Hi. New member here. I've discovered that some articles I wrote 11 years ago are on the internet and some websites are selling access to the articles for $5 or so.

My name is on the articles, but the copyright is listed as belonging to the publisher and/or various other organizations like Gale Group and Gale Cengage Learning.

One of the articles is also on Amazon for $5.95.

Apparently the magazines sold the rights to these groups. I was not aware when I sold the articles that I was giving up my copyright forever and don't recall signing anything to that effect. I thought I was selling them 1st North American serial rights only.

I sent emails a week ago to the magazines asking for clarification about who owns my copyright and why they are continuing to make money from my writing without compensating me. They haven't replied.

I rather doubt that many people have paid for access to the articles but really don't know. But I still don't know whether i own the rights to my own articles or not.

Is it possible that I gave the magazines ownership of the copyrights to my articles forever without even signing a contract? Is this the norm in the magazine world?

One of the articles was reprinted in a book and I did receive an honorarium for that. I remember the author contacted me personally. I also sold second serial rights to a few publications after the original magazines ran the pieces. That's why I suspect that I, not the magazines, own the copyrights.

But do I? And what would you do about this situation?

Thanks for your thoughts.