Copyrights and WrongsWritten by Roberta Beach Jacobson
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There‘s plenty of uncharted territory to cover and new rules to learn such as creating shorter sentences and paragraphs. This can lend a certain freshness to a stale career.
Web managers do have a problem on their hands. Practically overnight, they have been expected to become HTML savvy and produce fully-functioning, competitive sites with plenty of toots and whistles.
Often they have little or no staff. They are supposed to intelligently address an international audience, wow them, and somehome make a profit at end.
To disguise function of journalists by referring to them as "content providers," "word architects" or mere "slot fillers" is a disservice. With new titles, it ‘s easier to imagine them mindlessly churning out piece after piece to hand over without comment or concern. Instead of sitting in first class, "content providers" end up chasing after caboose.
Let‘s explore and celebrate this new medium together, but there‘s no passing buck. Let‘s not allow practice of fair compensation for good journalism to be thoughtlessly tossed out train‘s window as we sit back and enjoy ride.
We editors and publishers are ones with authority to make positive changes and we certainly have responsibility to know exactly what‘s posted on our Websites, under what conditions it got there, where it goes next - and why.
Roberta Beach Jacobson lives on the tiny Greek island of Karpathos and is the editor of Kafenio (http://www.kafeniocom.com), the free monthly e-zine focusing on European life and culture.
Things You Might Like to Know about Copyrights Written by Jan K.
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before yours. It's a good idea to formally copyright any text that you are planning to market. So, if you're convinced that world population-at-large is in desperate need of "Breeding Guppies, What Every Ichthyologist Needs to Know" and you plan to sell it on Ebay for $19.95, you should apply for a formal copyright. Just having copyright, however, doesn't mean that other people can't quote your work. They may do so, as long as you are given full credit for having written it prior to their use. This is called a "reference" or a "citation" and generally, whatever passage is being quoted will appear offset in quotation marks (so that reader can visualize which words belong to someone other than author of text in which quote appears). Of course, at present contingent of Copyright Police is not up to tracking down every single instance of copyright infringement, and chances are that not everyone cites original authors as scrupulously as they should, so beware of whom you casually let look at or read your text (or to whom you give a copy). Copyrights are not forever. Typically, a copyright lasts for 50 years past natural life of original author. Authors' heirs may sometimes re-apply for copyrights, but generally written texts that are this old are considered "public domain" and may be reproduced without paying author's family a royalty fee. In publishing world, you will find that many publications require that you relinquish your copyrights to work in return for having your work published. This is a fairly standard procedure—unless your name happens to be Stephen King or Danielle Steele. Once you've relinquished your copyright to a given work, you can not sell or submit that text again unless you get express approval from publisher that now owns copyright. There are sites on World Wide Web where you can post your work for others to read or use as they see fit, so-called "free sites." In cases such as this, there should be a disclaimer that anyone who uses or reproduces your work must give you full credit. Whether this happens all time is certainly a matter for some speculation, but your safeguard is that you own copyright and if you find that someone is profiting from your work and that you have not been compensated, you can file a copyright infringement suit against them. As of date of this article, current copyright fee is $30. All instructions and necessary forms can be found on U.S. Copyright Office's web site: http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/. I have copyrighted several texts and advise that you mail your application with a "Return Receipt Requested" from U.S. Post Office. This is your proof that Copyright Office has received your copyright application.
Jan K., The Proofer is a full-time freelance proofreader and copyeditor. In business since 1995, she has enjoyed working for a diverse world-wide clientele, covering subject matter including academic research, medical law, consumer surveys, and self-help materials. Please visit http://www.janktheproofer.com for more information.