The #GreatDebate Summarized
In the marketing field, copywriting and content creation are major elements of everyday tasks. The creative minds behind these pieces typically come from three different categories: employees, freelance writers, or ghostwriters. While the content remains a major focus in our everyday work tasks, one thing that does not usually get much thought is who rightfully owns the content created, and how much ownership should they have?
Some feel the company owns the rights to the content because afterall, they paid for it. In an article on Hubspot.com, one company executive argued that, “While the writer may have worked hard to create and nurture the company’s voice, the company worked equally as hard to provide [the writers] the exposure [they] needed to prosper as a standalone brand (and perhaps even help further [their] career).” He further argued that if authors were worried about proper ownership rights, that it was more about the quality of the work rather than who owned it.
On the other hand, ghostwriters, freelancers, and employees felt that there should at least be some ownership by the creator. These writer’s view their work as part of their personal brand. Content and prose, while sometimes considered a product, has a human connection factor that makes it very different from any other product. Because of this, writers feel they should have some joint ownership to ensure that their name is on a piece of writing that correctly represents the brand they want to create.
While there are many different opinions on the matter, there seemed to be a few common themes. Despite the sticky situation that is ownership, all writers could agree that they find identity and a personal brand in their work, and want the rights to show it off. They all also agreed that the lines were blurred concerning who does and does not have the ownership rights, but everything else aside, they wanted to be ethical by their employers.
Who do you think has the rights to own the content that is created? Is it the company or client who paid for the product? Is it the creator themselves? Or is it a combination of the two? Share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comments below or by sending a tweet to @Serendipit.