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Journalism and copyright question.

Travel Forums General Talk Journalism and copyright question.

1. Posted by Dodger (Inactive 875 posts) 5y

I have a magazine that wants to buy a story of mine, with pictures. But they are offering below the market rate. I like the mag and it might be a foot in the door for me, so I want to do the article, but if I give them my pictures do they own the copyright? Also even if I do still have the copyright, would another mag not be interested because these pictures have appeared in another mag? I’m going to ask them the same question, but it’s the weekend now so I won’t get an answer from them until Monday. Was hoping maybe someone here had an answer.

Thanks
Roger

2. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 5y

I most cases, you will retain the copyright for your photos unless otherwise specified by you or the magazine. Basically, some mags will ask for the copyright, or offer to purchase it from you so they can use them in various areas of their own publication. It also allows them to sell the photos to others. This is much more common when the photos are going to be part of advertisement campaigns.

If you retain the copyright, you have the right to submit the same photos to other publications. Several magazines will put in a clause that states those photos can not be submitted to other publications. You have the option to decline such an agreement, though many times it becomes a deal breaker with the original requester. Make sure that item is addressed and clearly.

You definitely need to speak with them on these issues and also ask for any agreements in writing. Are they offering you a flat rate for the article including the photos (examples: $75 for 2000 words or $0.25/word for 200 words)? Or, are they offering one rate for the article and X payment per photo? Be specific that you will retain the copyright regardless of the payment schedule. As long as you retain the original photos and can document they belong to you, any issues that may arise will play in your favor. If you have them on a hard drive somewhere, I recommend duplicating them and definitely watermarking the originals. That way, you can send them the dups for their publishing either as a hardcopy or whatever format they request.

Good luck and I hope the mag will play fair with you. :)

3. Posted by Dodger (Inactive 875 posts) 5y

Quoting Isadora

Good luck and I hope the mag will play fair with you. :)

Hey thanks for the info. The editor already got back to me this morning with a statement acknowledging I still retain full copyright on the pictures. Damn it, now I have no excuse for dragging my feet and not getting it written yet!