I have recently been presented with a quandary about whether I should accept a pay check or merely accept exposure. I chose exposure for this one time but I think it has become a very sad state when clients feel that they can purchase full rights for less than 25 dollars.
I'm not going to name any names but recently I noticed one of my articles was published without my name on it. I wrote the article some time back and it was in an topic that I did not have experience in. For this reason I took the low pay of 15 dollars with the belief that I still maintained full rights to my article. I should mention that I have not invoiced the magazine at this time simply because I was asked to write more and I was also asked to invoice all at once.
They published the article and did not credit me for writing it. Seeing this, I emailed the editor and asked her why I wasn't credited. Her response was, "You wrote that article. I honestly didn't know who did." This isn't verbatim by the way. I was shocked at the poor filing system they have but my name was on the article so it seemed a little strange that they didn't know who had written it or that they chose to publish it without finding out first.
Anyway, after that she went on to say that people who get paid do not get to have their name on the article. The small amount of 15 dollars is enough for them to have full rights for the article. What?!
I replied with a statement about how I will allow them to have first time rights for free but my name needs to be on it and they are not allowed to use it for any further issues. I continued to say that 15 dollars is not enough for full rights and that I would not be invoicing them for it. The article is mine and if I chose to sell the reprints of the article then I would.
I still have not heard back from them but really, should a company be allowed to have full rights for such a small amount. I mean the amount they wanted to pay was pathetic to begin with but I went against my better judgement only to have some samples available for that particular topic. I am interested in it and I was planning on approaching other magazines that specialize in that area. I have sold my rights to articles, especially web content that I have written but articles like this, I do not have any interest in selling full rights, especially for 15 dollars.
My thoughts are that companies are taking advantage of the whole "exposure" thing. If it is a start up magazine, website or company, how much exposure are you really going to get and if it isn't, shouldn't they have more money to pay writers what they deserve. I mean, if you want full rights pay the proper amount but telling someone you have full rights for a price tag that will buy a couple of tins of coffee, I mean come on.
I was insulted by the tactics of this company and I will not be sending them anymore articles. To me this just shows the type of people I am dealing with and it was rather disappointing.
So now that I've ranted a bit, what do you think is a fair amount for full rights? Do you think exposure is more important than pay? or do you think I should have bothered being upset?