Re. Ghostwriting

Subject: Re. Ghostwriting
From: geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA
Date: Thu, 8 Feb 1996 13:23:09 -0600

K.D. Fisher asked for advice about ghostwriting. K.D.,
since your name never appears on the final article, the
copyright will likely reside in whosomever's name actually
appears on the article. Confirm this with your clientt, but
ghostwriting usually comes under the classification of
"work performed for hire and you give up the copyright
forever, including moral rights". YMMV. If your name does
appear on the article (e.g., "Bill Gates, as told to K.D."
or "Bill Gates and K.D."), then you're a coauthor as much
as you're a ghostwriter, and you can retain any moral and
other rights that you haven't signed away.

Charge more for the work if you can, since you'll never see
another dime as a result of your efforts. Ask for one more
thing if you can get it: a signed letter from the editor
accompanied by a photocopy of the article that gives you
permission to use the article as a sample of your writing.
(Without that letter, you can't prove that you wrote it if
you show the sample to a prospective employer!) You may not
get this letter, since it might prove inconvenient in some
cases if the truth of the authorship leaks out, but it's
worth a try.

--Geoff Hart @8^{)}
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

Disclaimer: If I didn't commit it in print in one of our
reports, it don't represent FERIC's opinion.


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