One of the regulars sent me this email today.
I came across a problem this morning. You may want to post a warning especially for new writers. The ad you have for pet writers is of concern. An automated response is returned with details which seem innocuous enough: but after the signature is the following:
P.S. please do not copy and paste from internet. We will be checking
all samples with copyscape. We will own the copyright of your sample articles even if you don’t get hired.
They claim the copyright of any sample whether hired or not! I can forward the entire email if you’d like.
Not too cool. Your samples are yours, especially if you’re not being paid for it. Don’t sign away all rights to your work unless you’re being adequately compensated. This person will be profiting from your work why shouldn’t you?
This kind of a scam makes me so angry. Can you imagine the nerve of this person to expect someone to write up samples especially for him, make accusations of plagiarism before you even start the job, tell you you’re not hired and take all the rights to your samples to boot?
Here’s the thing. A client should be able to tell by your existing samples whether or not you’re a good fit. If he wants you to write something specifically for him, he should pay you. If he wants any or all rights, he must pay you. If no rights were discussed or signed away, it should be assumed you still have ownership.
Never give away all the rights to your work. If you’re going to let someone have all rights, you should receive adequate compensation.