If you are a blogger and/or freelance writer, chances are that you write blog posts (or will at some point in the future) for websites owned by someone else. This includes guest posts, group blogs, and even magazines, newspapers, and other publications. When you write for someone else’s site, who owns the content – you or them?
Work for Hire Agreements
The first thing you need to understand is a Work for Hire (WFH) agreement. Unless you have signed one of these, you are the legal author and owner of the content you create. There’s a rather in-depth explanation of Work for Hire as it pertains to publishers – the people who would be using your content – that you may find helpful.
The short version is that a work for hire must be commissioned as new work, and both parties (blogger and publisher) “must expressly agree in a signed document that the work shall be considered a work made for hire” prior to commencement of work. The publisher cannot decide to make it a work for hire after you have already started writing a post for them.