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Brad Fitzpatrick

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articles and presentations [Mar. 12th, 2004|12:09 pm]
Brad Fitzpatrick
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I'd agreed to write an article about memcached for LinuxJournal awhile back and forgotten. The deadline is April 9... not so bad.

Turns out there's even money involved... $600 if it makes it to print, and $150 if just on the website.

Things like this make me a little uncomfortable, though:
Once your article is submitted, it will be in the publication queue
and therefore cannot be submitted elsewhere unless 1) Linux Journal
rejects the article, or 2) the author notifies Linux Journal of
his/her intent to withdraw the article and Linux Journal agrees
to release the article. (The only circumstance under which we
will not release an article is if it has already been scheduled
for publication.)
This exclusivity worries me... can I plagarize myself (earlier articles I've written)... can I reuse content in future articles? Can I republish it myself?

I should ask if I can retain the rights to the article after 'n' days of exclusivity.

At least for the MySQL conference they mailed me and said:
Dear Speakers,

As a service to our attendees and to the MySQL community, we wish to publish the slides and scripts for your presentations on the mysql.com website.

In order to do this, we ask you to license your presentation materials under one of the Creative Commons licenses.

The Creative Commons licenses are a family of licenses designed to help spread innovation and creativity. For an excellent overview of the goals and means of the licenses and the project please visit http://creativecommons.org/learn/

We also ask that you consider licensing images from, as well as audio and video recordings of, your session under a Creative Commons license as well.

If you choose to do this, we suggest that you consider each of the content types separately. We also suggest that you consider requesting the right to review images, audio and video recordings before they are published.

For more details, please visit http://creativecommons.org/license/ - it provides you with a step-by-step guide to choosing a license.

If you have any questions on this or require assistance, please contact ......

How cool is that?

Speaking of which, I need to get working on those slides. That's coming up as well.

[User Picture]From: johno
2004-03-12 12:18 pm (UTC)
The "exclusivity clause" is fairly standard.

In other words, once we've bought it, we don't want it appearing anywhere else, until we publish it.

You can negotiate what the rights are AFTER publication, but they will either not give up "First Pub" rights or want to cut the fee to reprint levels.

(Reply) (Thread)
From: (Anonymous)
2004-03-12 01:31 pm (UTC)


I've been a writer and editor with a prominent online media company for four years now. Our contracts include two provisions regarding republication:

1. There's a period of exclusivity after publication of 60 or 90 days (I think it's changed and I don't remember where it's at now. A writer hasn't asked in a while.)

2. Authors are welcome to republish the article on their personal web site at any time, which is what I think you were asking when you said "can I republish it myself." No reason why not. Barring a rare case where the author's vanity site happens to be both directly competitive and more prominent, what's the harm?

Most people seem to realize that the shelf-life of this sort of information is pretty limited. I've had writers act like whittling the repub interval down to 30 days is a major victory for their negotiating skills when the simple fact is that this stuff moves off the front page and into the archives in a matter of days or a few weeks where it sits, soaking up the residual benefit of good Google juice but not much more. If they can convince someone else to purchase an article we've already run, more power to 'em.

I've worked in the Linux journalism trade for four years now, and though I've never written for LJ, I've dealt with several of their folks on a few occasions. They seem like good eggs and I'd guess they're similarly flexible. As a prominent site in their space with a lot of mindshare and probable first-stop status, they certainly should be.

My two rules, though, are 1. always ask and 2. always have a contract. Just good business sense, and it protects editor and writer alike.

-mph (http://www.puddingbowl.org)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: vriane
2004-03-12 01:38 pm (UTC)
That exclusivity thing is normal, but you can always reuse some bits you used in submitted articles afterwards. No problems. Many academics do so, and publish "working paper" versions of the papers they submitted to journals so as to get around the exclusivity thing and reach a wider audience through the Internet.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: scsi
2004-03-12 02:27 pm (UTC)
Oo Neato!
Maybe put a request out for the names of all the sites that are using memcache so the "who's using this" page can be updated?
Though I doubt anyone can beat LJ/Slashdot in terms of size/traffic.
(Reply) (Thread)