Denver, CO asked in Trademark and Copyright for Colorado

Q: I'd like to reuse my published freelance articles for another site. Can I do that or is it plagiarism?

I started writing freelance for a company that paid $50/article through paypal. However, I never signed any contract stating copyright laws or even a contract saying they would continue to pay me. It was all through email and phone calls. Because I didn't sign a contract, I'd like to reuse the articles they published on my behalf and use them for a different company, which would pay me three times the amount I was being paid. Is it legal to do that?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Benton R Patterson III
Benton R Patterson III
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Dallas, TX

A: If you truly have no agreement with them covering the terms of your work, its fine to use your articles for different purposes. Before selling the articles, be sure that there are no terms restricting your rights. There may be a terms of use page or online agreement that you agreed to by submitted articles or accepting payment. Going forward as a freelance writer, it would be best to get publishers to sign a contract indicating that you do own the copyright to your work. An intellectual property attorney can prepare such a contract.

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