In cases where a work belongs to The Times-Independent, the work is licensed exclusively for use by the newspaper or reuse by me. This means that others are not permitted to use the work without the express, written consent of the newspaper’s editor or publisher.

I label works to which this applies as being “licensed for exclusive use”. For example:

A Nissan sedan sits on its roof, with belongings inside stacked inside the vehicle. Broken glass and some other belongings, including a cowboy-style hat, sit outside the vehicle. The front bumper of the car is partially torn away. First responders stand watch, waiting for a towing company in the background to flip the vehicle.

Though I took this photo on April 3, it belongs to The Times-Independent because it is a work made for hire. It is not licensed for reuse, except with the written consent of the editor or publisher of the newspaper.

A nicer way of saying that it is that it is licensed for exclusive use. Carter Pape, licensed for exclusive use

More on that

I like to give photos away (i.e. publish them under my preferred Creative Commons license). But, sometimes, I am merely reusing a photo that is licensed exclusively to The Times-Independent (i.e. that only the newspaper is allowed to use).

In cases where I have taken a photo that I intend for The Times-Independent to use, the newspaper, by federal law, owns the work.

Here’s the intuition behind it: The Times-Independent hired me to report, so they own the works I produce in the course of doing that hired work. That includes all work products: reports, photographs, videos, even (arguably) source code.

Of course, not every photo I take or program I create belongs to my employer. It is only the works for hire, which by law includes “a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment.”

excerpt of the linked document with the first part of the definition of 'work made for hire' highlighted

What’s within the scope of my employment? Well, that’s arguable, but I think it clearly does not include photos that I take for the intention of openly licensed use, nor programs that I write for myself rather than for the newspaper.

Examples of some works that belong to me rather than my employer are photos that I create for or publish first for other entities, including for myself. Some programs I have created that relate to my job but are outside the scope of my employment also count.

However, in cases where I have created a work (e.g. a photograph) for The Times-Independent, the newspaper owns the work and has its own licensing and reuse terms. Those terms tend to be restrictive because the newspaper prefers to protect rather than give away its intellectual property.