Story With the inFRINGEment on Top?

Story With the inFRINGEment on Top?

Sorry. Couldn’t resist the awful pun. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with classic musical theatre — we’ll let you stay. And this title refers to the song Surrey with the Fringe on top from Oklahoma.) But we digress.

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In Do I Need a Copyright? we talked about some of the basic definitions. In this post, we take a look at some other definitions and resources for members who want more information.

Infringement. If you feel someone has infringed on your work, in other words, has used it and claimed it as their own work, it is treated the same as theft. If the theft can be established in court, the court can award damages and attorney fees.

Fair use. This can be tricky. As a journalist, I can quote a person or a creative work in an article, news story or review. But if I do so in a commercial work such as a book or screenplay, it might be infringement. Fair use depends upon the purpose and character of use and the effect on the market for the original work. In Reid’s example, when Woody Allen was charged with infringement on the work of William Faulkner (Midnight in Paris vs. Requiem for a Nun) the court’s decision was that Faulkner’s work was “transformed” enough so that it became original in Woody Allen’s. The key, Reid said, is that it is “transformative.”

A picture of another work. If you take a photograph or screen shot of an artist’s painting or any creative work, the work is still not yours. It is considered a “derivative work” of the original and is protected under copyright.

Libel in fiction. If you write about a living person, it is not libel unless you make a  “false and defamatory statement of fact ” about an identifiable living person or business entity. And you can’t libel a deceased person, but you can run into trouble if your story reflects badly on a living relative of that person.

Name brands in fiction. As long as you do not show or write about real brands in a way that reflects badly on the companies who manufacture them, you are probably okay because it is like free advertising for the brand.

Song lyrics in fiction. This is considered particularly risky because music producers and distributors can be very aggressive about protecting rights. Your work may be seen as an infringement or a derivative. You can use lyrics in the public domain, or contact the publisher for permission. You can find the name and contact information for the music publisher by looking at the sheet music for the song.

Here are two great websites that have additional, valuable copyright information for authors:

 

Mark Fowler

http://www.rightsofwriters.com/2010/12/can-i-mention-brand-name-products-in-my.html  

 

 

Helen Sedwick

How to Use Lyrics Without Paying a Fortune or a Lawyer

 

 

 

Testing Colors and Fonts

Testing Colors and Fonts

After choosing brand elements, they need to be reflected in our materials. That includes a website, made from a template I’d not used before. So, while building the site, there were several test posts designed both to see such elements and to share them with the rest of the team.

This post shows the various headline colors, sizes, and fonts so we would know which to choose. (They are generally created in the template navigation but can be “applied” from WordPress.)

While writing a WordPress post, you will see a drop-down menu in the upper left corner. That drop-down can be used to assign various formats to parts of your post. One of the reasons for creating a guide post like this one is so you can see what you are choosing — they don’t look like much from the draft side!

Header 1

Header 2

Header 3

Header 4

Header 5
Header 6

We’re sharing lots of these process pieces with members so you can get a feel for how the parts fit together.

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Party for the Prince Launch Event

Book Launch Party for The Prince

It’s important to celebrate your new book and there are lots of ways to do that. From time-to-time we’ll share the planning and components of various launch events with our members. In the meanwhile, here’s a flier from the bookstore-hosted lanch party for Nancy Blanton’s award-winning novel, The Prince of Glencurragh.

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