Interesting Example of Giving Up Copyright

Here is an interesting situation. The author of Marley & Me, John Grogan, used to write a column for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Bad Dogs Have More Fun book cover

Because he wrote the articles for the paper they own the rights to the columns. The Philadelphia Inquirer is now releasing a book about these columns (Bad Dogs Have More Fun: Selected Writings on Animals, Family and Life by John Grogan for The Philadelphia Inquirer) and is cashing in on the success of Grogan’s book.

Grogan is not disputing who owns the material but he wants everyone to boycott the book because they didn’t let him know they were publishing it. Obviously, this will also mean a loss in sales revenue for Grogan of some sort. Or those who purchase the Philly book may also turn around and purchase Marley & Me.

The reason why I bring this up, is it is an excellent scenario for new and seasoned writers to keep in mind when they are writing a regular column for someone else. The importance of a contract with laid out stipulations of the material you are giving up rights to and how it will be handled in the future.

So what do you think? Should the Philadelphia Inquirer have let Grogan known as a professional courtesy that they were publishing his columns in a book? Would you want a paper you were working with to let you know?

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.