The Web Copywriter and the Retention of Rights

When it comes to keeping content new and fresh, many a blogger and webmaster turn to web copywriters to assist them in developing and maintaining fresh copy for their sites.  Sometimes, however, questions arise after content has been paid for.  Who has the right to the content provided by the web copy writer?  Here are a few scenarios to consider when paying for web content.

Is the content yours exclusively?

This is only the case if you have clarified the terms of your agreement.  Often a contract is required to secure exclusive rights to web content provided by a web copy writer.  The terms by which the content was purchased are what need to be questioned in this particular case.

Is the content theirs?

Technically, yes.  Unless you have made an exclusive arrangement using legally binding paperwork, chances are the content and its rights have been reserved by the writer of the content.  Again, contracts and terms of use need to be fully explored when purchasing web content from a web copywriter.

Do they have any claim to the copy since they produced it?

Again, unless terms were agreed upon prior to the exchange of money for services rendered, the point is moot.  Keep in mind that many web copy writers practice their craft regularly and may generate copy that closely resembles what they have produced for you.  This is the nature of developing content for the web.  Things simply get repeated over time.

Non-Disclosure Agreements

The best way to ensure that the content a web copy writer creates for you remains yours exclusively is to have them sign a non-disclosure agreement.  Both parties are protected and the rights are retained by the purchaser of the services, who does not have to disclose where the information was gathered.  Additionally, web copy writers who sign NDA’s are not allowed to discuss the work that they have done for you.

Summing Up

Ultimately, you need to learn about what kind agreement you are getting yourself into before you make it.  Many web copy writers want to retain rights to the copy they have produced; others are willing to sell their work for cold, hard cash.  Find out who and what you’re dealing with before you purchase web content to prevent any issues from arising at a later date.

This post was contributed by Kelly Kilpatrick, who writes on the subject of online colleges and universities. She invites your feedback at kellykilpatrick24 at gmail dot com