“I want to publish a book of local business person profiles I’ve written for a publication but I’m not sure if I own the rights.”

“I want to publish a book of local business person profiles I’ve written for a publication but I’m not sure if I own the rights.”

Q –

I’ve been writing for on online publication for the past year, primarily for a column they run that features different people in our city.

I’m interested in taking my interviews and turning them into a book that features each person, especially the advice they’ve given as part of their interview.

Can I use those stories and turn them into my own book, or do those pieces belong to the magazine? I wouldn’t print those, but take my notes to create new pieces.

– J


A –

I’m not an attorney and this isn’t legal advice. Please contact an attorney with your specific questions. 

That said:

You’ll need to ask the magazine for a copy of your contract with them if you don’t still have it. If they didn’t give you a contract, tell them you’re planning to compile your interviews into a book. If you mention the magazine in the book, they probably won’t mind. Absent a work-for-hire contract, it’s highly doubtful they would be able to claim all rights to the work since you’re a contractor.

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