|Written by Lin Stone|
Entire Contents Copyright © 2000 by Tale Wins
All rights to original works are reserved to the creators
The absence of the © notice does not mean what you see on the web or receive in the mail is free either. Really good stuff is regularly lifted from national magazines with a full staff of lawyers. May the Lord have mercy on your soul if one of them ever finds it lodged on YOUR site or coming in the mail from you unless the author specifically gives permission for it to be passed on.
Day after day I receive up to a dozen FWD letters from friends generously giving me someone else's intellectual property someone forwarded to them.
The web is the coming thing. When you start throwing up a home page to enhance your manuscript it seems to be almost human nature to reach out and take someone's art, animations, writing, backgrounds, music, and anything else available. But is it right? Or are you maybe stealing? Can you morally use any of the material on the web created by others?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Brute force has had its way for centuries and robbed the intellectual properties from others or paid the originators a paltry sum. The sword has hammered nations into the ground. Chariots have hacked civilizations to pieces. Caesar enslaved the world so the circus could continue. Napoleon kept Europe in flames to keep his image bright. Hitler stole the treasures of the world to finance his war machine.
Finally at the end of time those capable of producing intellectual properties for the advancement of mankind are being rewarded for their efforts instead of tortured or destroyed.
|You get paid. |
Lawyers get paid.
Plumbers get paid.
Football Players get paid.
Basketball Players get paid.
Hockey Players get paid.
Even well diggers at the North Pole get paid.
Any writer worth a plugged nickel wants paid too -- in one form or another.
So do the artists, and other creative producers of this world.
It seems strange that some of those who create tangible items which
can only be used by one person at a time insist that
Eliminating Intellectual Property Ownership which can fulfill the needs
of millions without reducing the original is the only fair course.
Read the other side of this triangle and judge for yourself where you
want humanity to stand on this issue.
Authors (like me) have spent YEARS learning their craft.
I have spent hours, days, weeks, months, or even years crafting each project I produce.
Yes, I know the temptation is great to use all the resources of the web. Time and again I've had writers (who should know better than anyone except maybe artists) answer me with: "Naturally all the pictures are scanned but I hope I've given enough credit where it is due."
Take the advice of one who has too much to lose and can only afford two lawyers: Giving credit is a good idea only if you have credit.
Who scanned these pictures you have up or wrote these pieces you are passing on? Are they on the web some place else?
If you scanned them out of a magazine you can write to the copyright holders. You might try to be subtle and GIVE them a scanned copy, and then innocently add, "Oh, by the way, I have a page on the web about this era I'd like to post this on, if you don't mind. I'll be glad to tell my viewers how to reach you if they want a copy too."
If the pictures are on the web somewhere then you can link to them and send viewers there, asking them to hit the backlink after looking AFTER checking with the originator for the right link THEY prefer. Using their material to actually fill out your pages will require permission AND credit, preferably with a link. Check out how I did this on Grab a Hare by the Head. Otherwise, you have told the world that YOU did these things.
PERMISSIONS are an everyday affair, but they are as codified as a bill before Congress, and God help the writer (and the agent) that presents anything to a publisher for which they do not or cannot obtain Permissions on. Securing Permissions is the task of the Writer, not the agent, not the publisher. Sometimes the publisher will pay the fees incurred, but that is always negotiated before the contract is signed. Permissions can be a nightmare. Quoting from Encyclopedias like Britannica, is time honored as long as you are only lifting facts and BRIEF passages. Basically, the same rule applies as above. They are in business to get people to read THEIR pages, not yours. When in doubt, ASK them. Check it out. Get Permission.
Protect Your Page.
If you have valuable property that needs protecting, get the word out that not everything seen on the web or being mailed to you by a helpful friend is free. Especially if your property isn't free, use this page to tell the world to leave it be.
The Mother, May I page can be linked to without charge or notification.
It can even be published intact on your web site or inside your book without writing to me first. Just pick this page up (in one piece) and put it on your own web site and link YOUR copyright notice to it so that all your visitors will at least know what you offer is valuable, and YOURS.
I'm sorry. It won't keep them from stealing your intellectual property, but at least they'll know they are stealing it when they do.
For an opposing view by Sam Vaknin,
For a clear definition of the various forms of protection for intellectual properties Tale Wins also has an article by June Campbell posted.
Click&Copyright: With so many people attempting to be published, via both traditional and Internet-based means, protecting that work is critical. We are committed to helping writers, musicians, artists, web site developers, and entrepreneurs get their dreams off to the right start.
Click&Copyright: was formed to fill the void in the online copyright registration services market. What separates us from the few competitors out there is that we charge a fair price ($39) and make copyrighting as easy as clicking a mouse. We simply have the client fill out the information needed for the correct copyright form and have them email or via mail deliver us their work. We take care of everything else.
COPYNOT: Infringement of copyright can happen when works - such as paintings, books, computer software, films and music - are reproduced or communicated (including communication over the Internet) without permission from the copyright owners. Infringement can also occur when works such as plays and films are performed or screened without permission from the copyright owner. A person who sells infringing versions of a work, even if somebody else made them, is also in breach of copyright, as is a person who authorizes someone else to make an infringement. If a work is very distinctive and original, reproducing part of it may be a breach of copyright.
The International Intellectual Property Alliance lists news from all over the world relating to copyright laws.
The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions maintains a huge list of articles on copyright laws -- both international and otherwise.
The United States Copyright Office is the best place for registering your copyright. Services include downloadable forms. Use file Form TX (two pages) and include a nonrefundable $30 fee. You will also need to enclose a copy of the work for archiving at the office.
Canadians have automatic copyright protection provided the work is original and the author is a citizen of Canada at the time the work is created. Registration with the Canadian Copyright Office is optional but recommended.
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Don't wait to be a writer.
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The heroes of Homer still romp through the Trojan plains. The wisdom of Confucius still rings with truth. The last minutes in the life of Socrates shall never die. Christ rises triumphant from the tomb. The immortal works of Shakespeare shall yet claim the thespian boards of deepest space. Gulliver shall travel on forever.
Maybe none of the writers you see working here at Tale Wins will ever be that good, but we intend to give them every chance to make it into the Literary Hall of Fame. Remember too, you don't have to be THE best to be proud of doing your best.
It is said you never get a second chance to make a good first impression.
On the web that is very definitely NOT TRUE. Writers on the web can change the ending of each story twice a day, or even change it every time a new visitor comes, according to whether it is a man, woman, or child visiting, or some other criteria entirely.
On the web you can go on improving your story any time and every time you feel like it. You can have your own web site and rearrange each page in it as often as you like. You can change the links and the navigation system as often as you like. If you aren't getting paid enough you can find better advertisers.
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FOUR easy to use self defense tips your character can use to get out of a vicious attack and live to tell about it. Look like an expert, weave these tips into your story or book.
Voice in Narrative and Dialogue: When we as authors break a rule or two of grammar, it must not be because we're ignorant. It must be because we have good reasons to break them.
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