A while back I did a post on the relative merits of work for hire vs. getting an advance on royalties in publishing contracts. If you're unclear on these terms check out the link.
After being a Gadling travel blogger for more than a year I've discovered another advantage of work for hire--when you sign away your rights you don't have to defend them. Gadling, or more precisely AOL Media, pays me a flat fee and then owns total rights to my posts. I agree to this because their flat fee is good and they have the most popular travel blog on the web. Once my posts go live, they are their property.
What a relief! With so many people stealing stuff from online sources I'd spend half my day tracking down copyright violations. For example, one blogger reused a photo of mine without permission, others have taken articles, and the Somaliland Times, a weekly English newspaper, reprinted my entire Somaliland travel series. Actually I don't mind that last one, because how many people in Hargeisa read Gadling?
So I can sit back and watch the plundering of my work with a serene detachment. Sure it's wrong, but it gets me more readers, and if AOL Media's lawyers want to do something about it, that's their job. I hope they don't go after the Somalis, though. The Somali people showed me so much hospitality they deserve to get my articles for free.