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Author Topic: When Your Work Is Published Without Your Consent  (Read 3351 times)

Altair

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When Your Work Is Published Without Your Consent
« on: August 17, 2011, 04:30:23 pm »
I made a rather startling discovery today. I was Googling around in some downtime at the office, and was shocked to discover that two original myths I wrote, which were published more than 10 years ago in Llewellyn's Magical Almanac, are reprinted online by two different pagan websites. They obviously got them from the almanac, since they're the same very early versions of the myths as were printed there (well, one website simplified things even further a bit); the typos in one of them suggest that the individual retyped it from the book.

The websites credited me as the author, which is good (otherwise I'd be ballistic); and I'm not averse to the idea that my work was deemed worthy and is being seen, even if by the 12 people who visit these sites or whatever.

But on the other hand, I don't like the idea that my work is being reproduced without my permission. And I'm esp. wary since I'm making progress on completing the myth cycle as a whole, to the point that I'm aiming to try to have it published.

Reactions? Advice? Others' experiences?
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

mandrina

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Re: When Your Work Is Published Without Your Consent...
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2011, 04:43:48 pm »
Quote from: Altair;13569
I made a rather startling discovery today. I was Googling around in some downtime at the office, and was shocked to discover that two original myths I wrote, which were published more than 10 years ago in Llewellyn's Magical Almanac, are reprinted online by two different pagan websites. They obviously got them from the almanac, since they're the same very early versions of the myths as were printed there (well, one website simplified things even further a bit); the typos in one of them suggest that the individual retyped it from the book.

The websites credited me as the author, which is good (otherwise I'd be ballistic); and I'm not averse to the idea that my work was deemed worthy and is being seen, even if by the 12 people who visit these sites or whatever.

But on the other hand, I don't like the idea that my work is being reproduced without my permission. And I'm esp. wary since I'm making progress on completing the myth cycle as a whole, to the point that I'm aiming to try to have it published.

Reactions? Advice? Others' experiences?

 

If you are trying to have it republished and so on, contact them, ask them to take it down and if they don't, complain to their ISP.  If you feel like being nice, offer them a complimentary copy of the published final product.
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Altair

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Re: When Your Work Is Published Without Your Consent...
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2011, 04:58:46 pm »
Quote from: mandrina;13572
If you are trying to have it republished and so on, contact them, ask them to take it down and if they don't, complain to their ISP.  If you feel like being nice, offer them a complimentary copy of the published final product.

 
That sounds like good advice. Have you run into this kind of thing before? (It must happen with a fair degree of frequency...I've just never experienced it personally until now.)

What were the outcomes?
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

diana_rajchel

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Re: When Your Work Is Published Without Your Consent...
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2011, 05:15:19 pm »
Quote from: Altair;13569
I made a rather startling discovery today. I was Googling around in some downtime at the office, and was shocked to discover that two original myths I wrote, which were published more than 10 years ago in Llewellyn's Magical Almanac, are reprinted online by two different pagan websites.

Reactions? Advice? Others' experiences?


I have had this happen with a LOT of my Llewellyn stuff. I daresay just about all of it. It's partly Llewellyn's policy: those contracts leave them free to distribute material any way they want for the five years that they hold the copyright, and they like to publish "freebie" material drawn from the almanacs online.

There are also people who still happily type on articles verbatim.

Since it's past the 5 year mark, you can do a cease and desist - the copyright is yours to protect or not as you see fit.

I have a Google keyword search that looks for my name and notifies me when something appears online with my name attached. It doesn't get everything - there is a ton of stuff I've written that someone has taken that isn't attributed to me.

I can't spend my life looking for everything someone has grabbed wholesale, or I'd never get anything done, let alone anything new written. I also refuse to use the nabbing as an excuse to stop writing.

What I've taken to doing is every so often posting to my blog that copying is not OK with me, but derivative work - stuff inspired by what I have created - is OK.  I then repeat that our entire field needs new stuff, not the same stuff repeated over and over again, and for that to happen you have to be brave enough to expose your own creation. It doesn't solve the problem in entirety, but it seems to have slowed it down a little bit.

hufflee

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Re: When Your Work Is Published Without Your Consent...
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2011, 05:30:54 pm »
Quote from: Altair;13569
I made a rather startling discovery today. I was Googling around in some downtime at the office, and was shocked to discover that two original myths I wrote, which were published more than 10 years ago in Llewellyn's Magical Almanac, are reprinted online by two different pagan websites. They obviously got them from the almanac, since they're the same very early versions of the myths as were printed there (well, one website simplified things even further a bit); the typos in one of them suggest that the individual retyped it from the book.

The websites credited me as the author, which is good (otherwise I'd be ballistic); and I'm not averse to the idea that my work was deemed worthy and is being seen, even if by the 12 people who visit these sites or whatever.

But on the other hand, I don't like the idea that my work is being reproduced without my permission. And I'm esp. wary since I'm making progress on completing the myth cycle as a whole, to the point that I'm aiming to try to have it published.

Reactions? Advice? Others' experiences?


While I'm certainly no expert on the subject, if you don't have it copyrighted, and they named you as the author, I don't think they did anything illegal, however unethical I think it may be. :(
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Re: When Your Work Is Published Without Your Consent...
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2011, 05:57:27 pm »
Quote from: Altair;13569
The websites credited me as the author, which is good (otherwise I'd be ballistic); and I'm not averse to the idea that my work was deemed worthy and is being seen, even if by the 12 people who visit these sites or whatever.

Personally, I just ask them to credit me as author, include my copyright notice, and link back to the original on TC. Most are happy to comply. The few that aren't I tend to get nasty with. If you don't want to up at all, I'd try the same basi tactics: just politely request they take it down. Most will probably comply. You don't have to get nasty unless they refuse.

I find it pointless to waste typing time explaining that they shouldn't have done it or quoting copyright law unless they refuse to do as requested. Explaining all that just sidetracks the discussion from the simple request to do "X".
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Re: When Your Work Is Published Without Your Consent...
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2011, 06:08:37 pm »
Quote from: hufflee;13582
While I'm certainly no expert on the subject, if you don't have it copyrighted, and they named you as the author, I don't think they did anything illegal, however unethical I think it may be. :(

 
As an author, you automatically hold copyright.  You don't have to go through a special process.

Jenett

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Re: When Your Work Is Published Without Your Consent...
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2011, 06:21:50 pm »
Quote from: Altair;13569

But on the other hand, I don't like the idea that my work is being reproduced without my permission. And I'm esp. wary since I'm making progress on completing the myth cycle as a whole, to the point that I'm aiming to try to have it published.

Reactions? Advice? Others' experiences?

 
You can certainly go the copyright route (assuming it's past the terms for the Llewellyn contract, which it should be...) But that's sort of a pain in the neck, and most individuals are really a) confused and b) prone to being cranky about being corrected, which is not the most fun conversation ever.

It hasn't happened to me (yet) that I know of: most of what I write doesn't work for that kind of thing, or isn't on topics that are particularly snaggable.

My own approach goes something like this:
- I am inclined to give permission for anything that I have control over (so, for example, all of the writing I've done for LLewellyn is still under contract to them: I don't have the right to say "Don't use that.", they do.)

- I am interested in credit, but I'm really interested in is that people who want to read more of my stuff (or read more recent stuff like that) can do so.

- However, other people profitting off my stuff is not cool. (And in that case, I'd go the DMCA/copyright response route.)

- In all other cases, I'd go for "Hey, found this. In future, if oyu'd like to use something, my policy is please ask first. I'm very likely to say "Great!" for non-profit uses, but I want to know where my work is being shared, so I can share updates, corrections, or links to other useful info.

If you'd like to keep the piece up, would you please add [link to my website, whatever] so that people who like that work can find more like it?"

If there's no response at all, bleh, but not the end of the world, and I won't fuss with copyright. If there's a nasty response, I might take it to their hosting service. (Because it'd still be under my legal control). If there's a confused response, I put on my librarian-hat and explain about how copyright law works in practice.
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Jenett

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Re: When Your Work Is Published Without Your Consent...
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2011, 06:26:32 pm »
Quote from: hufflee;13582
While I'm certainly no expert on the subject, if you don't have it copyrighted, and they named you as the author, I don't think they did anything illegal, however unethical I think it may be. :(

 
[puts offical-librarian-type hat on]

Anything put in fixed form (with a very few, highly limited exceptions) is considered under copyright, as soon as it's in the fixed form. You don't have to do anything special to register it (though registering can help with damages awarded.)

This applies, with some minor variations, to all signatories of the Berne Convention, an international law that includes most places on the planet these days, though not all.

The few exceptions include
- stuff created by the US government

- things that are purely lists (the classic example is ingredients in a recipe: the descriptive text, instructions, and layout are copyrighted, but the pure list of "2 eggs, 1/2 cup milk, 2 cups chocolate" are not.)

- okay, and the fashion industry has very little intellectual property protection. But they're very unusual in that.

http://www.publicdomainsherpa.com/what-is-public-domain.html has more details.
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Altair

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Re: When Your Work Is Published Without Your Consent...
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2011, 06:56:13 pm »
Quote from: diana_rajchel;13576
I have had this happen with a LOT of my Llewellyn stuff. I daresay just about all of it. It's partly Llewellyn's policy: those contracts leave them free to distribute material any way they want for the five years that they hold the copyright, and they like to publish "freebie" material drawn from the almanacs online.

There are also people who still happily type on articles verbatim.

Since it's past the 5 year mark, you can do a cease and desist - the copyright is yours to protect or not as you see fit.

I have a Google keyword search that looks for my name and notifies me when something appears online with my name attached. It doesn't get everything - there is a ton of stuff I've written that someone has taken that isn't attributed to me.

I can't spend my life looking for everything someone has grabbed wholesale, or I'd never get anything done, let alone anything new written. I also refuse to use the nabbing as an excuse to stop writing.

What I've taken to doing is every so often posting to my blog that copying is not OK with me, but derivative work - stuff inspired by what I have created - is OK.  I then repeat that our entire field needs new stuff, not the same stuff repeated over and over again, and for that to happen you have to be brave enough to expose your own creation. It doesn't solve the problem in entirety, but it seems to have slowed it down a little bit.

 
That's a sensible-sounding approach that seems to echo what Mandrina said.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Altair

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Re: When Your Work Is Published Without Your Consent...
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2011, 07:00:25 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;13589
Personally, I just ask them to credit me as author, include my copyright notice, and link back to the original on TC. Most are happy to comply. The few that aren't I tend to get nasty with. If you don't want to up at all, I'd try the same basi tactics: just politely request they take it down. Most will probably comply. You don't have to get nasty unless they refuse.

I find it pointless to waste typing time explaining that they shouldn't have done it or quoting copyright law unless they refuse to do as requested. Explaining all that just sidetracks the discussion from the simple request to do "X".


I like this tack, EXCEPT that I'm planning to pitch the entire myth cycle to a publisher. I'm wondering if having a part of it, in a very early version, out there available online compromises my chances of acceptance.

Anyone have any good intel on that?
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Altair

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Re: When Your Work Is Published Without Your Consent...
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2011, 07:08:02 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;13594
My own approach goes something like this:
- I am inclined to give permission for anything that I have control over (so, for example, all of the writing I've done for LLewellyn is still under contract to them: I don't have the right to say "Don't use that.", they do.)

- I am interested in credit, but I'm really interested in is that people who want to read more of my stuff (or read more recent stuff like that) can do so.

- However, other people profitting off my stuff is not cool. (And in that case, I'd go the DMCA/copyright response route.)

- In all other cases, I'd go for "Hey, found this. In future, if oyu'd like to use something, my policy is please ask first. I'm very likely to say "Great!" for non-profit uses, but I want to know where my work is being shared, so I can share updates, corrections, or links to other useful info.

If you'd like to keep the piece up, would you please add [link to my website, whatever] so that people who like that work can find more like it?"


This would work well if I had a either a website for the myth cycle or a website for me as an author up and running, which I could ask them to link to. I'm going to have to get such a website sooner or later anyway.

I certainly don't like the idea of alienating potential readers/fan base, esp. those who have demonstrated a willingness to publicize my work and credit it. (Heck, they liked it enough to retype the damn thing themselves.) These are folks I'm going to need if I ever do get the myth cycle published.

But that still takes me back to the question: Does having this stuff available online compromise my chances of finding a publisher?
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Jenett

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Re: When Your Work Is Published Without Your Consent...
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2011, 07:08:51 pm »
Quote from: Altair;13603
I like this tack, EXCEPT that I'm planning to pitch the entire myth cycle to a publisher. I'm wondering if having a part of it, in a very early version, out there available online compromises my chances of acceptance.

Anyone have any good intel on that?

 
Depends on the publisher, and depends on how much (percent wise) it's a part of the finished work.

That said, the issue is usually with publication at all - so the fact it already saw print would be a consideration anyway. If you pitch it as "I did some initial writing about it [reference to published work], but this is now expanded - 120 pages as compared to 20, and I've substantially edited those pieces to fit the larger scope of the work..." then you're probably just fine.

You'd be even more fine if you just rewrote the original work (same ideas, new words.) which you may well want to do anyway, just so it fits well with the more recent work. Once you change the wording substantially, it's a different piece of work. (You'd still need to cite the ideas, if it was someone else's work, but as it's yours, you'd just say "includes a substantial rewriting of material covered in an earlier article, published [reference]...")
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mandrina

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Re: When Your Work Is Published Without Your Consent...
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2011, 07:40:43 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;13607
Depends on the publisher, and depends on how much (percent wise) it's a part of the finished work.

That said, the issue is usually with publication at all - so the fact it already saw print would be a consideration anyway. If you pitch it as "I did some initial writing about it [reference to published work], but this is now expanded - 120 pages as compared to 20, and I've substantially edited those pieces to fit the larger scope of the work..." then you're probably just fine.

You'd be even more fine if you just rewrote the original work (same ideas, new words.) which you may well want to do anyway, just so it fits well with the more recent work. Once you change the wording substantially, it's a different piece of work. (You'd still need to cite the ideas, if it was someone else's work, but as it's yours, you'd just say "includes a substantial rewriting of material covered in an earlier article, published [reference]...")

 

This is why I suggested offering the two offenders complimentary copies of the completed cycle if you don't have to contact the ISP to take it down, reducing this issue.  

My dad wrote a book on pinewood derby cars (there are several scout written books online about pinewood derby cars out there, his is but one) and all he asks is that you link to it, not reprint, and if you want to, send Boyce council a donation if you find it useful.  It is amazing just how many scoutmasters, committee members and professional scouts he has had to complain to ISP's about for reprinting the entire book and sometimes even presenting it as their own work, leaving my father's watermark in the code.
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Re: When Your Work Is Published Without Your Consent...
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2011, 08:08:57 pm »
Quote from: Altair;13606
?


It depends.  In academic publishing, it's pretty standard to publish one or more chapters of a book you're working on as individual articles before the book comes out, so academic journals always have clauses like "you're allowed to republish this as part of your own book."  But that's academic publishing, which is all about peer review; I'm not sure how general publishing goes about things.

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