Friday, December 28, 2018

Another Year... Another Year of Public Domain Works

As an historical non-fiction author relying heavily on public domain resources for my research, I have - for many years - repeated this self-made little mnemonic: "Pre-23, free to you and me." It was my way of remembering that books and materials published prior to 1923 were in the public domain. On January 1, 2019, however, a full year of works (published in 1923) will be added to those freely accessible archives. So, I've had to re-write my memory tool, as the meme below illustrates. It won't win any poetry awards, but it will keep me on the right side of copyright law.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Know Your Rights, Fellow Writers!

A recent experience has taught me that I need to know more about my copyrights - and, I'd be willing to bet, so do YOU. 

For instance, I've read that the statute of limitations on copyright violations is THREE YEARS. In some jurisdictions, that's three years from when you learn of the violation. In others, it's three years from infringement date - no matter whether you know about it or not.

So my advice? Google yourself and your books, articles and web content. See if it appears (as mine did) within the works of others using it without your knowledge or permission. Don't let that statute of limitations run out. 

And if you think you've been robbed, SPEAK TO AN ATTORNEY. Yes, they cost money. But they may save a lot more than you spend.