I’ve been getting your Writers Weekly e-mails for quite a while, and think you do a terrific job.
I have a question I’m wondering if you could help me with, or if you know someone who may be able to help.
I am a freelance writer and I’ve been writing for a west suburban paper for nine years. Recently I noticed that my stories are popping up on Findarticles.com, www.questia.com, www.highbeam.com, goliath.ecnext.com, and maybe other sites, which charge a fee to read the complete stories.
Now, none of these sites have ever gotten permission from me to post these articles, and I do not make one cent off the articles I wrote which they are “selling.” Is what their doing legal? If not, what can I do?
Although my articles appear in that large newspaper, I still retain the rights to what I’ve written. Is that meaningless, in the Internet age? Can anyone take what I’ve written and use it, even sell it?
You need to send an invoice (name your price) to the newspaper that you first sold the article to. They have sold your article to another company, which is likely distributing it to these websites. This is common practice and is also illegal. You can’t sell something you don’t own. If you need help obtaining payment for the unauthorized use (sale) of your work, read this article: http://writersweekly.com/angela-desk/writer-receives-500-for-unauthorized-use-of-her-work
If they give you a hard time about payment, let me know.