Copyrights, Contracts, and Collaborations

Subject: Copyrights, Contracts, and Collaborations
From: Kathy Fisher <KDFisher -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 7 Feb 1996 10:50:57 -0500

Feb. 7, 1996
8:45 AM

Dear Fellow Writers:

I'm a freelance writer who has been asked by a client to "ghost write" some
articles for a professional journal. I'm really confused about what
clause(s) to include in the contract to protect my copyright, or do I need to
address the copyright issue at all? And do I have the right to own the
copyright for this type of material? I've heard that there are several ways
to approach the problem:

1. Relinquish ownership of the copyright and charge the client more per hour
to cover any income I should receive if the article is reprinted.

2. Include a copyright clause in the contract (stating that I own the
copyright) to guarantee future earnings from future publications. (BTW, how
does this ensure that the writer does indeed get paid?)

3. Prepare a collaborative contract. (This one really got me confused!)

Is there a good publication that includes samples of contracts I can use that
would cover the above issues? Many thanks in advance for any advice you can
give me. I am new at this and am not sure how to proceed. I also don't want
to alienate the client -- I would like the client to think I know what I'm
doing but I also need to protect myself at the same time.

K. D. Fisher
Freelance Writer

New Mexico

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