Copywriting contract: article, book, manual

This contract could be used by either the client or a copywriter for a variety of types of assignment.
Suitable for use in: England & Wales and Scotland
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  • Plain English makes editing easy
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About this document

Working with informal e-mail proposals may work for you when the volume of work is not great, but as you need more pieces of copy writing (as a client), or are asked to write more (as a writer), a written document will offer greater protection by helping both sides aware of their obligations to the other and by making clear exactly what is expected.

Like many other services, a copywriting arrangement has the potential to sour. The scope may creep – a brief on one topic may change to another midway through the assignment. Clients may pay late (or not at all) or the writer may not deliver for an all important deadline. Or the client may not realise that in reviewing the work, he or she needs to feedback changes within a certain timeframe.

This is a straightforward contract that sets the terms under which a writer will produce one or more pieces of copy for a client.

As is, the agreement favours the client since the balance of comparative risk in the transaction is likely to be with the customer (especially regarding payment and delivery of the work). However, it can be easily amended to suit the writer.

The writer could be located in any country, working for himself or herself, or even further outsourcing the work to someone else. He or she may also organise the publication of the work – perhaps on the client’s website, or another site.

The work could be for any purpose, including:

  • content for a website
  • an article for a magazine or a blog
  • one or more chapters for a book or ebook
  • a manual
  • a sales page
  • a press release
  • a product review

The document can be used as an umbrella contract for multiple assignments between the same parties. Since the specification of work (for example, topic or subject, length, and intended use) is described in a schedule to the document, the other contractual terms remain clearly separate. This means no further editing is required to reuse those terms – all that is needed is a new specification. Alternatively, the same document once edited, could form the basis of contracts with multiple writers or clients.

For the client, making sure that the copy that he or she pays to have written is owned by him or her is likely to be important. The contract provides for a transfer to the client of all created work.


The contract covers:

  • definitions and interpretation
  • contract work
  • new copyright
  • payment
  • confidential information
  • warranties and indemnities

This document was written by a solicitor for Net Lawman. It complies with current English law.

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