Newspapers and Magazines Law and Legal Definition

Any agreement between a publisher and a distributor, dealer, carrier, must follow the standards of contract law. When dealers, distributors and carriers are hired as independent contractors, and a clause to that effect should be included in the contract. The control of the manner in carrying out the particular job and the manner of compensation are also considered as evidence of the paries' intent in determining the nature of the employment relationship. An independent contractor's compensation is usually a fixed sum for a particular job or computed on a commission basis, or a combination of both. When a carrier is a minor, provision should be made for consent of the minor's parent or guardian.

Although columnists, cartoonists, and other featured writers frequently are under contract with one or more publishers of newspapers or other publications, many are under exclusive contract with a syndicate to which they supply their work product. The syndicate promotes the work of such persons, and contracts with various publishers for publication of the work. Publishers pay the syndicate for the work provided and the proceeds are shared with the producers.

As a general rule, work product is copyrighted in the name of the producer. The newspapers and other publications acquire only the right to publish each column and rights to other use of the material belongs to the producer.

Newspapers must statutory requirements, to be eligible to carry legal notices and advertisements. In many jurisdictions, legal notices must be published in newspapers of general circulation. Some statutes permit publication only in newspapers having the greatest circulation or largest number of paid subscribers. The printed date of the newspaper is the date of publication, and an affidavit is generally required as proof of publication.