INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, LEGALITY, COPYRIGHT, ETC
Authorial Rights, Sovereignty, and Legal Protection
Anyone interested in the legal terms of publishing on Confic Magazine should familiarize themselves with general internet copyright, and copyright + freelance journalism. These are good starts:
The tl;dr is that you have nominal copyright protection over anything you write down on the internet, Confic Magazine included. So, there’s that in a nutshell.
While there are nebulous legal copyright laws that guarantee ownership and copyright at the moment of writing anything down on paper or electronically ("automatic copyright"), it still behooves the writer to personally copyright their own works as a backup and legal fail-safe ("registered copyright"), especially in the case of online blog platforms (e.g. Medium, which can’t absolutely guarantee user copyright), and with collective publications like Confic Magazine. Personal copyright is fairly straightforward, easy, and affordable thanks to it being digital these days.
An author can submit their works via copyright.gov if in the US.
We will indicate that your work is copyrighted at the bottom of your submission. Confic Magazine will not be responsible for ensuring or enforcing the copyright status of your submitted works beyond automatic, nominal copyright. This is because in order for Confic Magazine to copyright your works for you via copyright.gov, we’d have to know your personal details like your legal name and address. As such, individual writers will be responsible for ensuring their works are copyrighted by any more robust and legally advantageous means.
This means that, in contrast to something like the SCP Wiki and its CC license, the submitted content remains your intellectual property; no one is simply free to do with it whatever they want simply because you submitted it. Payment accepted for a submission made will constitute legal consent for publishing the article in Confic Magazine, and agreement to our contract, which is below.
There is also some legal wiggle room when it comes to copyright status here; for example, the ability to repeatedly print the same article for the same company, just in different places and times, clauses that make the article exclusive to one publication, etc.
Confic Magazine will be flexible with its contributors and likely come to any agreement desired for additional copyright terms and intellectual property. As such, there will not be an overarching policy for intellectual property or copyright, but there will be a default; which is the author has nominal copyright, and takes responsibility for ensuring further that their works are copyrighted.
Confic Magazine will not operate as “work-for-hire”, in which case the submitted publication becomes the intellectual property of the publication.
The submitting author should specify how they would like to be attributed; whether by a pen-name or their real name is up to them. Don't use someone else's name, in either case. Confic Magazine will not recant an article based on any later regret on the part of the author; and it will do so with no moral qualms or hypocrisy because it is paying for the pieces and is not changing its terms of service on its authors mid-flight.
(These exclude those proof-of-concept posts that went up prior to Confic Magazine becoming an LLC; these authors know who they are and their requests to remove their content will be granted if asked for in thanks for getting us this far in the absence of any established legal terms.)
There will be a “Copyright Confic Magazine” along with “Copyright [YOUR PREFERRED NAME]” at the bottom of published articles, because such a notice informs the public of the magazine publisher’s reservation of the exclusive rights to benefit financially from the magazine via donations. It also prevents infringers from claiming to be unaware of the copyrighted status of the material, while technically the intellectual property is still the author’s.
Writers for Confic Magazine are independent contractors. W-2 forms are not necessary because the author is not an employee of the LLC. Read below in the fine print for information and contract terms for authors who receive more than $600 per year from Confic Magazine LLC. You always need to report any payment you receive from Confic Magazine LLC on your taxes, regardless of how much it was.
Below is our legalese statement on freelance journalistic writing and submissions:
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This agreement (the "Agreement") is entered into by Confic Magazine LLC ("Magazine") and the potential and/or actual recipient of payments from Confic Magazine LLC ("Writer") regarding submissions of any kind ("Articles").* In consideration of the mutual covenants made herein, the parties agree as follows:
Writer is engaged in the business of writing articles and other materials on a freelance basis. Magazine is engaged in the business of Magazine publication.
The parties expressly agree and acknowledge that the relationship created by this Agreement is one of Independent Contractor. Magazine is not the employer of Writer, and Writer is not, and will not be treated as, an employee of Magazine for federal tax purposes, or any other purposes.
This agreement will begin on the date and time payment is successfully transferred from Magazine to Writer by electronic means, and shall renew upon each submission thereafter. Contract extends through time in the quantum necessary to conduct business and enact this Agreement. If either party violates a term of this Agreement, then the other party (the "Non-breaching Party") may terminate this Agreement, effective immediately upon delivery of written notice of termination by the Non-breaching Party. Prior to payment to the Writer by the Magazine for an Article, either party may terminate this Agreement at any time for any or no reason, effective immediately.
Services to be Provided by Writer
Writer agrees to submit, on his or her sole initiative, written articles to the Magazine on the following subjects; containment fiction, news coverage, opinion, analysis, artistic works, graphic illustrations, or any other creative product not listed here that the Magazine deems worthy of payment ("Article"). The manner and method of producing these Articles is at the discretion of Writer; the Magazine has no right of control over Writer's manner or method of performance under this Agreement. The Writer accepts the editorial right of the Magazine to fix grammatical errors, typos, clarify statements written by the Writer in text, make compositional or philosophical suggestions, and add links and/or images where relevant, in order to enrich the product Article.
Writer will submit Articles in accordance with the schedule of deadlines (Publication Date) being used by the Magazine, set out in initial electronic correspondence.
Representations and Warranties of Writer
By submitting an Article to Magazine, Writer represents and warrants that the Article is Writer's original work, that the Article is not owned by any third party, that the Article is as factually accurate as possible, that the Article has not been obtained by unlawful means, that the Article has not been previously published in any manner or medium, specifically including, but not limited to, print or electronic means, and that publication of the article by Magazine will not violate any copyright or other intellectual property right of any third party.
By submitting an Article to Magazine, Writer represents and warrants that the name or pseudonym supplied by the Writer is an honest representation of the individual, and not misrepresentation of another individual, or any misappropriation of name or likeness.
Magazine agrees to pay Writer $40.00 per Article published by Magazine, unless otherwise specifically stated in written correspondence, which may be retained for proof of agreement. (Writers who contributed to the Magazine prior to 7/1/2022 received $75.00 as payment per Article.)
Augmentation of payment may be on the basis of multiple authors (who may split the payment), in the case of interviews, or for works of micro-fiction (to be paid less). Micro-fiction works may be offered $5-10, depending upon perceived quality. Interviews are given a flat rate of $40, which the interviewer and interviewee may split evenly, or defer to one another, so that only one participant receives the total $40 payment.
The Writer may not request addition or less payment based on Article length, word-count, or perceived quality. Under no circumstances will Writer be paid on an hourly, daily or other basis that is a function of time. Payment by Magazine will be performed at or before the day of Publication for an Article, barring third-party delays in the transfer of funds that Magazine cannot control. Writer acknowledges and agrees that Magazine will only pay writer for Articles that are published and Magazine has the sole and exclusive authority to determine whether or not to publish any and all Articles submitted by Writer.
Writer understands and agrees that Magazine may publish, at its sole discretion, any number of photographs to the submitted Article by Writer.
Writer is a self-employed independent contractor. As a self-employed independent contractor, Writer shall be responsible for the reporting, deposit, and payment of any and all federal, state, and local taxes, including but not limited to income taxes, FICA taxes, and unemployment taxes incidental to the performance of, or payment under this Agreement. If Writer's yearly pay that totals to less than $600, Writer will be the sole responsibility party for reporting income to the IRS. If Writer's yearly payments sum greater than or equal to $600, the income will be reported by Magazine, but should also be reported by Writer.
If Writer is payed more than $600 or more per year, then by law, a 1099-NEC form must be filled out and submitted to the IRS by Magazine for tax reporting purposes. Writer will be asked to submit their Social Security Number (SSN) to Magazine, or fill out a 1099-NEC form, and submit it to Magazine at email@example.com, so that it may be filed and reported to the IRS. If Writer is not comfortable providing a SSN to Magazine, Writer may supply an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which can be applied for on the IRS website (cost: $250, one-time payment).
Assignment and Ownership of Intellectual Property
Writer hereby understands and agrees that all Articles submitted to, and published by, Magazine under this Agreement shall not be considered works for hire, and further, will remain the nominal copyright of the Writer thereafter. The act of payment by Magazine to Writer purchases the right on the part of Magazine to publish the Writer's Article to the Magazine as copyrighted intellectual property of the Writer. The Writer grants Magazine the right to reproduce paid-for Articles in the form of audio readings, whether digitally or acoustic, for the purposes of Magazine's promotion of its content.
The Writer may ask to add stipulations or remove clauses to the right of this distribution, such as the limitation of the distribution solely to the Magazine's online form, the denial of spoken performances, or a maximum quantity of publications. A Writer must clearly state in electronic correspondence prior to payment and publication any and all additionally desired distribution stipulations on the part of Magazine, as part of this Agreement. Unless stipulated by the parties of this Agreement, the Magazine does not have the right to reproduce the payed-for Writer-copyrighted Article on merchandise or in any form, tangible or digital, to generate additional revenue, outside of the text itself. Magazine only has the right to publish as per the terms above, and benefit monetarily from the Article on the basis of donations/payments said Article might inspire on the part of readers.
If no additional stipulations are made, the Writer hereby assigns to Magazine all rights to publish the Article, in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which it can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device, including without limitation the rights to archive, republish, edit, repackage or revise any Article in any manner as Magazine sees fit. The rights conferred upon Magazine by this agreement shall be exclusive to Magazine for an indefinite period of time after the first date Magazine initially publishes the Article.
Magazine cannot guarantee copyright outside of automatic copyright laws and observances common to the modern internet. Writer is responsible for additional registration of copyright protection measures & legal advantages, such as submission to copyright.gov, as Magazine's doing so would necessitate the sharing of PI, which the Magazine discourages. As such, Magazine will not be responsible for ensuring or enforcing the copyright status of Writer submitted works outside of its own interests and legal pursuits.
Magazine will indicate its copyright status upon the Article to indicate its status as publisher, and that it is given the rights to distribute the content according to the Agreement, and benefit monetarily from the Article in the form of public & private donations.
Refunds & Retractions
Upon the publication of an Article to Magazine, Writers are unable to subsequently request that a submitted Article, whether paid for or not paid for, be taken down ex post facto due to changes in belief or reputational differences. The Writer is able to recant a submitted article prior to the scheduled date of publication and payment (the same day) with full rights retained.
Payments made to Writers may not be exchanged in return for the granted distribution rights after publication to the Magazine has been enacted.
This clause excludes those Articles by those Writers who contributed to Magazine prior to the established terms of this Agreement (10/25/2021); these Articles may be recanted by these Writers without argument or rights reserved by Magazine, as a measure of good faith and thanks.
Privacy & Security
Writers are given full rights to their personal information, save for the amount rendered unto them as payment per the terms of this agreement, in accordance with the Transparency & Accountability Protocols. Any violation of this by the Magazine can result in legal pursuit by the Writer and compensation for subsequent damages. A Writer must clearly state in electronic correspondence prior to payment and publication any and all additionally desired privacy measures on the part of Magazine, up to but not including the amount tendered, as part of this Agreement.
If a dispute arises regarding the lack of promised payment from Confic Magazine LLC to a contributor, Confic Magazine reserves the right to reveal as much and only as much information as is necessary in order to prove that payment was made (e.g. matching the requested payment method to expenditure on a business ledger), so that Confic Magazine might reprieve itself from undue reputational harm.
Transparency & Accountability Protocols
Writer grants Magazine the informational means by which to let Magazine's finances be reasonably auditable and transparent to third party observers, to be posted monthly to the Magazine. Writer does not grant the Magazine right to make known to anyone other than Writer and Magazine any personal information exposed in the process of correspondence and payment. Writers are encouraged to establish means of payments that obfuscate legal details and personal information, and must provide knowledge of these options to the Writer prior to payment.
By submitting an Article or potential Article to Magazine, the Writer consents to the terms within this Agreement.
*Articles and submissions made to the Containment Fiction Wiki ("Confic Wiki") are released as Creative Commons By-Attribution, Share-Alike 4.0.
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Send any further questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org