|*Royalty-free image via Pin Point:photo credit below|
It's pretty complicated legal stuff. Others would use a different "s" word.
The plain fact is that most issues regarding copyright ownership can and are resolved terms by the terms a contract.
|**Royalty-free image via Pin Point: photo credit below|
So pay attention to the fine print in any contract. This includes those pesky Terms and Conditions you click agreement to on so many websites.
For example, when you join Facebook, that "click" grants a license that any content you post as "public" can be copied and re-posted by any other Facebook user. This includes your writings and your photos.
Those small print words mean something. And they can make a substantial difference in your rights.
Can you negotiate these terms? Well yes -- and no. You have the right to negotiate any terms in an agreement. But in many cases (Facebook for example), it is a take-it-or-leave-it proposition. If you don't like the terms, don't sign or make the submission.
But sometimes terms are negotiable. That's where a talented literary agent can become your best friend. Movie rights. Foreign rights. E-book rights. Derivative rights. Merchandising rights. They are all part of the bundle of intellectual property rights you possess when you create a work. An experienced lawyer can help you understand those legal rights. A good agent can help you negotiate them as part of a deal.
So read those contracts closely. Talk with your agent, if you have one. Consult with an attorney who knows something about copyright and publishing.
Above all, make sure you understand what rights you are signing over to someone else when you sign or click to create a contract.
*photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/hi-phi/425148111/">[phil h]</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a>
**photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mjaniec/5403877185/">mjaniec</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>