Monday, May 28, 2007

Copyright Issues

Most of the people who send stories or articles to me write them themselves. Though I don't ask them to sign over copyright, I expect them to respect the copyright of others. I have never said this to anyone, but I guess because I've been in the publishing industry for so long, I figure I will be able to tell. Besides, what would be the benefit of faking a race review or a weightloss story?

Anyway, I had arranged for an article about sunscreen use. The story I got was a mish-mash of facts, but not really a story. I thought I could work with it. While looking up facts online, I found the entire story on a web site. OK, that's happened before, too. If the web site doesn't mind, I'm OK with it. I asked more questions and was told it is the author's web site.

However, I started looking at the "references" to the article. Hmmm. This is starting to look fishy.

I wish I had looked harder at this when I got it. But it was one of those things that I kept putting off. I kept waiting for that moment when I was in an "editing groove," and I would magically fix it. (Don't laugh. Many editors have that "groove" as I call it, when we can just read something and feel how it should be improved.) It never came until this morning. That is when I realized we might not have a sunscreen article in the summer issue.

Don't worry, if we don't run it, I have some great stuff to fill the hole. And if I can find some sunscreen info. in time, I'll use that.

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