Does Medium Own My Content? (Read This Before You Publish)

As someone who has published over 500 articles on Medium in the last two years, it’s important to know who owns my content.

Does Medium own my content?

No, Medium does not own the content you publish on the platform. You retain the rights to your content, which means you can use the content in any way that you wish. You can even remove it from the platform. Medium sublicenses your content with the ability to reuse or redistribute it in any form.

There are some caveats.

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about who owns your content on Medium.

Does Medium Own My Content? (Official Answer From Medium)

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Redheaded Woman on a laptop in a cafe—Does Medium Own My Content
I made this image with Jasper Art & Canva —Does Medium Own My Content?

Medium does not own your content, even though you published articles with them.

According to the Medium Terms of Service:

You retain your rights to any content you submit, post or display on or through the Services.

That is pretty straightforward.

As the author, you ultimately own the content you choose to put on Medium. That includes short articles, long articles, comments, fiction, poetry, author-generated images, and publications that you create.

It doesn’t matter if you publish directly to your profile or publish content through a Medium publication.

You keep the rights to your content.

Does Medium Own Copyright?

Medium does not own the copyright to your content on Medium.

However, Medium is allowed certain privileges and usage of your content. Once again, the best source of information is the Medium Terms of Service:

Unless otherwise agreed in writing, by submitting, posting, or displaying content on or through the Services, you grant Medium a nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, fully paid, and sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, publicly perform and display your content and any name, username or likeness provided in connection with your content in all media formats and distribution methods now known or later developed on the Services.

As you can see, by publishing on Medium, you give the company a license to use your content.

It’s still your content, though.

Are Medium Posts Copyrighted?

Yes, Medium posts are copyrighted.

When you create something original – whether it’s a painting, a song, or a blog post – you automatically gain copyright protection.

Copyright is a form of intellectual property protection that gives authors the “exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, and publicly perform their work.”

In other words, only you can decide how your article is used and who can profit from it.

While copyright law does allow for some limited use of copyrighted material without the author’s permission (such as for criticism or news reporting), it is generally illegal to copy or distribute someone else’s work without their consent.

So, if you see your article being shared without your permission, or if someone is trying to sell your article without compensating you, they are likely breaking copyright law.

5 Things Medium Can Do With Your Content

It only takes a glance at the Medium Terms of Service to realize that they possess pretty broad rights over your content.

In fact, you should probably know five things that Medium can do with your content.

Here are those five ways Medium can use your content.

1) Medium Can Republish Your Content

Any time that they want, Medium can republish your articles on the Medium website or app.

This includes publishing your content:

  • In Medium’s Partner Program
  • In a Medium publication
  • In a Medium newsletter

2) Medium Can Produce a Book From Your Content

If your content does well on Medium, the company could decide to produce a book from it.

This would include selecting a set of articles and bundling them together in an ebook or print format.

For example, I’ve written over 100 articles about writing.

If Medium wanted to, the company could pull all of these articles together into a book about writing.

The same is true with my series of articles on how to start a blog on Medium.

3) Medium Can Perform Your Content

Perform is a strange word.

This means Medium can transform your work into music, audio, or even a play (or any other medium correlated with “performance”).

I would kind of like to see that.

4) Medium Can Turn Your Content Into a Video

This one is a bit more likely to happen.

If your content does well on the site, Medium could turn it into a video. They could produce a video on their platform or publish it to a Medium YouTube or TikTok channel, for instance.

This would be done with the hopes of getting more people to view and engage with your content.

5) Medium Can Change Your Content In Any Way That They Want

If typos or other errors are found in your article, Medium can fix them without consulting you first.

That makes a lot of sense, actually.

Additionally, if they need to format your article for a different device or platform, they can do it.

Medium can remove sections of your content, rearrange the content, or add content. The only thing they probably can’t do is completely change the content and then ascribe it to you.

If you’re not okay with any of those uses, then you shouldn’t publish your content on Medium.

Can I Post on Medium and My Own Blog?

Yes, you can post the same content on Medium and your own blog.

If you decide to do this, I recommend that you publish on your self-hosted blog first and then use a canonical link to republish the same content on Medium.

The good news is that Medium makes this super easy.

Medium provides a feature where you simply add the original URL and click a few buttons. No problemo.

Can I Reuse Articles That I Post on Medium?

Yes, since you retain the copyright of your content on Medium, you can reuse your articles.

You can turn your articles into videos, combine them to produce a book, or republish them on other platforms. You can also update your articles and “republish” them on Medium.

For example, if you wrote an article about a specific event, you could update the article with new information and republish it closer to the event date.

Updating and republishing your articles is a great way to keep your content fresh and relevant.

When you republish an article on Medium, you essentially just update it. The original article remains active during the update. As soon as you hit the “publish” button again, your article will get updated across the platform.

Can I Publish a Book From the Articles I Write on Medium?

The answer is yes, you can make a book out of the articles you publish on Medium.

In fact, there are several options for publishing your articles as a book. You can create an ebook, print copy, or audiobook. I like to collect related articles into a list on Medium.

This makes it much easier to copy and paste them into a book later.

If you decide to go the ebook route, you can use publish on Gumroad or Amazon KDP. For audiobooks, you can publish through ACX, and for print books, you can use CreateSpace.

Here are some great tools for turning your Medium articles into books:

Recommended ToolsPrice
SqribbleGet the cheapest price
Fiverr (Hire freelancers)Get the cheapest price
Recommended tools for making a book from your Medium articles- Chart

Sqribble will automatically turn your articles into an ebook.

On Fiverr, you can hire freelancers (cheaply) to professionally format your book for print and ebook versions. You can also use Jasper Art and Canva to create your book cover.

Final Thoughts: Does Medium Own My Content?

The bottom line is that Medium does not own your content. Instead, they license it from you.

However, I highly recommend that you keep a backup copy of all of your articles on Medium in case the platform decides to delete your content, closes your account, or goes out of business.

Those are not likely scenarios but it’s always wise to have a plan B.

Related posts:

Sources

Copyright.gov

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