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Writing is a Risky Business - Tip for Writers

Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 7:44 pm
by Deb Porter
Hi all.

I'm the guest blogger on Christian Writers Downunder today, and I got back up on my soap box. If you are a writer (and if you aren't, I'm not sure why you're here), then please take some time to read this article. You may know it already, but then again, it may come as a complete surprise--particularly about your responsibility. ... iness.html



Re: Writing is a Risky Business - Tip for Writers

Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 8:35 pm
by Sibermom65
I found the blog through FaceBook and was suitably impressed with your valuable information. Now I need to figure out who was the visitor to the blog from Greene, NY. That's just around the corner from here, and I would love to find another Faith Writer so close!

Re: Writing is a Risky Business - Tip for Writers

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 11:26 am
by Shann
Deb, I have a related question to your excellent article. As an editor, if I spot something that could be copyright protected, I'll look it up, and I always caution the author to either get permission in writing or leave it out.

Unfortunately, sometimes the author refuses to do that. This has happened mainly with authors who are using subsidy presses. They say the company is protected because the authors sign releases stating that the authors guarantee all work is original or they have been granted permission to use someone else's work.

Even though I've repeatedly told some authors that using a citation (much like one might do if writing a thesis for college) is not sufficient, many people ignore my advice. As an editor, am I liable?

Also, I believe as soon as I inform the publishing companies or the authors that copyright protected material is being used, the company is on notice. I believe that could open up the company, author, and myself to a lawsuit if they aren't compliant. The company and authors need to use due diligence once informed of the plagiarized material. Am I wrong in my suppositions?

Have I done my due diligence? There have been a few times when I just stepped out of the project (if I realize they are going to use it regardless before I finish my edits), I end up losing a decent amount of money, but do not want to be involved in any project where the authors or publishers do not respect another author's work. I know I'd be upset if someone used my stories without permission. Also, if asked, I can't imagine I would refuse someone to use my words. I'd consider it an honor, but of course not everyone feels that way.

So what are your thoughts on this?

Re: Writing is a Risky Business - Tip for Writers

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 6:10 pm
by Deb Porter
Shann, this is where writers get it completely wrong. As I mentioned in that article, the very fact that they signed the contract saying that their work was original (and something along the lines that it did not infringe on copyright) means that they, the author, are responsible for obtaining clearance. The publisher can stand on that contract (even a subsidy press company) if they are sued for infringing on copyright in that author's book. The blame then goes right back to the author.

In the example of someone self publishing or using a subsidy press, the reality is that the number of books out there is going to probably be so small that the issue may never arise for them. BUT is that the point? They are doing the wrong thing, and is that glorifying to God? Would they want their song or poem used in someone's book without copyright clearance?

And, as you've shown, authors are very unaware of their responsibility in this matter.

Love, Deb