Question

Travel site featured my article without asking me. Copyright Infringement?

I wrote a two thousand word travel article for Huffington Post. My agreement with HuffPost is that I retain ownership and copyright of my work after their one time publishing of anything I write - so I can re-sell it anywhere I want.

I found a USA based travel website had featured my story about Europe travel and included the exact same headline and photo and when I clicked on the link I was taken back to the original two thousand word article on Huffington Post.

Clearly my article was not written for this travel site so I asked them to pay me or remove it.

They say that as it is a link back to the original on Huffington Post that they have done nothing wrong (because they didn't lift it and attribute the writing to themselves)

I say BS because I only had an agreement with HuffPost and anyone else who wants to use the article needs to pay me. This travel company is not an affiliate of HuffPost. I should decide where my article is featured and under what terms.

What are your thoughts? I hold the copyright. I should decide where my articles appear. What if this site had questionable political affiliations? I find it hard to believe a site can decide to feature my article with headline and a chunk of my original writing whether it is linked back or not to HuffPost. I should be the one to decide where my copyright protected original work appears.

I am finding it difficult to get clear answers re plagiarism/copyright laws on the web but as a freelancer I can't afford a lawyer. I have asked the company to either pay me or take down all references to my work and the work itself. It appears in several paces pertaing to Greece and clearly this company is making a lot of money in the travel arena
People are routinely sued for unauthorized use of photo images so why not articles that take days to write?

6 months ago - 2 answers

Best Answer

Chosen by Asker

In most cases emailing them a request to remove the material works, it's probably not practical to take any legal action, typically they would start with a cease and desist order sent by a lawyer.

This sort of borrowing of content happens fairly frequently, some sites are built by automated scripts that scrape content from the internet.

One tool for finding these copies is copyscape.com

6 months ago

Other Answers

Linking to the copy that you authorized HuffPost to distribute is not a copyright infringement of any sort. As long as they don't actually COPY your article and put it on their OWN server, there is absolutely nothing more you can do. HuffPost is getting that many more eyeballs on your article, so you're going to be getting more royalties if you negotiated those terms.

Bottom line, it doesn't sound like they are "using" your article; they are linking to the copy that HuffPost is hosting.

by bcnu - 6 months ago