Copyright Terms and Payment

Copyright terminology can be confusing.  Fortunately, Brian Scott and has created an amazing graphic full of information.  I’ve run this graphic (see below) once before but it has been getting a lot of play on Pinterest lately.  I thought it might be a good idea to give you all a chance to refresh your memory.

In addition to copyright terminology, it is vitally important to understand when you will be paid.  Common options include payment on submission, acceptance and publication.  They seem pretty obvious.

Payment on submission = you get paid when you turn it in.

Payment on acceptance = is very close to the above but with the implications that someone has to okay your work.

Payment on publication = you get paid when the piece is published.

But I just learned to watch out for the second one and ask who has to accept it?  In the past, it has simply meant that when my editor said “this is good,” I got paid.  But recently I encountered a situation where the piece had to go through copy editing which means that I’ve been waiting 3 months for acceptance and I’m still waiting. Either no one else puts it through copy editor or they are a lot faster about it.

The moral of the story?  Ask who has to accept it.  Live and learn, people.  Live and learn.