I started freelance writing in the January of 2012 and I am providing services for SEO, Blog Articles, User Manuals, Travel Sites and Technical Documentation. Since then I have this question in mind. Then I found good place to ask the question that is writers stackexchange.
Many times a client asks that the content delivered should be his/her Property and me ( the original writer) won't have any right on that written material once I deliver it and get paid.
But I think we have a little logical confusion here. Let me explain you by taking help of Software programs. Imagine that a customer called 'A' gives you project to write a simple calculator to perform 4 basic math operations - plus,minus,multiplication and division. You program this calculator; deliver the project and get paid. Now this calculator becomes property of the client and you do not have any right over it. That is fine. Then after some time a customer called 'B' comes to you and ask you to write a scientific calculator software which included the 4 basic math operations mentioned in above case plus extra functions like Integration, Derivatives, Functions, Matrix etc. Though You have made a simple calculator in the past and that is not your property right now you still can make another complex calculator based upon that simple calculator which uses all functionality from that simple calculator. No one restricts you from doing this. This is considered normal. You can reuse the code, reuse the programming langauge, reuse the programming platform, reuse the devices, reuse the logic.
Now let us imagine this same scenario for writing industry. Many times a client asks to write approximately 5 SEO articles on single topic. Many times its same travel destination about which you have to write travel article for two or more travel websites. Many times its a same technological product about which you have to write article for two different clients. Many times I end up having forced to not repeat my own articles, their structures, sentences, examples used etc. In short you can not "Reuse" the content. And I have a limitation on how much new content I can provide on the very same topic.
So my question is about the,
Ability of a person (writer or programer) to reproduce the same content (written article or software) again and again and getting paid each time for hard work of each project and still not indulge in any Intellectual Property Confusion.
How does the intellectual property works here? Cause in case of computer program you can repetitively use the same logic, same programming languages, same programming libraries. You can reuse nearly everything. When your first calculator displays message 2+2=4 and then when your new advanced calculator too displays message 2+2=4 its not considered as copy paste or not considered as being reuse of old concept. But you write a sentence, "two plus two is four" then you can not reuse this sentence in same context in same way again. That will be considered as copy paste and reusing old content. In writing you can not use exact same sentences again, the sentence and paragraph structures, the stories etc. In short you have to make it new and original every time.
Also in writing once I write a sentence say , 'My country is great' then I can never use the same sentence in same context in same way again in any other articles. Because that will violate the originality of that new article plus violate Intellectual property of the old article.
How do I generate a real 'new and original' content each time?
When its explicitly not specified, who owns the right to the written material. According to the (Indian) law the written material remains property of the writer throughout the lifetime of universe. When the copyright period ends you can use it free of cost, but you still have to credit the original writer. But nobody knows about it. And when I work as freelancer writer I have to take projects from all over world, then law of which land (which country) applies to this Intellectual property?
Thank you for reading this long question.