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Copywrite, a serious matter!

As VP of Publications, My team, the Publications Committee, is always on the lookout for copywrited material.

Some would say, "Well gosh Wayne, the internet has all kinds of material to use as newsletter filler and it’s all free".

Are you sure? Some might consider it free, since another person said that they had permission granted by the original author to use it. But, how do you know it was granted? Even more important, this permission is granted only to the person that received the permission.

Let me tell you a story. A friend of mind told me a story, just today, about a car club reprinting a really interesting story that they had seen in another publication. The members were really pleased because the story was especially interesting. Everyone was really happy until that certified letter from the original author arrived in the club mail box. The club wrote back explaining how they were a charitable organization and meant no harm. They even explained to the fellow that they thought it was free to the public.

The author wrote back telling them that a $700.00 (estimate) check would cure all of their problems and also prevent a lawsuit. After the club checked with an attorney and found out they did not have a defense, the check was their only alternative.

I want to say here that this issue is also, at times, prevalent on the AACA Forums. See link. http://forums.aaca.org/f169/car-radio-interesting-story-332261.html

Please be careful what kinds of material you use. It can prevent a costly lawsuit. Below is a handy link to help you with these decisions.


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Your reference to the "nolo" website was very helpful, Wayne. I've printed it out

and put a copy in my file. Seeing who owns the rights can sometimes be circuitous and

time-consuming, but in doing so, we've talked to some interesting authors whose

knowledge and experiences have been fascinating.

(I like your play on words, too. Otherwise, copyRIGHT is the correct spelling!)

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Yes, confusion in language can be frustrating--but sometimes

the results can be funny! Any editor (or anyone with a sense of humor)

will enjoy the book "Anguished English" by Richard Lederer. It's full

of simple published mistakes that were unintentionally hilarious.

For fun, here are a few headlines quoted from Mr. Lederer's book:






Our job might as well be fun!

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