Copyright guidelines for editors



Remember, copyright is the cornerstone of a creative society, the only means by which those who create original material can continue to benefit from the full value of their work.


Never seek to buy ownership of copyright from non-staff contributors. This is bad practice.


It is good practice for a contributor to keep copyright and license uses of his or her material.


Always be clear about which rights you are buying, bearing in mind the needs of your organisation and the fact that most contributors will want to strike a deal provided the terms are right.


Be prepared to negotiate extra payments for extra rights, beyond basic first use of the material. (see below)


Allow for the fact that not all contributors may want you to syndicate their material for them. Some can strike better deals on their own.


Wherever possible, put the terms you have agreed in writing so as to minimise confusion and avoid disputes.

Extra uses

Contributors license you to use their work, for which they are paid a fee. Extra uses of their work, for which extra fees are paid, include:

  • storage in a publicly accessible archive or database for the full term of the rights;
  • publication on a CD-ROM;
  • re-publication by the company in print;
  • re-publication on a directly connected website:
  • publication on another website;
  • syndication, either through spot sales or through subscribers to the newspaper:
  • public photo-copying.
The Brat of Defoe's Brain © Steve Bell

The Author's Property... the Brat of his Brain... But behold these Children of our Heads are seiz'd, spirited away...


Recommended rates

See recommended rates for such uses of:

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Text © NUJ. Comments to please. You may find the glossary helpful.