Writers and Editors (Pat McNees's blog)
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Revolution in academia: Copyright and open access

November 29, 2015

Tags: open access, academic journals, copyright, Elsevier, work for hire

(updated 1-29-17, 3-5-16, 3-19-16)
In academia a wide-ranging discussion about open access is weakening academic journals' monopoly on profiting from publishing research findings. Different interest groups view this differently, of course. Meanwhile, as the publishing landscape changes, are academic authors, who have long abandoned claims to copyright on many of their scholarly articles (in the "public or perish" world of university faculty-making), less docile about publishing rights, with tenured faculty positions scarcer and scarcer? This round-up of relevant pieces starts with

Elsevier Mutiny: Cracks Are Widening in the Fortress of Academic Publishing (Mathew Ingram, Forbes, 11-2-15) "All six editors and the entire editorial board of the well-respected linguistics journal Lingua have resigned to protest the company’s failure to embrace open access. (more…)

RIGHTS 101: What Writers Should Know About All-Rights and Work-Made-For-Hire Contracts

October 4, 2012

Tags: all-rights contracts, work for hire

This 2003 position paper from the American Society of Journalists and Authors is somewhat out of date, so it's no longer on the ASJA website. I post it here by permission, as the basic principles are still important. “All rights" and “work made for hire" – these contract terms sound simple enough. But what does it really mean when writers sign contracts (more…)

Freelancers Suffer Unintended Consequences of Independent Contractor Law

June 30, 2010

Tags: rights, copyright, work for hire, Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Independent Contractor Law was created to prevent worker exploitation, writes Andrea Shea for WBUR radio, and employers who "get busted classifying incorrectly — say, giving a worker a 1099 form at tax time rather than a W-2 — [will] face hefty fines." But writers and artists in Massachusetts are victims of (more…)

Should a freelance writer sign a work-for-hire agreement?

April 3, 2009

Tags: rights, freelance, work for hire, indemnification, all rights, copyright

The terms “work for hire” or “work made for hire” (WFH) should give writers pause. Much corporate work is done as WFH — which means the organization that pays you to do a project owns the material, period, and you have no rights beyond those to which you have mutually agreed in your contract. But not all corporate work is work for hire. (more…)