Clarification on First Rights - Page 2


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Thread: Clarification on First Rights

  1. #11
    Terra -- a little-known (I find) parameter of "copyright" (in Canada, at any rate, and I'm pretty sure elsewhere) is "oral" copyright. Let's say you give a talk or lecture pretty well anywhere on any topic. Someone in the audience clicks on a recorder and later uses your words . . .simply uses them in any way without your permission or knowledge. Perhaps they use a chunk of your talk in one of their own, or incorporate your words into something they write, with no acknowledgment of you as original "oral author." That is plagiarism, and if they accrued some tangible benefit, even partially, from your words, you could sue them.

    From a different perspective--and this next point gets murky--some publishers would regard your talk, if you later worked it in whole or significant part into a written document, as "previously published" by virtue of being presented orally to an audience. Who knew, eh?

    Safe rule: if you think you might want to submit a piece to a journal for consideration . . .post it in the Workshop, as other forum members have already advised you.



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  2. #12
    Related to what Clark brings up is self-plagiarism. I was asked to write an essay on flash fiction (I'd written quite a bit on the topic already). But the publisher requesting my new essay had me sign a contract stating that I wouldn't plagiarize myself. I had to be really careful to word things differently in the new essay. I'd never really considered self-plagiarism before. (But in thinking about it, it does make sense. The publishers want to protect themselves and want to provide new material.)
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  3. #13
    Here's the practical answer:

    Is it important? Is notice of the work likely to promote prestige or become profitable?

    If yes, spend $45 and register it with the copyright office. Then, if you are plagiarized, and the plagiarization accrues income, you can sue to collect damages.

    EVERYONE'S work activates copyright on first publication in any public manner. If you are submitting the work to any online entity which date and time stamps your submission, your proof of copyright is essentially absolute. Keep track of where you post it.

    If you're just playing around and aren't serious about publishing for profit or prestige, but just crave any notice, don't sweat it. Anyone who plagiarizes isn't capable of individual creativity. You are. Your next work will most likely be better than your last. The plagiarist is already done, and when found out, will be banned.

  4. #14
    FoWF Terra's Avatar
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    I sent an email to the lady who is seeking submissions for a chicken-soup-type book entitled, Through My Eyes, Stories of Survival, Strength and the Power of Believing, asking for clarification on some of same questions I posed in this thread. This is her reply:

    The story is yours to tell and share and you retain rights to your story. There is no contract between us and there is no fee for your story. I absorb the cost of getting the book edited and published stage. You get the benefit of having a piece published in an anthology and can add that to your writing career. I am aiming to get it published by spring of 2021. All contributing writers will be kept in the loop as we progress. The book will be available on Amazon and as well we will promote on FB. It is exhilarating to show people your story in a book for sure. I have been published in two Chicken Soup for the Soul books and it is exciting.

    While I have stories to tell that would fit quite well with the theme of her collection, I've decided not to submit anything because those stories are a hefty part of My story in a book I've been working on this year. It IS exciting to consider being published in any way, shape or form, but being impulsive and going about it in a helter-skelter way could easily backfire in my face.

    I'm so glad I asked for feedback here. The information helped me make an informed decision, and my gut tells me it's the right one. TA!!

  5. #15
    Member Sir-KP's Avatar
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    If you're unsure, you can always do the classic way of 'timestamping'. Print your work at least three times, then mail each of them to your own address.

    Anyway, I completely understand your feeling about plagiarism. As a frail newbie to writing myself, there are stories that I would absolutely hate to get plagiarized.

    I agree with "plagiarist isn't capable of individual creativity", that's correct. And with that plagiarism comes in wide range of style from outright copying except the names (noob plagiarists) - to grasping the root to make what essentially the same craft (skilled plagiarists).

    At this point, it's pointless to worry about them. They're like flies and cockroaches; they just appear. Just take precautionary actions and make people know that this work of yours exists.

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Sir-KP View Post
    If you're unsure, you can always do the classic way of 'timestamping'. Print your work at least three times, then mail each of them to your own address.

    Anyway, I completely understand your feeling about plagiarism. As a frail newbie to writing myself, there are stories that I would absolutely hate to get plagiarized.

    I agree with "plagiarist isn't capable of individual creativity", that's correct. And with that plagiarism comes in wide range of style from outright copying except the names (noob plagiarists) - to grasping the root to make what essentially the same craft (skilled plagiarists).

    At this point, it's pointless to worry about them. They're like flies and cockroaches; they just appear. Just take precautionary actions and make people know that this work of yours exists.
    I don't wish to be argumentative, but the old "mail it to yourself" advice is a common and long-held fallacy. It has no legal standing whatsoever. One reason is people could mail themselves an empty, unsealed envelope, then fill it and seal it at any time.

    100% onboard with the rest of the comment, especially since you quoted me. LOL
    Last edited by vranger; November 27th, 2020 at 09:22 AM.

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