Liability protection for authors?

A place where authors can exchange ideas or thoughts. Talk about what categories are hot and which ones are not.

Moderators: Celeste Stewart, Ed

Post Reply
contentwriter
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:07 am

Liability protection for authors?

Post by contentwriter »

Hi all!

Is there any kind of liability protection for us writers concerning the articles we write here? Do CC customers/clients agree to take full responsibility for articles once they buy them? Or do we remain liable for them? What if it's full rights? What if it's usage rights? I don't have liability insurance. What if the client later sues or gets sued over articles bought here? I am sure CC's priority is protecting its own interests, but what exactly is in there for us? I am not familiar with the legal aspect or laws governing freelance writing.

Also do any of you know of reliable authors' insurance? I've heard that major carriers don't really cover us. :(
Lysis
Posts: 1529
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 2:08 pm
Contact:

Re: Liability protection for authors?

Post by Lysis »

I have a friend who gives me a hard time because I don't incorporate to protect myself from being sued. I doubt anyone will sue you. Are you worth anything? Having insurance makes you a target for being sued, because then the lawyers know they can get something out of you. If you're not worth anything, the lawyer is gonna tell joe schmoe blaaahger to save himself the headache.
Judith
Posts: 261
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:30 am
Location: I may be found where mountains rise and rivers flow.
Contact:

Re: Liability protection for authors?

Post by Judith »

Why would you be sued? Unless you are plagiarizing another writer's work, slandering someone's name, or writing out and out lies, I cannot imagine anyone needing to worry about being sued. When I was a journalist for many years, either the newspaper or broadcast firms carried liability against fraud,slander,etc. But I have never carried liability insurance as a freelancer or when I was a staff writer. CC Doesn't allow writers to engage in any of the scenarios that would possibly result in a lawsuit. It's a choice. I have no idea what the insurance would cost or how it would cover you. The very minute you place pen to paper (or hit the computer keys) your original work is copyrighted.
contentwriter
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:07 am

Re: Liability protection for authors?

Post by contentwriter »

Lysis wrote:I have a friend who gives me a hard time because I don't incorporate to protect myself from being sued. I doubt anyone will sue you. Are you worth anything? Having insurance makes you a target for being sued, because then the lawyers know they can get something out of you. If you're not worth anything, the lawyer is gonna tell joe schmoe blaaahger to save himself the headache.


Well, incorporating won't necessarily protect one's personal assets from a lawsuit. But anyway, I'm not out to advertise "Hey I am insured - go sue me." I am talking about the (admittedly remote) possibility of say, you sell an article to a website owner. We don't know what they do with the article or in what context they use it in at their site. They get sued for whatever reason, and then THEY turn around and try to sue the original writer. That's what I was asking about. Do we have any sort of disclaimer or fine print that shields us from that at CC? Like, when a CC client buys an article, do they agree to take full responsibility for an article once they buy it (at least, with full rights)? Because once they buy it, it's out of our hands, and we don't know what changes they could make to the article or in what context it is used.

As for the question "Why would you be sued? Are you worth anything?" I do NOT think I will ever be sued. But just because WE don't think there's a just cause for a lawsuit doesn't mean it can never happen. An aunt recently sued her EIGHT YEAR OLD nephew for jumping into her arms (and she fell and broke her wrist) and the boy's mother died last year too. Ridiculous things happen. And when it does, what's a writer with no insurance to do?

I did not make this post to try and sell insurance to anyone, so please don't turn this into a debate over the merits of freelancer's insurance or lack thereof. I was just asking.
contentwriter
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:07 am

Re: Liability protection for authors?

Post by contentwriter »

Judith wrote:Why would you be sued? Unless you are plagiarizing another writer's work, slandering someone's name, or writing out and out lies, I cannot imagine anyone needing to worry about being sued. When I was a journalist for many years, either the newspaper or broadcast firms carried liability against fraud,slander,etc. But I have never carried liability insurance as a freelancer or when I was a staff writer. CC Doesn't allow writers to engage in any of the scenarios that would possibly result in a lawsuit. It's a choice. I have no idea what the insurance would cost or how it would cover you. The very minute you place pen to paper (or hit the computer keys) your original work is copyrighted.


It IS an unlikely scenario, I know that. But not impossible. I was just asking, do the clients here take full responsibility for an article once they buy it or not?

Look, imagine somebody writes a health article. Like benefits of cinnamon or something. Client buys it. Somebody reads the article at their site and consumes the spice daily, blah blah blah. Gets allergy or his health doesn't improve, and decides to put the blame on the site. Bang, lawsuit. Site owner passes responsibility to writer and sues them in turn. Unlikely, yes. Silly, yes. But not impossible for a fool to attempt. And who wants to spend money on a lawyer if that does happen?

Sorry I brought this up here.
Lysis
Posts: 1529
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 2:08 pm
Contact:

Re: Liability protection for authors?

Post by Lysis »

I'd probably just LOL. I'm upside down on my mortgage from the housing crash, so they're welcome to sue me for my debt.

Unless the person has tons of money to throw away, it would cost more in attorney fees to chase down a random writer on the Internet than what they would make on joe schmoe writer. Let's face it, no one is raking in millions from online writing except maybe the outlets housing the writers. They would probably go after CC first before the writer.
Post Reply