Saturday, 2 February 2019

Care about copyright?

I've set up a Facebook poll to ask people's opinions on copyright. I'd have liked to do it here but Blogger no longer offers that option, so if you want to take part please go to my Facebook author page. (You're very welcome to 'like' it while you're there, but that's not required to vote.)

The post is copied below in case you prefer to express your opinion in a comment. I'll collate all the votes into a blog post in about a week from now.

How do you feel about giving up copyright on your short stories?
If, once you've sold a story, you're happy for the publishers to do whatever they like with it, then select 'all rights are fine'. 
Giving up all rights includes losing the right to reuse the story yourself in any way or ever profit from it in the future eg claiming ALCS and royalties in the unlikely event it's turned into a Hollywood blockbuster. Although publishers usually will put the authors name in by line they won't be obliged to they could even use someone else's.
If you'd like to retain some rights yourself, such as the moral right to be identified as the author, and to profit from further use of the story other than by the publisher you sold it to, select 'Want to keep some rights'.

Talking of voting, I have a 100 word story in this competition. The winner is decided by votes, so if you like mine I'd very much appreciate you voting for it. (Yes I know that's cheeky, but it isn't cheating – the organisers have asked entrants to share the link to their story and ask for votes.)


Anonymous said...

I wish to keep all rights. Find it hard to take 'Rights Grabs' are becoming all too common. Apparently the Bauer group did this many years ago with their music magazines see link - Good wishes Kate Hogan

Carolb said...

No short story writer should have to give up all their rights and I want to keep as many of mine as possible, so I have given up on submitting to the womag market.

Submission details never say what rights are required, so unless the writer has read the womagwriter blog or seen the magazines submission details discussed elsewhere, they only find out when their story is accepted and they are faced with the contract and have to decide whether they accept or lose the opportunity to see their story in print.

Anonymous said...

Seems that 100-word story competition is a popularity competition.

I don't see how anyone could be proud of winning if it's not the quality of writing that counts, but rather how many people can be cajoled into voting by an entrant.

Patsy said...

@ Kate – Yes Bauer did this with non fiction some time ago. I don't think that's right either, but it's less of an issue as if an article is rewritten from a different angle and with extra information it becomes a new article which can be offered elsewhere. A rewritten piece of fiction is just another version of the same story.

@ Carol – You're right that this information often isn't available to the author until something is accepted. I don't think that's a deliberate ploy to trick anyone, but it probably is a contributing factor in newer writers not realising that not all publishers take the same rights.

@ Anonymous – Don't let it worry you, I'm pretty sure I'm not popular enough to win.

Anonymous said...

Be interested to know if the Society of Authors person who spoke with Woman's Weekly after their 'rights' change ever came back to anyone. I'm beginning to think we, as writers, are going to have to ask some multimillionaire to launch a few fiction magazines that preserve the 'rights' of writers. Maybe DC Thompson could think of expanding their reach with more fiction magazines, too. As an avid reader of fiction (as well a writer) I'm constantly searching for good quality short fiction to read. I can't be alone in that. Good wishes Kate Hogan

Patsy said...

@ Kate – The SoA promised to keep me, and others who provided information, informed. I haven't heard anything – not even an update to say whether anyone at WW responded. I'm not aware of them contacting anyone else either.

I'm disappointed in that. When they first made contact I was very impressed and would have joined had I got any feedback from them, even if it had just been to report on what they'd done and that it hadn't met with a positive response. Now I'm left wondering if we wasted our time contacting them and answering questions.