Rights in magazine article

I published several magazine artcles in a few magazines back, between 2002-2005. Two of the magazine no longer exist. Can I use those articles again? Ie resubmit to other publiations? Thank you.

Alasdair Taylor's answer to Rights in magazine article (1000835465)

Answer to the question: 

The best way to answer this question would be to look at the contract between you and the magazines in question - although I suspect that, as you are asking this question, there is no written contract.

In the absence of a written contract, there is lots of uncertainty here. A few points to bear in mind when considering the question are:

  • assuming there was no written contract, there would most likely have been a licence to the magazine publishers, rather than an assignment/transfer of copyright;
  • the terms of such a licence would be "made up" by a court looking a the issue, taking into account any previous dealings between you and the publishers, and also standard industry practice;
  • one issue would be whether the original licence was exclusive (vs non-exclusive;
  • another issue would be whether the original licence is terminated, which may depend upon the legal status of magazine publisher, and what the legal consequences of a termination would be.

With so much uncertainty here, I can't sensibly give you any specific guidance.