Imagine for a moment you have been working hard on your writing all morning.
You stomach is empty and your eyes are aching.
You step out for a break at the local coffee shop.
You have thirty five dollars in your wallet. You can almost taste the confections displayed in the glass case and you can smell the fresh coffee brewing on the bar.
Suddenly a threatening stranger demands that you turn the contents of your wallet over to him.
Would you quietly do as you are told only to go hungry and watch as he spends your money on a stack of tasty snacks?
Web content mills demand that freelance writers hand over their Intellectual Property, their copyrights, for free.
When a writer signs either electronically or on paper a “Writer’s Agreement” or similar so-called “contract” agreeing to submit work acting as an independent contractor or freelancer and that agreement includes a clause that requires that the writer upon submission release all copyright interests he has in his work regardless of subsequent approval and payment he falls prey to the content mill’s copyright high-jacking scam.
Today’s ever-evolving platforms allowing the dissemination of information raise questions regarding copyright issues.
Inevitably, these new copyright issues do not fit comfortably into the existing legal framework, and the popularity of social networking sites including Facebook and Twitter introduce new copyright conundrums on a regular basis.
As users of social networking sites, most of us are aware that copyright exists. We may never have given it a second thought, especially when it comes to our own tweets or postings.
Some of us may have been aware enough to check out the terms and conditions in relation to our material posted on these sites, and have been secure in the knowledge that both Facebook and Twitter say we retain the rights to any content we submit on their sites.