This post is inspired by a couple of comments that Neo G. made to a previous post.
One of the danger signs that I have seen over the years is when an Order makes you sign over all control of something that you wrote over to them. Or as it is called in the writing trade "work for hire"---a writer being paid (or not) for all the rights to something that they wrote. In other words, the buyer controls the entire copyright, not the writer themselves.
The person that Neo mentioned is not someone I can picture doing such a practice for two reasons.
One, they work with Protected Confidential Restricted information (substitute whatever term that your county uses for the lowest level of Classified [Secret] information). And they treat their entire system in that manner; the amount of Unrestricted (Unclassified) public information is...well, you can put it in a teaspoon. I can't imagine them allowing anyone to have access to anything that might reveal their sources...whether in print or the form of a contact person. In that group, everything is filtered through a single person.
Two, and more importantly, they are not the least bit interested in anything that a modern person can assemble. In fact, if a modern researcher can put it together, then it is automatically rubbish. The only good stuff is hundreds, if not thousands, of years old and requires "special skills" to translate into the modern languages.
That more or less eliminates that person from my list of usual suspects. I am not saying that it could not happen (because groups have gone surprisely bad before, so you can NEVER declare a group free from any defect), but that person and their group are nowhere on my chart as a probable violator in this manner.
On the other hand, there are two people that make the top of my list.
One is because of the number of reports I have heard that ordinary rank and file members were writing all the material and the leader was claiming all the credit. I have a rule that you don't hear the same story from a dozen people without there being a good reason for the details to match.
The other person, well, I experienced it firsthand, so I know that it is true. As a writer, it alarmed me when they asked for ALL RIGHTS, and I could not even show others what I was working on (and by others, I mean people who have swore the same set of Oaths that I had). Later, I confirmed that the person was claiming authorship of material that other people wrote. It is sad when many of your lessons are being written by students on the same Grade level that you are on.
(For the record, there were other problems that made that one look minor in comparsion, and so it goes.)
Of course, I cannot mention actual names because someone might mistake them for another group. And so it goes.
Now, I can understand an esoteric Order asking for limited rights. Some of the material I have written has the note that Fraternal Rights has been granted to the BIORC. It is part of my "if a bus runs over me" insurance plan. It allows the Order to continue to use selected material if something unforeseen happens to me. But it only allows them to use the material in ritual or in the lessons, they have no other publication rights. After all, I am one of those evil writers, who insists that my copyright has a monetary worth. And my wife will need money if I suddenly die.
But a leader or an Order asking to control the entire copyright of something that you have written, well, I have never seen any good come of it. Therefore, it is one of the things that I warn people to look out for when they are trying to figure out the relative evil of an esoteric group.