Who owns the interview?

I find this a very interesting question, asked and answered by Paul Bradshaw on E-Media Tidbits:

“Some time ago I was interviewed via e-mail for an article and, as I often do, after providing answers to the nine questions, I asked the following: “Mind if I republish these answers in full on my blog after the piece goes live?”

It turned out that the journalist actually did mind. In fact, in the correspondence that followed, the journalist explicitly refused me permission to publish my own answers before changing her mind and saying I could — but without the accompanying questions she had supplied. So who owns the interview?”

The thinking behind the question and Mr. Bradshaw’s post are worth a read for any reporter. And raise another question (in my mind):

Do I need your permission to publish an email you send me? Sure, it might be tacky… but once it hits my in-box, isn’t it mine, to do with as I please? Is there a legal answer to this question?

At a more pragmatic level, shouldn’t I just assume that anything I write and “release into the wild,” can and will wind up online? Are there enough lawyers to stop that?

Note to self: In the unlikely event someone asks to interview me, inform them that I reserve the option of publishing the full interview. If they don’t like that, don’t do the interview.

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