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Printing Rights

Tom Terrific

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Here's the compilation of answers I received from my question: When you send an article to a paper or association for their consideration to print, what sort of "legalistic" language do you use to give them the rights to print it just once.

-- Joan Price

I'm a professional writer. Put at the top of the article "First North American serial print rights" if you're offering the magazine the first publication of this article. If you're sending it to many publications, or if it's been published before, put "One time serial print rights only."

Watch out for any contracts they may send you -- many publications are trying to grab "all rights," and you absolutely don't want to grant this or they'll own your article instead of you.

-- Sharon Adcock

All you have to do is the following Copyright (year) (your name) Name of Magazine - First Time Publishing Rights at the top of the article when you submit it.

-- Rebecca Morgan

The language is that you are granting them "one-time North American serial rights." Pretty common language in publishing.

-- John Connor

"First North American Serial Rights" is a term used meaning a publication in North America can use it once only. Of course, the magazine may want First World Rights, but that's okay too. Smaller publications and newsletters might not be familiar with this term, so you could just say, "This agreement is for one-time publishing rights, after which all rights revert to the author" or something like that.

-- Dana Cassell

Simply state that you are offering "one time print rights" -- that gives them the right to print it one time, but not use it on their website or reprint it elsewhere. You might also say somewhere in your cover letter that you are willing to discuss leasing (or bartering) other rights usage if their need arises. Because you never know what will be helpful to you (or profitable) down the road.

-- David Kohn

The language you're looking for is "First North American Serial Rights." The publication gets to be the first one in North America to publish the article, but after it's published, you've retained all other rights.

I've been in the writing business for more than 20 years and have had my article work published more than 2,000 times. I also have a book coming out next week. I do co-authoring, ghostwriting and editing of books, articles and columns.

-- Richard Armstrong

Write at the top of the page "First North American Serial Rights Only" ... this gives the publication the right to be the first to publish your article, after that all rights revert to you.

-- David Kinard

It is a general rule in the trade publication industry to retain copyright of the distributed piece. Once you publish an article in a magazine, although you are the author, you have given up your right to reprint the article in another magazine without the first magazine's permission. Plus, most magazines will not reprint an article that has already been printed in another mag. You can propose your articles to publishers with a variety of "rights". I encourage you to go to your public library and read through their latest edition of the Writers Market. It has all this information in it plus much more!

-- Joan Price

Here's a response to David's comment from Joan Price. It contains some great comments.

He's confused. You only give up your right to reprint the article IF you sign that right away. Yes, many publications want you to do exactly that. And if you refuse to sign an "all rights" or "work made for hire" (which comes to the same thing -- they own the article) contract, you may not get published in that magazine. But you absolutely don't want to sign away all your rights, especially if you're not a prolific writer. Always clarify ahead what rights you're leasing. If you print it at the top of your article and refuse to sign something different, you haven't sold those rights. Also put your copyright symbol at the top of the article you submit.

He is right that most publications WANT all rights. But it takes two to make that happen.

As far as reprinting your article, it depends on the publication. Some small publications are happy to print reprints. Larger ones, or competing publications, are not.

Check out http://www.asja.org/new/pubtips/pubtips.php for a whole lot more information about copyrights and rights.

-- Ron Kaufman

Here's what I use.

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Thank you for asking about reprinting and/or reposting of the
articles and newsletters found on my website:

Here are the conditions that apply (this information is detailed,
but it is also very easy to follow):

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All materials on my website are copyrighted by Ron Kaufman, and
all rights are reserved.

It is most important, both legally and ethically, that you
provide your friends, colleagues and readers with appropriate
COPYRIGHT and CONTACT information, just like this:

Copyright, Ron Kaufman. All rights reserved. For more information
and FREE newsletter, visit http://www.RonKaufman.com

If you have additional space and/or want to provide your readers
with more information, please use the following paragraph:

Copyright, Ron Kaufman. All rights reserved. Ron Kaufman is an
internationally acclaimed innovator and motivator for
partnerships and quality service. He is the author of the
best-selling book, "UP Your Service!" and the FREE monthly
newsletter, "The Best of Active Learning!" For more information
and FREE copy of the newsletter, visit http://www.RonKaufman.com

If you wish to run an author's photograph with your posting or
reprinting, you will find high and low resolution digital images
easily available at:

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You may freely FORWARD my articles and newsletters to others via
e-mail so long as you forward the ENTIRE article or the COMPLETE
newsletter, including the copyright and contact information. (No
"snipping" allowed.)

* * * * *


You may wish to give your E-MAIL readers a convenient LINK to my
website. In your e-mail, simply include this website address:
http://www.RonKaufman.com  When readers click on this address,
most e-mail programs will take them directly to the site. If you
are sending out a widely distributed e-mail, please do send me a
copy at mailto:Ron@RonKaufman.com

You can also create a LINK from your WEBSITE to my site. If you
go to http://www.ronkaufman.com/rklink.html you will find the
easy-to-follow instructions with a small, attractive graphic
(.gif) you may wish to include on your website. If you do set-up
a direct link, please send me a message with the URL of your
website page to mailto:Ron@RonKaufman.com

* * * * *


You may wish to repost my articles or newsletters as value-added
content on your website. For permission to do this, please
contact me at mailto:Ron@RonKaufman.com with your website address
so that I may view your site PRIOR to your posting of my content.
Thank you.

* * * * *


If you wish to reprint my articles or newsletters in HARD COPY,
please note the following conditions:

a. Send me a hard copy of your publication for my review PRIOR to
your use of my copyrighted materials. This allows me to review
and approve your publication.

b. Each reprinting of my material must include the full COPYRIGHT
and CONTACT information, like this:

Copyright, Ron Kaufman. All rights reserved. Ron Kaufman is an
internationally acclaimed innovator and motivator for
partnerships and quality service. He is the author of the best-
selling book, "UP Your Service!" and the FREE monthly newsletter,
"The Best of Active Learning!" For more information and FREE copy
of the newsletter, visit http://www.RonKaufman.com

c. After you have reprinted, send TWO COPIES of your printing
(newsletter, flyer, reprinted article, etc) to me by post or
courier at the following address:

Ron Kaufman, 50 Bayshore Park, #31-01 Aquamarine Tower, Singapore

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If you wish to use any of my copyrighted materials in a TRAINING
PROGRAM or on a PAY FOR VIEW website or as part of a PAID
SUBSCRIPTION newsletter, newspaper, magazine or other commercial
publication, a signed licensing agreement is required with an
agreed value-exchange between us, which may include payment of a
licensing fee or an agreement whereby you provide me with
advertising space for my products and/or services in your

If this section applies to you, please send me a note by e-mail
or fax with a clear description of your intended usage. I will
contact you right away with an appropriate licensing agreement
and proposal for value-exchange.

* * * * *


If you wish to provide your readers/viewers with a BOOK or
PRODUCT REVIEW or an INTERVIEW with me - you will find samples of
all these items available for your use at

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Finally, I THANK YOU for your interest and your commitment to
promoting Partnerships and Quality Service.

If you have any further comments or questions, please feel free
to write. I wish you all success in your projects, printings and

With best regards,

Ron Kaufman

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