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Author Topic: Novel research
wetwilly
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I'm a writer, a musician, and a composer.

(Shameless plug, for anybody who is interested in industrial/electronic rock, you can download my latest album for free at http://soulofthemachine.bandcamp.com/album/autoschismatic).

To me, writing the first draft of a story feels a lot like composing. That euphoric rush of suddenly coming up with an idea that you're pretty sure is awesome is something I get from both composing and writing during that first "come up with ideas and get them into words" stage of writing.

Playing music that I've already composed is fun in its own way, but doesn't have the same thrill, more like revising my original draft of a story. I get a sense of accomplishment out of turning my rough composition into a polished performance piece, but the real excitement is all in the initial composition/rough draft.

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Jim Aikin
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Thanks for the fascinating discussion, folks! I felt I needed to say more about this topic than would fit in this forum, so I took it over to my blog. If you're curious, you can find my rambling ruminations at http://midiguru.wordpress.com/2013/07/06/quality-assurance/. (In the past week I've posted a few other little essays on fiction writing as well. You can find them on the main blog page by scrolling down.)
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extrinsic
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Mr. Jim Aikin, you did not ask my permission to quote my intellectual property outside of Hatrack, nor I imagine did you ask Ms. Dalton Woodbury or Meredith.

I do not grant you permission to use my property in any way, shape, form, or medium of reproduction: oral, print, film, audio recording, or electronic publication. Period.

You have egregiosuly violated one of the most cardinal rules of writing workshops by taking the content of the group's contributors outside of the group.

You also faithlessly spin, bend, warp the context of your illicit uses to your purposes and miss entirely the context and meaning which those posts intended.

Neither did you formally attribute to contributors, as is required for legitimate Fair Use Doctrine practices, the content from Hatrack contributors you directly cite and paraphrase.

Nor did you faithfully acknowledge the sources of your theft, where precisely on the volume of Hatrack forums and threads those pieces are taken from, as is required for legitimate Fair Use Doctrine practices.

Respect for fellow writers and their intellectual properties behooves a writer to ask permission for uses of others' property, to attribute and acknowledge respectfully, and to use the content faithfully to its intent and meaning.

And at the very least, asking and receiving permission to reproduce copyright-protected property is the law of the land.

[ July 06, 2013, 03:50 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Meredith
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In general, I would prefer a discussion that begins here to remain here. Seems the best way to keep everyone involved. Unless, of course, that's not what you want to do.
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Jim Aikin
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Having calmed down, I want to apologize to anyone who read my intemperate outburst.

What's clear to me is that Hatrack is not a good place for freewheeling discussion of the techniques of fiction writing. At least one regular contributor (naming no names) is a narrow-minded fool.

I shall have nothing further to say on this forum. Goodbye.

[ July 06, 2013, 09:07 PM: Message edited by: Jim Aikin ]

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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The registration of the above former member has been deleted.
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History
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Too bad.
He's published a number of short stories in Amazing, Asimov's, F&SF, and Omni, including one that made The Years Best Fantasy Stories 13 (1987)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Aikin

And he has two out of print novels about telepathy (even post-apocalyptic telepathy) which look interesting:
http://www.amazon.com/Wall-At-Edge-Of-World/dp/0441871402
and
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/182375.Walk_the_Moons_Road

I wish he'd stayed.

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

P.S. While I believe it is inappropriate not to source and provide links to source material, I do not believe the opinions (in contrast to our fiction) we share here are copyright protected. I'm willing to be corrected concerning this, however--as long as relevant supportive legal source material is listed. [Wink]

[ July 06, 2013, 11:07 PM: Message edited by: History ]

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rcmann
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With all due respect, if an editorial or an essay can be copyrighted, then any form of written expression can be copyrighted. Regardless of the venue. All of the major news organizations and newspapers are strident about proclaiming their copyright to the stories they post, and their content is nothing BUT opinion and filtered interpretation - no matter which side of the political spectrum a particular news company cuddles up to. Including their editorial page.

Many of them even have a notice on the comment section that any remarks posted on their website become the property of the news organization.I wonder how that would fly in court if someone wanted to make an issue of it?

I am sure, based on what I have been reading about some news organizations being called to task for stealing scoops that were originally broken by blogs, that posting something in a humble venue is irrelevant. Your words belong to you wherever you publish them.

Not that I personally mind having anyone quote anything I say here. If I didn't want it read, I would not write it. As long as proper attribution is made and my words are not taken out of context.

Having said that, it behooves all of us to constantly keep in mind that there is a real person on the other side of that monitor, with real feelings.

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History
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I find the use of "With all due respect..." at the beginning of a sentence actually disrespectful. Though I know you did not intend this, rc. [Wink]

However, this thread has roused my interest on what "exclusive property rights" by law participants on Discussion Forums possess? If anyone can provide links to source material on the subject I would be interested.

I do see at the bottom of the webpage:

Copyright 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Kathleen,
Does this mean each of us need ask permission to reprint the words we post here? I imagine (is this true?) that this is given to each original author or how else could we share our story ideas and issues and "first 13"? But if so, then what is copyrighted within the Forum by Hatrack River Enterprises?

Anyway, I do agree with you rc, that is better to leave our egos at the door; and that we treat our fellow Hatrackers with the welcome, the compassion, and the courtesy we would like to receive ourselves.

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extrinsic
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My strongest objection to reproducing workshop content is it damages the integrity of workshopping confidentiality. My trust in the workshop integrity has been harmed.

Hatrack toes a fine line between public and private expression. The policy of what happens in a workshop stays in the workshop is sacred. Any professional writer should know that.

Nonetheless, any creative intellectual property made public is published and, hence, protected from reproduction infringement under current copyright laws.

The Fair Use Doctrine does provide for a privilege of an affirmative defense in infringement litigation, but it is not a license to take and use others' intellectual property indiscriminately. The Fair Use Doctrine is outlined in Title 17: Circular 92, Chapter I, 107 of U.S. Copyright Law. A fuller yet incomplete discussion of the legal precedents and contexts of the Fair Use Doctrine is available at Wikipedia, noting that Fair Use is not an absolute right and is decided, on a case-by-case basis in courts of law, within the four corners of the doctrine.

Link to 17: 92, I, 107;
http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#107

One critical point is corner number one, "the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes."

Courts have consistently held that some otherwise exceptions to protected property uses may not of necessity enjoy the conventional protections of the Fair Use Doctrine defense indiscriminately. Saying a use is for criticism and commentary doesn't make it so.

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tesknota
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I think that we should always listen to the opinions of other people, if only to toss them over in our heads while we choose whether to agree or disagree. How else can we grow and remain dynamic in our worldview?

As for Hatrack, I love it here. Even when I don't comment (probably because I have nothing useful to contribute), I read what is said and I try to think it over. I always learn something new and interesting, and I haven't found one opinion that I disagree with 100%.

Even if I become as successful as OSC himself, I wouldn't want to leave this forum. This community is what pushes me to keep creating words on the screen.

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extrinsic
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History,

Courts have so far held that user content posted in online venues may enjoy mutual reproduction rights protections; that is, the hosting venue and the content's creator. The online venue, while hosting content, is protected from litigation by the Safe Harbor doctrine of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

Online networking venues' user agreements typically spell out the limitations of mutual ownership. In the absence of a reproduction rights clause, a hosting venue may or may not enjoy reproduction rights to contributor content, depending on the purpose and nature of the site. Though an initial publication is in essence reproduction, it is a first-use publication as such.

In effect, Hatrack River Enterprises, Inc., reserves our copyrights. Our property otherwise is our own to do with as we will, as we are able.

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History
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Thank you, extrinsic. Interesting.
I also read:

Can I use anything from a site?
According to the Fair Use Doctrine (Section 110 (5) of the Copyright Act of 1976), it is allowable to use "limited portions" of a copyrighted item for works such as commentary, news reporting, academic reports, and the like. But you still have to give credit. You cannot claim the work as yours. You must cite where it came from.
The tricky part is that there is no set number of words that equal "limited portions."


Source: Joe Burns,Copyright Questions and Answers http://www.htmlgoodies.com/beyond/reference/article.php/3472671/Copyright-Questions-and-Answers.htm

Alright. Too late for me. 'Nite.

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extrinsic
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Only the U.S. and Israel presently have Fair Use doctrines. Britain and other countries have some degree of Fair Dealing intellectual property practices, which are similar. However, by and large, the singular principle of asking and receiving permission to reproduce prevails across the globe as per the Berne Convention on international intellectual property treaty law. It is neither here nor there but that some countries do not abide the treaty.

U.S. courts have held that commentary or critcism has one primary test to pass the Fair Use Doctrine tests. Primarily in the first corner of the doctrine: "the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes" (Title 17, Chap 1, 107). Note that even though that cite is from an unprotected document, government publication, I source where it comes from so it may assist others interested in locating it.

To wit, "purpose and character of the use." Is the critical purpose for constructive social commentary? Does the use benefit society? Which are common fair use exemptions since they fulfill the main intent of the Constitutional clause (Article 1, 8, clause 8) promoting progress of the sciences and arts, from which the Fair Use Doctrine has legal standing. That test stands out large for whether a use is allowable or piracy, regardless of whether for profit or other personal gain or for nonprofit educational purposes.

To decide whether a critical use's purpose fulfills the promotion of arts and sciences' intent of the Constitution, several factors have also been tested in courts of law: fair and reasonable criticism, demonstrable diminishment of the original work's marketplace value, and whether the use supersedes the object of the original.

The offending use in this scenario did not fairly nor reasonably criticize, though it really has no appreciable influence at present on the property's value--unless I decide to use it myself in another publication; and it supersedes the object of the original.

Fair and reasonable criticism would have substantiated the claim that the original is faulty. Simple personal disageement, denial, does not fairly or reasonably substantiate a claim related to the use that holds value for promoting arts to a larger audience. It is personal and confined to one person's belief. No other persons' opinions substantiate the denial and, hence, it is confined to one person's private sentiments.

Key requirements of fair and reasonable commentary or criticism are it must be supported neutrally, externally, and verifiably. Or neutral point of view (objectivity), no original research (no personally biased reporting), and verifiable, faithful cites and sources of the use's origin and other persons supporting the claim.

And that unfair and unreasonable criticism, too, points out that the purpose of the use is for personal motives that supersede the object of the original, no matter how substantial or insubstantial the quantity of the use is.

Edited to add: The object of the entire original is that a writing workshop's overarching functions are fostering, supporting, and encouraging writers' writing growth, not browbeating a longstanding workshop complement into a capriciously defined pecking order. Order of expertise has little to do with whether any given writer's guidance is more valuable to another than any other's. It is writers' duty to think consciously, critically for ourselves.

[ July 07, 2013, 07:25 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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rcmann
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extrinsic. comrade. chill. This is the internet. Everything we post here is public knowledge. People in Delhi, Podunk, and Rio can all read this. Any of them can print out a copy and nail it to a church door if they want to, and there's not one doggone thing we can do to stop them.

The guy posted two or three snippet quotes on a blog. Granted, he did not get permission. Granted, he disagreed with what was said here. He didn't shoot anybody.

It is true that you must be a member to post here, but anybody and their pet poodle can read everything on here, cut and paste it, and use it in their blog if they choose to do so and, again, there is nothing we can do to stop them. If we allow our blood pressure to elevate everytime someone quotes us without permission and/or bad mouths something we wrote, none of us will make it to 120.

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extrinsic
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My blood pressure is fine. What a marvelous learning moment though. Just because anyone can reproduce another's property at will doesn't make it an ethical, professional, respectful practice. Might as well go jump off the Brooklyn Bridge because Latty says everyone else does it.

I do have recourses though, for example, a takedown demand letter sent to Wordpress.

Wordpress's takedown demand policies and form letter;
http://en.support.wordpress.com/content-theft-what-to-do

But it's not worth exposing my private information at the moment.

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hoptoad
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dang, turn away from hatrack for one minute and it breaks out in fisticuffs... [Smile]
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Regardless of his professional qualifications, he did not behave very politely (as he had agreed to do in registering for participation). And his final post, which he removed (but which I saw), was particularly offensive and arrogant.

Should I go ahead and post his words on a blog complaining about professional writers who think they can come into a workshop and sneer at the way it's run?

I have met, and even know well, many professional writers, and they do not all behave professionally. Just because you've sold some of your work does not give you license to belittle others or use foul language when they disagree with you.

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History
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There are correct and incorrect ways of requesting others correct a perceived error.

I do not think what occurred reflects well upon the participants and especially not upon the Hatrack River Writers Workshop [Edit: Though I did not have the information from Ms Woodbury above when I write this suggesting Mr. Aiken is not without blame].

Mr. Aiken's blog [http://midiguru.wordpress.com/2013/07/06/quality-assurance/]is an interestig site to peruse, and his expereience as a professional author publishing short stories in the major markests (e.g. Asimov's, F&SF) and novels, and his venture into electronic publishing these past three decades I believe would have been very insightful to those of us seeking to emulate his modest yet evident success.

This could have gone better, in my humble opinion.

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

P.S. Extrinsic, I respect your feelings, opinions, and especially academic knowledge. I have no evidence that you can write a story, however. I hope you will consider sharing evidence of this some day.

P.S.S. A little patience and attentiveness to The Golden Rule is something we all should strive for.

[ July 08, 2013, 12:31 PM: Message edited by: History ]

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History
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quote:
Originally posted by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury:
Regardless of his professional qualifications, he did not behave very politely (as he had agreed to do in registering for participation). And his final post, which he removed (but which I saw), was particularly offensive and arrogant.

Should I go ahead and post his words on a blog complaining about professional writers who think they can come into a workshop and sneer at the way it's run?

I have met, and even know well, many professional writers, and they do not all behave professionally. Just because you've sold some of your work does not give you license to belittle others or use foul language when they disagree with you.

No. You've closed the matter.
None of us are perfect, Kathleen.
That's the inherent fault of being human.
And as for being "offensive and arrogant", neither Mr. Aiken nor Extrinsic are sole representatives of this. I suspect we all have our moments, particularly when passions have risen.
Still, we have much to offer one another.
And I'll choose kindness over cleverness every time.

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

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Meredith
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quote:
Originally posted by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury:
Regardless of his professional qualifications, he did not behave very politely (as he had agreed to do in registering for participation). And his final post, which he removed (but which I saw), was particularly offensive and arrogant.

Should I go ahead and post his words on a blog complaining about professional writers who think they can come into a workshop and sneer at the way it's run?

I have met, and even know well, many professional writers, and they do not all behave professionally. Just because you've sold some of your work does not give you license to belittle others or use foul language when they disagree with you.

Here! Here!

Moreover, given his attitude, I have to wonder what he hoped to gain by joining this forum in the first place.

By the way, if you haven't visited his blog post lately, he's added a slam against Hatrack generally.

Yeah, emotions may have gotten a little out of control. That'll happen when new people join a group and then try to claim superiority to anyone in that group. Some of us tend to get our backs up. Quite understandably.

As Agent J said in Men In Black "Don't start nothin', won't be nothin'." [Smile]

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Reziac
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quote:
Originally posted by History:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Aikin

And he has two out of print novels about telepathy (even post-apocalyptic telepathy) which look interesting:
http://www.amazon.com/Wall-At-Edge-Of-World/dp/0441871402
and
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/182375.Walk_the_Moons_Road

Oh! I hadn't placed the name, but I own copies of these books, and vaguely recall 'em (25 years later) as pretty good.
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extrinsic
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History, I'm mostly not as upset as the formality of my words might suggest. This was interesting, actually, from the learning moment, not from the clash with a heavy-hitter, big-iron gunslinger intent on taking down competitors for supreme caliph of the hill. I'm not too caught up by playing the blame game either. Insults were inflicted, injuries were inflicted, the gauntlet was thrown down, and taken up, the sides retired afterward to their respective sanctuaries. I'll say no more on that regard.

But the learning moment! Wow. Maybe any given reader of these forums may not pay much mind to the legal considerations of creative writing and intellectual property rights and be disinterested in discussing them and their sources and precedents, but I'm confident many are interested. Questions of intellectual property rights and fair uses come up occasionally. I'm prepared to discuss them. I've shared what I may, overwhelmingly probably, but that's partly what I have to share. I believe in preparing for success, as much for the slings and arrows as for the accolades and remunerations. I expect others may too.

You revisit again that you've yet to read any of my fiction works. You haven't requested one directly. I may, if you will respect my confidentiality and privacy. If I do, none of what I share may be commented on here or elsewhere, please. These are my wishes.

Meredith, I expect the intent of the brief participation here was splog trolling intent on attracting traffic to his Wordpress blog. He spammed, he blogged, he trolled for willing or unwitting visitors to his site. He gained one or two. That's the outcome of his want and problem wanting satisfaction. The plot thickened, so to speak, from problems he didn't anticipate on the journey.

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RyanB
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There's an aspect of this whole thing I found interesting. I've never thought of this forum as anything less than fully public. I assume Google is crawling it. Anyone can navigate here. And while you have to be registered to post, it seems anyone can register and I did that long ago and forgot about it.

Anyway. I still consider it to be a community. And what Jim did felt ... improper ... because he took a "discussion" from one community and commented on it (in a mildly condescending way) in another community.

I only bring this up because I think writing is mostly about understanding how people tick. And this is certainly one of those "people things" that's hard to explain.

Why exactly did Jim's action irk some people so much?

It's a little bit of "talking behind someone's back" a little bit of "you think you're smarter than me" and other stuff. There's a lot to learn here for a writer, inspiration for your antagonist.

I wish things would have ended differently.

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mayflower988
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quote:
Originally posted by RyanB:
There's a lot to learn here for a writer, inspiration for your antagonist.

That's a good perspective to take. Way to keep things positive. :)
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rcmann
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I'm not going to claim devil's advocate, because i do note think that there was a devil here. But in fairness to the departed, this is a public forum. If he had simply posted a link, would it have been any better or worse? If so, why or why not?

Human reflexes were developed for face to face situations. it is taking a while for our instinctive reactions to catch up. To me, what happened is equivalent to someone in one of the old-time general stores stores sitting in on a discussion around the pot-bellied stove on a winter afternoon.

Then they got up and went home, and repeated what was said by a few people to a house full of guests. Thereupon, the people that were in the general store (a public forum that anyone could have entered at will) became upset that the newcomer had shared what was supposed to be "private" information.

That's the way I look at it. Now, having said that, the part about belittling the people who were sitting around the stove and talking is a different matter. That's just rude.

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extrinsic
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An analogy I'll paint a portrait of the event is a face-to-face writing workshop. Writing workshops as practiced today began in the 1960s, though the roots reach back into antiquity.

In-person as opposed to online writing workshops follow informal parliamentary procedures and policies. Though even less formal, online venues nonethless follow many informal parliamentary procedures. A moderator in the person of chairperson sets out the rules of conduct for the complement and takes appropriate action when infringements occur. One of which is the content of the workshop is subject to an expectation of confidentiality. What happens in the workshop stays in the workshop. No sharing with spouses, offspring, siblings, neighbors, acquaintances, coworkers, etc., without express permission. If there are observers who are present or informed about the content, they too are asked to agree and to respect confidentiality.

The reason for this policy is to protect intellectual property from the capricious whims of participants exposing the property to outsiders, from using it for their own ends, from warping the context and texture of the original.

Otherwise, we could all expect anyone to take whatever we've created and use it at their whim, anything, anytime. The workshop paradigm would fade into oblivion from the reluctance of participants to contribute anything. Not just the prose creations we publish, but anything and everything written of our creative efforts.

What happens in public life in the capacity of public figures performing their public activities: politicians, government officials, sports stars, entertainment celebrities, culture superstars, etc., is not copyright protected expression and has no presumed expectation of privacy or protection. Maybe people think because what happens in public life is an open book that that also applies to anything and everything else.

Maybe people think because Hatrack and similar online writing workshops are open to public viewing that the content is public and open to use however anyone wants. Is a policy of only members viewing the content a welcome solution? No, that would do more harm than benefit.

What happens in writing workshops, where a degree of creative expression takes place under an assumption of protection: or blog sites, chatrooms, etc., is copyright protected expression and has been since the Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1998 that extended protection to any content of any kind published to the public in any electronic media, Web online, disc, RAM memory drive, etc., and also includes any fixed tangible creations that have not even been published orally, in print, or electronically.

Take a look at any social networking or any user content hosting site's terms of use or user agreement. Every one has a policy prohibiting users from posting protected content and policies for addressing content theft.

At the bottom of every Hatrack site page is the Hatrack policy: "Copyright 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited."

"In part without permission is prohibited."

I'm not as much offended by the content theft as a betrayal of the trust I hold for an expectation of respect for mine or anyone's right to protection from capricious theft. That the expectation of confidentiality was betrayed.

Should I take my ball and bat and glove and leave this workshop because I can no longer trust that others will respect my rights and property? Will some many elses presume they have a right to take what's mine or any other member's without permission? Will the next taking be something of significant intrinsic value that I have to defend at great expense and heartache? Do I have to crawl the Web keeping an eagle eye out for others taking content without permission?

I do, as much as I am able anyway. Anyone who has cited my material anywhere else that I've found has respectfully used the content, and many have, has respectfully cited sources, has respectfully paid my licensing fees when requested, has respected my wishes when I've pointed out illicit uses, and respected my requested takedown demands.

Once, a takedown demand went as far as official channels. It wasn't pretty. I felt more than hurt. I felt dirty and disgusted. I felt that I shouldn't have had to be nasty and that, but for the original disrespect, no one's feelings had to be hurt. But I stand by my principles; that is, no one has a right to capriciously take anyone else's intellectual property.

[ July 12, 2013, 03:21 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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RyanB
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I've never participated in a face to face workshop. But Hatrack is different in a few ways.

We only post the first 13 lines of a work on the forum. And we only post public critiques about first 13's (except for compliments that don't expose anything of the story).

I've done the WotF group twice, so I've read a dozen or so stories. A few times I've felt the urge to make a comment on Hatrack about one of the stories. But I don't and haven't.

This is a public forum. The WotF group was a confidential exchange by email.

I stand by what I said earlier. Jim broke some unwritten rules of community (and other unwritten rules).

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rcmann
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Well...extrinsic...the difference between this and a face-to-face group is that it is not physically possible to prevent anyone in the world (literally ANYONE) from reading anything and everything we post.

A face to face grop can conduct its work on private property, behind closed doors, and be protected by the force of law. What we are doing is, in legal terms, the functional equivalent to holding a meeting on a public street corner. Or in a public library. Or any other public venue where people are free to come and go, or stop to listen in at will.

In effect, everything we post is already turned loose into the wild. There is no privacy in this group, by definition. There is no privacy of any kind in *any* online group where you can access a forum without a password.

The only possible way to prevent anyone (again, literally, anyone in the world with access to the internet) from reading, copying, stealing, criticizing, or printing and then wiping their backsides on our precious prose is to password protect this forum. Otherwise, any sense of privacy here is nothing but an illusion.

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extrinsic
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Privacy expectations are not the issue I see. Rather disrespect for other people's personal or public rights and properties is at issue.

Might as well reach into anyone's feelings, minds, lives, pockets, phones, computers, cars, backyards, and homes anytime anyone wants to and take whatever anyone wants to use however anyone wants to anywhere wherever anyone wants to. I cannot and do not feel comfortable with that thinking.

Writers spent milennia advocating for and earning a right to the ownership and rewards of their intellectual properties. Barely a hundred years have passed since society began fully recognizing and acknowledging those rights. Do we allow the clock to turn back to more contentious times simply because everyone does it and says it is okay because everyone does it?

Not me, though; I have the fullest respect for writers and other creators' rights and properties.

[ July 11, 2013, 06:20 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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rcmann
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I am not saying that taking someone else's words without permission is ok. But I *am* saying that there is a gray area where it becomes at least somewhat debatable whether or not taking has occurred, when the words in question have already been posted/uttered in a public venue. In such a case it isn't taking, from where I sit. It's referencing.

Granted, he did it improperly. Granted he, was rude to the point of being uncivilized. BUT...

Hypothetical situation. Say a person posts a billboard beside the road. The billboard is located on their own property, but it is readily visible from the public highway. A passing reporter snaps a picture of it and publishes it in the local paper as a human interest feature.

Did intellectual property theft occur? Not to my mind. From where I sit, we are sitting beside the road, scribbling our thoughts on a huge billboard that any casual passer-by can pause to read. If one of them decides to quote something we said, even if it is done rudely and disrespectfully, do we really have the right to say that they took anything from us?

I am as territorial as the next person. I respect other people's rights and I expect others to respect my rights. But it seems a bit extreme to attempt to lay claim to privacy rights when one is standing on a street corner.

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RyanB
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Perhaps I missed something. I know some things were deleted/removed/edited during the whole debacle.

But when I went to Jim's blog what I saw was a couple of quotes a few sentences in length and commentary on those quotes.

I think extrinsic mentioned that to claim fair use you have to reference/credit the author and Jim did not. But apart from that issue it was certainly what I understand to be fair use, the sort of thing I see every day on news sites.

Jim said he didn't credit, didn't link because he felt that would make it more like an attack which was not his intention. I didn't see any reason not to believe him. Anyone could have found this thread from the information he gave if they wanted to.

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extrinsic
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What part of this is unclear?

"Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited." (Hatrack River Enterprises, Inc.)

But for not respectfully asking permission . . .

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History
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Good Erev Shabbos!
Or Happy Ramadan to any Muslim Hatrack members.
And/or TGIF to everyone!

Are we still discussing this?

Let's agree to not do to others as we would not have done to us and move on as a mutually supportive community.

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

P.S. (to extrinsic) Thank you for the kind offer. I will email you.

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extrinsic
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More but final learning moments:

A reasonable Fair Use source attribution includes enough information or attribution so that any interested party may follow the trail of the discussion and its predecessors. Breadcrumbs are an inadequate and unreasonable trail marker. If a reasonable source attribution is given, that substantiates a claim of Fair Use. Further than a duty in order to claim Fair Use protections, reasonable source attribution is a marker of credibility (ethos, or professional ethics, so to speak) and a privilege to enjoy additional enrichment.

Reasonably attributing sources not only respects others' rights and properties, not only affords protections against infringement claims, not only affords parties course markers so anyone may follow a discussion, attributing sources cross-promotes and cross-publicizes the several contributors to the discussion. That latter is a great privilege and of considerable concern for anyone wanting marketing benefit enrichments.

An example of a formal source attribution for an electronic source (Bulletin Board), according to MLA style. (A reasonable one would contain most of these details.):

extrinsic. "Where 'Valuable' Lies . . ." Novel Research.
   Thread host mayflower988. Hatrack River Writers Workshop.
   Hatrack River Enterprises, Inc. 5 July 2013. Web. 6 July 2013.

Creator's name or username. Posted essay or article title in quote mark brackets, or the first few words that leave little doubt that they identify the specific essay. Title of the topic thread in italics. Anyone else who has a top-tier influence that helps locate the source. The publication's masthead name in italics. The publisher's identifying information. The date of the article's publication. The type of resource. The date the resource was accessed for the purpose of the use.

One, final, learning moment regarding infringement recourses.

Thirty days is a reasonable amount of time for a questioned and challenged use to be reconsidered and responsibly address concerns raised.

Wordpress allows ninety days from post date for claims against infringing content, content theft.

Not too coincidentally, Wordpress's policy reflects the copyright law clause allowing full legal recourse. If a copyright is registered within ninety days of the date of publication, then additional damages beyond solely economic impact of the infringement may be claimed. Such damages include but are not limited to litigation costs, valuations of the egregiousness of the infringment, and valuations of inflicted harms.

Also, the statute of limitations for infringement claims expires two years after the discovered date of the infringement. The clock is running.

[ July 12, 2013, 04:57 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Brendan
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Two points.

I suspect if a claim for copyright breach was made in this case, it would be thrown out of court on the basis of being frivolous. This is a Discussion Forum, one that (as rcmann points out) is a public forum. That makes it a public debate. If one needed permission to quote an opponent in debate, then no one would give that permission. And threats of subsequent legal action may be interpreted as using the law to stifle debate. Isn't that the purpose of freedom of speech laws? To prevent the stifling of debate? At least in my country, I believe this has been tested in court when a professor took a creationist to court over the quoting of him in their book. Thrown out, with only full cartoons being found to be in breach (as they were complete works of art, and recognisably so).

Besides, on his blog he gave sufficient information that one could easily review the original debate. In such a context, it would probably be sufficient.

On a lighter note, if "Copyright 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited." is invoked, then why is any individual requiring explicit permission? Shouldn't that be Hatrack's job? [Razz] (Note: I could be wrong, but I suspect that the copyright extends to the look and feel of the website, not the content created by forum participants. KDW?)

On a more serious note, one of Jim's claims is that he felt bullied. I initially thought that was over the top, but then I read the above thrust and saw what he meant. While I think he could probably give as much as take, he at least had the decency to apologise when he knew he had stepped over the line.

[ July 12, 2013, 08:57 PM: Message edited by: Brendan ]

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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As i understand it, copyright extends to anything you put in writing.

Also, I'm not sure how he was bullied. He said he didn't think feedback from unpublished writers was valid, and we tried to explain to him why we think it is. <shrug>

We didn't call him names or swear at him or tell him to shut up. We explained.

As Dr. Bob has suggested, maybe it's time to let this go and move on.

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Brendan
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Kathleen

I pressed send for something I had written in the box last night, so I hadn't gotten to read History's comment. My apologies.

On the bullying claim, it was the escalation with the threat of legal action over the use of quotes that could be considered bullying. Although, I suspect it was a bit of bluster to make the claim.

On the copyright question, my question was this: if we put posts up here, does it come under Hatrack's copyright (as seemed to be invoked/suggested in the previous conversation) or is it still our copyright?

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RyanB
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I'm not a lawyer but I've been following these type issues for quite some time.

A forum is interesting from a copyright perspective. So are search engines. Any forum needs your permission to save several copies of your posts (your IP) and distribute it many times in many different ways.

All of us are giving Hatrack implied permission to store and serve up our posts (that's why you're here). But what if the forum software Hatrack uses did something with your post that seemed reasonable to them but not to you. To cut off any dispute like that forums generally have you agree to very broad uses of your posts.

But those contracts/agreements probably aren't enforceable.

Now think about what Google's been doing for the last two decades. They've been downloading everything indiscriminately, storing it, producing derivative works, distributing them and making money off said distribution. They have an opt-out system, but it's coercive and Google has a monopoly.

And then they started doing the same thing with books! and music!

And they got away with it. But they did create perhaps the most useful thing mankind has ever created.

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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I believe you still own the copyright to your words, but Hatrack has a general, over-all copyright to how those words appear on the Hatrack forums.

It's mainly for protection both of Hatrack and of you, and the Hatrack copyright allows for control of content (as in the * replacement for certain letters in certain words, for example).

Hatrack certainly hasn't done what Google has done in so far as "downloading everything indiscriminately, storing it, producing derivative works, distributing them and making money off said distribution" and there is no intention to ever do such things.

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Reziac
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quote:
Originally posted by extrinsic:
What part of this is unclear?

"Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited." (Hatrack River Enterprises, Inc.)

Um... under U.S. copyright law, *anything* you write is automatically copyrighted *by yourself* (you only need to file for copyright to have something to wave around in court, if need be). The Hatrack statement implies that it takes ownership of our automatic copyrights, which I suspect was not the intent (rather, to protect Hatrack's own original content).

Some sites clarify this (and I think this is a good idea for ALL forum/discussion sites) by stating that all postings are the property of the poster. Which prevents the site from being liable and therefore the target of legal action for "allowing" 'hate speech' or whatever else is likely to be dragged into court. And it prevents the site from being perceived as a grasping monster that gobbles up other folks' work.

quote:
Originally posted by extrinsic:But for not respectfully asking permission . . . [/QB]
Copyright law itself allows use of "brief excerpts" ('brief' has been defined by the courts as any amount that doesn't deprive the copyright holder of revenues).

Yes, asking permission to use someone else's words would have been polite. But not legally necessary.

[ETA: I became bored with the discussion and only skimmed most of it, so I'm doubtless being redundant. But I know all the arguments from reading the fanfic newsgroups back in the heyday of Usenet... argued even by lawyers who shoulda known better. Y'all who've only done these website forums have NO clue how hot a flame war can get.]

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rcmann
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Ah, Usenet:) Those were the days. And my good old 286, roaring along at 8 megahertz under MS-DOS.

*nostalgic sigh*

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extrinsic
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Excerpts from U.S. Copyright Office Factsheet FL 102, "Fair Use":

http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html

"The distinction between what is fair use and what is infringement in a particular case will not always be clear or easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission." (para 4)

"The safest course is to get permission from the copyright owner before using copyrighted material." (para 7)

"When it is impracticable to obtain permission, you should consider avoiding the use of copyrighted material unless you are confident that the doctrine of fair use would apply to the situation. . . . If there is any doubt, it is advisable to consult an attorney." (para 8)

I'm not an intellectual property attorney. I'm an educated, trained, and experienced editor, qualified and certified to provide intellectual property use and reproduction guidance, like if and when as a best practice leaving out questionable uses is worth consideration or recommending consulting a properly qualified and certified attorney.

In most cases, consulting an attorney for reproduction use is recommendable because "The distinction between what is fair use and what is infringement in a particular case will not always be clear or easily defined." Only courts with jurisdiction may decide when a claimed use is fair or infringement.

For example, the registered domicile for Hatrack River Enterprises, Inc., is Greensboro, NC USA. North Carolina intellectual property cases are heard in U.S. federal district courts.

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MartinV
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quote:
Originally posted by Jim Aikin:
quote:
Originally posted by MartinV:
Certain video games are excellent for immersive purposes (Mount and Blade comes to mind; EB mod for Rome Total War for ancient times - comes with bibliography which I have researched extensively).

Maybe it's because I'm an old guy, but the idea of using video games for historical research -- well, let's just say that sounds to me like relying on TV commercials for nutritional advice when planning your grocery shopping.
FYI, an example of historical information from the modification of the game I mentioned:

259 BC: "Timaeus the historian, author of a history covering events in Sicilia and Italia down to 264 BC, died at the age of 96. At Athenai, the historian Philochoros is put to death by Antigonos for supporting Ptolemaios."

246 BC: "The census of Roman citizens is finished and a total of 241,212 citizens are recorded. Tiberius Coruncanius is appointed as dictator in order to hold elections for the new consuls. Claudia, sister of Publius Claudius, consul two years prior, is convicted of treason for remarks about her brother. She was fined 25,000 pounds of bronze."

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