Monday, June 18, 2012
Does Site Owner Own Blog Post?
Author/Owner issues. In your question, the blogger is not an employee. Typically, the only way that a non-employee gives up ownership to blog material is by a written transfer (typically an assignment or a work made for hire agreement). But in your question, the blogger is a part-time owner. That raises a different set of issues. What type of business form is it -- partnership, LLC or corporation? If it is a corporation or LLC and the blogger is an officer, the blogger/owner may have written or fiduciary obligations. Alternatively, the corporation's or LLC's owners may have obligations not to compete -- something that might occur if the material was used for other purposes. If it is a partnership (the default for a group of owners who don't do anything formal), is the blog-writing considered part of the blogger/partner's contribution? That may affect claims to ownership. Finally, if the blog is derived from existing company-generated material or research there may be co-authorship or co-ownership issues. That doesn't mean the blogger can't republish it ... but the blogger would have to account to the co-authors if any money was earned.