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:39 am

Hi,

recently I have written several articles for an online magazine. I was told that the agreement with legal details concerning our cooperation will be soon sent by post. However, neither agreement was sent nor the articles have been published, and the director is not responding to my e-mails for almost a month now.
I write a blog, which idea follows the articles I have already written (self-actualisation), thus I am wondering if I can publish those articles on my blog after sending an e-mail saying that I am taking them back.

I have not signed anything, and regretfully I no longer have any contact with the director who apparently ignores my e-mails. The articles were written upon general topics that were given to me by the magazine, hence, I am wondering if I can do such thing as publishing them on my blog.

I live in the UK and the magazine is also established in this country. I'd be really glad if anybody could help me because I am not familiarised with English copyright laws.

typonaut
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Post by typonaut » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:18 pm

The ownership of the copyright of any work always rests with the author/creator, unless they are an employee or there is some agreement to the contrary. As you say you have not seen a contract that assigns the rights to these articles to this publisher, nor signed anything, then it is probable that you have not agreed to its terms.

So, you can do anything you want with the articles.

However, if the terms of the contract have been expressed to you in other ways, ie through negotiation in email, verbally, etc, then there may be a contract in place, and you might be assessed as having agreed to the contract through your conduct (ie you have taken instructions and supplied the articles to the publisher).

Probably best to write to the publisher and state that they do not own the copyright in the work, you rescind any permission you may have given for them to publish the works (because they have not paid you, nor responded to your previous email), and that you intend to publish the articles on your own blog. It is probably worth doing this on paper, through the postal service, and with recorded delivery (just to make sure).

Give them a few weeks to get back to you before deciding on a course of action.
Any comment on this forum is just banter, it is not legal advice.

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