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Stop selling your time for $10!

Discussion in 'Copywriting' started by LadyHoldem, Oct 28, 2006.

  1. fathom

    fathom Well-Known Member

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    #81
    Won't labor too much on these other points just to say the employer (in both instances freelance or not) has liability of cost beyond "just writing" ... that's understood.

    They lose automatically 'by law' the moment they "become commissioned to do the work" unless they sign an agreement stating the merits of their claims. This way there is absolutely no ambiguity in litigating a work-for-hire claim.

    It's important to understand when registering literary works there can only be a single certificate... if the work was for hire - you cannot register it... only the employer can. You may indeed be on the form as an author and/or the copyright owner - but you cannot submit - only the employer can.

    From the US Copyright Office:

    Although the general rule is that the person who creates a work is the author of that work, there is an exception to that principle: the copyright law defines a category of works called "works made for hire." If a work is "made for hire," the employer, and not the employee, is considered the author. The employer may be a firm, an organization, or an individual.


    To understand the complex concept of a work made for hire, it is necessary to refer not only to the statutory definition but also to its interpretation in cases decided by courts.


    Your understanding has no legal merit or foundation.

    Without any amplification in an agreement stating your exclusive or shared claim (if I hired you) I am (as the employer) the author of the work and the only person with a claim of copyright... should I desire NOT to give you any rights to claim that is my right as the commissioning party.

    According to the US Copyright Office:

    Who Is the Author of a Work Made for Hire?
    SEMrush
    If a work is a work made for hire, the employer or other person for whom the work was prepared is the author and should be named as the author in Space 2 of the application for copyright registration. The box marked "work-made-for-hire" should be checked "yes."
    Who Is the Owner of the Copyright in a Work Made for Hire?
    If a work is a work made for hire, the employer or other person for whom the work was prepared is the initial owner of the copyright unless there has been a written agreement to the contrary signed by both parties.
    While you could indeed acquire a 4-5 figure buyout that does not seem to be the jest of this thread. Since we are suggesting here $50-$100 writings (e.g. approximately $0.10- $0.20/word ) for higher paid gigs thus you automatically gave away you authoring status and copyrights away.​


    Putting it another way... most corporate writings are submitted for registration... thus your 4-5 figure buyout is a sure "lock"... correct?​

    In any case... your "group" really should become "pros" of copyright since $1,000 to $99,000 (or lease or royalty paid) is far better than $50-$100.​
     
    fathom, Nov 3, 2006 IP
    LadyHoldem and Phynder like this.
    SEMrush
  2. TVCokeCan

    TVCokeCan Peon

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    #82
    I have a fear and that fear is that us Web Designers will turn to much like a brand. I was browsing the Internet to see prices web designers charge and it scares me the difference from someone on a forum and a website, what worries me most is that these great web designers I know on forums are getting pennies compared to what some other people are charing. For example lets take a random CometQuery result for Web Designer, I get stevesims.com, a popular web designer with a growing portfolio how much does a site with 10 pages cost? $50? $100? No near $800! Then compare this to DigitalPoint in which I asked and got offered a 10 page site for $75. So what makes Steve Sims be able to charge more? The fact his portfolio is so big and the fact he knows that the average joe won’t know about forums such as DigitalPoint, so we are left with some designers getting $800 and some getting nothing, so what can the lone web designers do? Join with others, if enough web designers join together and marketing a site offering there services it can only help everyone.

    - http://www.cq.dimensionethost.com/blog/
     
    TVCokeCan, Nov 3, 2006 IP
  3. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #83

    You're still twisting a few points. If you hire me to write for you, you are not my "employer". There's a key difference between a "client" and an "employer" legally. You're confusing the two in this case and in this audience, where you're addressing predominantly freelancers. They do NOT lose their copyright unless they sign an actual "work for hire" agreement as a contractor, or a copyright assignment, or otherwise agree upon it. The client has no legal right to register a copyright for any work completed by a freelancer, unless the freelancer or independent contractor has willfully given up that right in their contract. The fact of the matter is that most writers here probably don't even use contracts, and so unless they've agreed upon a copyright transfer in another format, they retain those rights. Your quote from the copyright office proves my point, so thank you. ;) There's a very strong legal distinction between "employer" and client. And I never said anything regarding "employees" writing for "employers". That's another topic entirely, and not really as fitting to this forum considering the audience. I even already addressed the issue of work for hire agreements, so again, you just backed up my point.
     
    jhmattern, Nov 3, 2006 IP
  4. DeniseJ

    DeniseJ Live, Laugh, Love

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    #84
    You can stop taking jobs that pay crap and realize what your skills are actually worth. That goes for all freelancers, regardless of their speciality.

    And Jenn is correct when it comes to copyright law. Legally, as soon as a work has been created, the author of that work retains the copyright. A client and an employee are not one and the same; as a freelancer, we generally work with "clients," which as Jenn noted are quite different from employers in many respects.
     
    DeniseJ, Nov 3, 2006 IP
  5. falcondriver

    falcondriver Well-Known Member

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    #85
    yeah but you its a computer business, this means you can make as much copies as you want if its done. guess you make a good cut if you spend 2 days on writing+marketing and find 50 buyers who take it for $10...
     
    falcondriver, Nov 3, 2006 IP
  6. DeniseJ

    DeniseJ Live, Laugh, Love

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    #86
    No, Falcondriver. Freelance writing doesn't work that way. You don't create an article and sell it to 50 different people for 10 dollars. The majority of businesses want unique content, not content that's been sold to 50 other people.
     
    DeniseJ, Nov 3, 2006 IP
  7. fathom

    fathom Well-Known Member

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    #87
    Well "I'm not twisting anything"...

    The terms "EMPLOYER" & "EMPLOYEE" are used (in this instance) as metaphors by the US Copyright Office (not by me) to represent the relationship for commissioning a work made for hire.

    http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ09.pdf

    Since you specify your shared or exclusive right - that's fine... I may 'allow that' or pay you to remove you from any rights not arguing that...

    I'm saying you CANNOT register the work PERIOD without the employer (or the person whom the work was prepared for)... I am the initial author & the copyright holder in all work-made-for-hire for me...

    If you are the initial author & copyright holder - you wouldn't need someone to commission it to be completed.
     
    fathom, Nov 3, 2006 IP
  8. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #88
    Yes... in "work made for hire"... which requires the use of a "work for hire" agreement, which as I've said has to be present to automatically transfer copyright. We're not even really disagreeing on that point, so I'm not sure why you keep wanting to drag it out. ;)
     
    jhmattern, Nov 3, 2006 IP
  9. fathom

    fathom Well-Known Member

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    #89
    I agree ;) but the great many don't understand... which going back to the original topic a $10 fee for article with no agreement means the freelance writer has the exclusive right to re-distribute therefore... $10, $10, $10, $10, etc... correct?

    Seems that selling your copy as a freelancer for $10 is the better value over an actual $10/hour employee.
     
    fathom, Nov 3, 2006 IP
  10. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #90
    It's not usually that simple here in the forum unfortunately. :) The majority of buyers demand exclusive rights, even if they don't explicitly demand the copyright. So the writer may or may not reserve the right to redistribute on some level (for example in my case, I base it depending on if they want exclusive versus non-exclusive, as well as print versus online rights - if they want full exclusive rights w/o copyright, it's $1 per word; that allows them to choose a $.35 per word option for non-exclusive online rights, which is what most take). In most cases they don't... at least not online. I wouldn't be surprised if print rights aren't even discussed in a lot of situations, and in that case, they'd reserve that right to distribute in print.

    Even if the client does want exclusive rights all around, by retaining the actual copyright, the writer can demand their name remain with the work as well as generally make an allowance for using it in a print or online portfolio, wherein some clients actually forbid it if they purchase the copyright.

    Freelancing is unfortunately complicated; especially with writing, because there are so many factors to consider and so many different kinds of rights "up for grabs". :)
     
    jhmattern, Nov 3, 2006 IP
  11. fathom

    fathom Well-Known Member

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    #91
    Ya... but great discussion nonetheless... ;)
     
    fathom, Nov 3, 2006 IP
    jhmattern and geegel like this.
  12. LadyHoldem

    LadyHoldem Well-Known Member

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    #92
    I write unique content, about 6 hours per day. I do sell some 'non copyright' stuff, about $150 per month, and it comes in pretty basic format (new slot machine info) it's not meant for the buyer to slap onto their website (dupe content penalty?) it's meant for them to personalize and rewrite.. I've basically just saved them the time and engery of tracking down the info, and provided them a basic format.

    More people however subscribe to original (copyright included) slot reviews.. I do write those IMO pretty dang cheap.. but $10.. no way buddy ;)

    I have bought some non-unique content recently for a dirt cheap price, I see it's value, I wanted some indexed pages quickly for the launch of a new site.. Basically a head start.. but you can't grow a site with that.. you will stay burried in the serps forever.

    In General, when I'm writing no copyright work, or work I will allow on more than one webpage... It's free for promo. (think i have a few of those here in fact...)

    PS. I do love the debate going on here.. A LOT of good info here, I never 'studied to be content writer' I took some writing courses as a hobby years ago, and rather fell into content writing one day.
     
    LadyHoldem, Nov 4, 2006 IP
  13. Weirfire

    Weirfire Language Translation Company

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    #93
    Here's a crazy thought. You guys are all talking about how people are taking such low amounts of money for articles.... while at the same time writing screeds and screeds of content on the forum.... for free!! lol

    All joking aside, I believe it would actually be in a writers best interest to create content sites on their interests and try and monetize their own sites. There's plenty of free templates out there and lets face it... you can get a website banner done for $5-$10. PPC, affiliate programs, rented links, ecommerce are all possible features to make money out of your content.
     
    Weirfire, Nov 4, 2006 IP
  14. LadyHoldem

    LadyHoldem Well-Known Member

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    #94
    Free? Ha! I got my .34 Dp click today :p LOL
     
    LadyHoldem, Nov 4, 2006 IP
  15. Weirfire

    Weirfire Language Translation Company

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    #95
    lol and I rent my sig space depending on how many thousand posts I have. :D
     
    Weirfire, Nov 4, 2006 IP
  16. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #96
    Definitely not for free. Any time I spend here on DP is worked into my "marketing time" for my PR firm. I get a lot of clients just by posting in threads like this. And it occasionally inspires articles for my own site. ;) It's not in the "billable hours" mix, but it makes me a lot of money. :)

    Creating your own content sites is definitely a good step. It's unlikely to earn you a living though, early on at least. Not talking about sites with some major innovation here, but just content, it could take well over a year, maybe several, to be earning what you might consider a full-time income that's livable in a lot of areas. So the best system that I've found at this point is mixing it up a bit. It's never good to put all of your eggs in one basket. Writers have a lot of options to choose from, and unfortunately most don't take advantage of the whole lot (myself included):

    1. Client projects
    2. Reprint sales on non-exclusive content.
    3. Their own content sites & blogs.
    4. E-books & reports.
    5. Books (published or self-published)

    etc.

    Writers just have to find a combination of clients who pay them enough so that they have time to try these other income streams w/o having their time monopolized writing ridiculous amounts of content for just a low-mid income out of it. There's a lot of potential.
     
    jhmattern, Nov 4, 2006 IP
  17. LadyHoldem

    LadyHoldem Well-Known Member

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    #97
    Yeaupperz! My sig links are rentals too :p
     
    LadyHoldem, Nov 4, 2006 IP
  18. Hoosierhunter

    Hoosierhunter Peon

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    #98
    I think it has a lot to do with how prolific the writer is and whether or not they enjoy what they do.
     
    Hoosierhunter, Nov 4, 2006 IP
  19. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #99
    Most writers will fail because they are not good marketers. A successful website is about more than good content (great first step though). Also, it's not always in the writer's best interest. Sure, if that "writer" is writing content for $4 then go for it. However, for great writers, it usually doesn't make sense.

    Imagine you are being paid 25 cents per word. A 500-word article is $125. If you are going to write for a website of yours, you are taking away billable time. And @$125 an article, that starts hurting real quick.

    Even if you only charge 1 cent per word, it still costs you money to stop writing for others. Most writers would fail, because their Internet marketing skills are non-existant.

    It's easier said (usually by non-writers) than done.

    That said, I'm a big proponent of teaching good writers to become self-reliant. Aside from Copywriters, meaning those that right sales copy such as direct marketing pieces, you won't get rich from writing for others. You'll just get used up.
     
    marketjunction, Nov 4, 2006 IP
  20. LadyHoldem

    LadyHoldem Well-Known Member

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    #100
    Interesting point of view.. I actually own several successful websites though. We aren't good marketers? HA! We spend hours marketing our articles! I rule when it comes to SEO, and often find myself giving free advice to people that purchase my articles... and .. Writers are readers! If we want to succeed at something, we aren't afraid to go and do the research to give ourselves the proper resources to get started... I really disagree here...

    As for it costing money for us to stop writing for customers to build our sites, I very much agree, I tell my best friend (who writes beside me most of the time) daily, if we didn't have all these orders to fill, we could write all this stuff for our own sites and be rich!

    ~LadyH


     
    LadyHoldem, Nov 4, 2006 IP