I Published a Short Story; Do I Still Have Copyrights?

I Published a Short Story; Do I Still Have Copyrights?

As soon as your short story is on paper, you have authorship. Once you decide to sell that story to be part of a book or magazine, your rights may be transferred to a different party, depending on the situation.

Until the Early 1990’s;

• The most common contract was for a one-time use of the writer’s material license for the publisher.
• Contract meant writer agreed to selling “First North American Serial Rights” , for a set price to the publisher.
• The guidelines included the publisher selling the short story once, to the North American market.
• After published, author has reprint rights.

Currently: All Rights

• By Selling all rights, the author gives all copyright benefits of the work to the publisher.
• Author cannot resell the story in the future
• There are different variations depending on the publisher

• The publisher owns exclusive rights to the work if the author sells the story in a work-for-hire situation.
• The publisher, not the author is the legal author of the work
• The author must be paid, assigned or ordered for it to be a work-for-hire.

• Author can self-publish a short story and keep all rights.
• Examples are posting online, added it to an anthology, having a digital download available
• The author can sell and resell the rights in the US or in other countries.

If you would like to copyright protect your short story, www.legalcentral.com offers an easy, step-by-step process.


Photo via Chris Drumm on Flickr

This entry was posted on Monday, September 9th, 2013 at 3:54 pm and is filed under Copyright, Uncategorized.

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