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roseangel
10-23-2009, 07:27 AM
A newbie posted a link to this site asking for friends, I ran a search in the forum and couldn't find any topics on it, but it's a display site with a partnership with a vanity press.

www.writingroom.com (http://www.writingroom.com/)

Any general opinions of the site? What about those using in, what do you think of the site?

VRGunslinger1982
10-23-2009, 08:02 AM
Newbie, huh? I told people about the website because it doesn't get a lot of traffic; but it is a great website.

VRGunslinger1982
10-23-2009, 08:04 AM
I've been on the site for a year. I love it.

Cyia
10-23-2009, 08:26 AM
You love it for what reason?

The tagline on the site about people posting for feedback may be a draw, but if the stuff posted isn't behind password protection, it'll cache online. And the vanity publishing aspect is pretty clear. Higher royalties and insisting that the author retains their rights are two HUGE red flags.

VRGunslinger1982
10-23-2009, 08:39 AM
I love the website because it's the only site that people have reviewed my work on a constant basis. That aspect in mind, other websites don't compare.

Cyia
10-23-2009, 08:43 AM
But what good are those reviews going to do you if you can't sell your work because it's on display for free?

M.R.J. Le Blanc
10-23-2009, 08:51 AM
Yeah, you gotta be careful with that. 10k words is probably the limit, after that it's considered 'published' in the sense that your first rights are gone and it'll be even harder to get a publisher's or agent's interest. As for the reviews, are they substantial? Or are they just like 'wow I really liked this story!', very short and simple? Basically, if you're going to look for people to review your work, you want unbiased and critical observations. You want to know what works and what doesn't - and why. Not one of us is perfect, and there'll always be learning to do. But you're not going to get it if all anyone ever does is say 'good job'. If they liked the story, they should explain why they liked it, what was it that made them like it so much. If there was something they didn't like they should specify it, because you better believe an agent or editor would.

VRGunslinger1982
10-23-2009, 09:06 AM
I'm not trying to sell my work. But I do like opinions, bias or not.

BenPanced
10-23-2009, 09:19 AM
Some seriously lopsided and some flat out wrong information on copyright. (http://www.writingroom.com/viewwriting/WR_How_To/How-To-Protect-Your-Writing)

Medievalist
10-23-2009, 09:37 AM
Some seriously lopsided and some flat out wrong information on copyright. (http://www.writingroom.com/viewwriting/WR_How_To/How-To-Protect-Your-Writing)

The Terms (http://www.writingroom.com/Terms.aspx) they post are more of a problem for me:


When you post User Content to the Site, you authorize and direct us to make such copies thereof as we deem necessary in order to facilitate the posting and storage of the User Content on the Site. By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing. You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content.

Bolding mine.

roseangel
10-23-2009, 11:21 AM
Newbie, huh? I told people about the website because it doesn't get a lot of traffic; but it is a great website.

It was your first post, as such you are a newbie to this forum.


I'm not trying to sell my work. But I do like opinions, bias or not.

But what if you want to publish your work later on?

Eirin
10-23-2009, 02:44 PM
From the loopsided and flat out wrong information about copyright: (http://www.writingroom.com/viewwriting/WR_How_To/How-To-Protect-Your-Writing)


Protectrite: Protectrite is an instant online service that will for a fee time seal and encrypt your writing for a term of either 10 years or lifetime. They also have free emergency file retrieval just in case you somehow lose your files or copies. This service is available to you when you submit a writing to WritingRoom.com under the create writing tab. Their website www.ProtectRite.com is clear and user friendly.

What is WritingRoom's connection with ProtectRite?

The third party "copyright registration" they offer is useless. Victoria Strauss has an article about such services here: Another Service You Don't Need (http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2007/04/victoria-strauss-another-service-you.html). The other thing they offer, online storage, you can get for free by opening f.x. a Gmail account and mail yourself a copy of your work. Lots of space, and Google isn't likely to go under anytime soon.

Poor Man's Copyright offers no protection, and to imply that it does is bad advice. Furthermore, to strongly hint that theft of unpublished work is something writers should worry about, is questionable and smacks of an agenda.

So...


A "How To Protect Your Writing" page that plays to writers' fear of plagiarism, offers bad advice, and then offers a useless pay-to service. Same service is apparently offered as a built-in feature when you upload your work.



Questionable grant of rights in the TOS agreement.


No password to protect the uploaded work from being cached in Google.


I get the sense that they don't have all that many members, and that focus is more on writing from the heart than serious career-building.

DeadlyAccurate
10-23-2009, 05:18 PM
Medievalist, is that saying that as long as your stuff is posted on their site, they can do anything they want with it, including sell it without recompense to you?

DaveKuzminski
10-23-2009, 05:57 PM
Irrevokable, yet it terminates when you remove the work? Isn't that revocation? That section is worded so that it lets the site interpret the agreement however they want.

Old Hack
10-23-2009, 06:48 PM
It seems that their rights to your work is irrevokable, except when they're revoked. That doesn't exactly fill me with confidence; and the copyright page is just plain wrong, for all the reasons already given. I wouldn't use the site.

Eirin
10-23-2009, 07:02 PM
I suppose it's possible they lifted their TOS, either wholesale or in bits and pieces, from elsewhere. Sort of like the weird author contracts you sometimes see from start-up publishers of the more dubious kind.

CaoPaux
10-23-2009, 07:41 PM
As you know, Bob, WordClay is a division of Author Solutions (AuthorHouse, iUniverse, Xlibris, et al.), and aggressively markets its "affiliate" program to funnel aspiring authors into vanity publishing.

Bolding mine...

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/02/prweb1999134.htm


Wordclay, WritingRoom.com, and PublishingRoom.com Announce WritingRoom.com's "2009 Author's Choice Writing Contest" ... For more information on Wordclay, Author Solutions' flexible DIY-publishing solution, please visit www.authorsolutions.com and www.wordclay.com. To monetize your community through a Wordclay partnership, contact Scott Walters at...


http://www.writingroom.com/Writing-Contest-Authors-Choice-2009.aspx


To Enter the contest, please complete the following:

* Writer must register with both PublishingRoom.com and WritingRoom.com.
* Submissions must be between 50,000 to 125,000 words.
* Writer must publish their manuscript with PublishingRoom.com. The purchase of additional services is not required, but it is encouraged.

Medievalist
10-23-2009, 08:32 PM
Medievalist, is that saying that as long as your stuff is posted on their site, they can do anything they want with it, including sell it without recompense to you?

IANAL

But yes; that doesn't worry me nearly as much as the reference to derivative works does.

Medievalist
10-23-2009, 08:34 PM
I suppose it's possible they lifted their TOS, either wholesale or in bits and pieces, from elsewhere. Sort of like the weird author contracts you sometimes see from start-up publishers of the more dubious kind.

To do that would in fact be a case of copyright violation.

Law offices do routinely buy "fill in the blank" forms--and databases of mis and match, sort of, contracts but those are sold "royalty free," and are licensed to that office only.

Eirin
10-23-2009, 08:58 PM
Law offices do routinely buy "fill in the blank" forms--and databases of mis and match, sort of, contracts but those are sold "royalty free," and are licensed to that office only.

Interesting. Like buying the structure, and filling in the particulars yourself?


Do you suppose that if someone did lift their TOS, piecemeal, either not knowing or caring terribly about copyright issues, stiched it together and reworded a bit - they'd end up with something like this?

Medievalist
10-23-2009, 09:18 PM
Interesting. Like buying the structure, and filling in the particulars yourself?


Do you suppose that if someone did lift their TOS, piecemeal, either not knowing or caring terribly about copyright issues, stiched it together and reworded a bit - they'd end up with something like this?

I honestly don't know. It could be that they licensed the same boilerplate.

There's a reason online services that deal with content--even, say, backup services, or Google Documents--have clauses that allow them some rights indefinitely--it's because just having the document in an archive or on a server counts as publication, in some ways.

So say I have stuff stored on a server. And I later decide I hate the company in question for whatever reason--they want a CYA (Cover Your Ass) agreement to protect them. It's an acknowledgment that yes, they can make backups of the content, and host it for you until you remove it, but not one to modify or otherwise distribute that content to another entity.

But I've never seen the "derivative works" thing in an online agreement.

That said IANAL.

Cyia
10-23-2009, 09:42 PM
But I've never seen the "derivative works" thing in an online agreement.

That said IANAL.

I can't remember the name of it, but last year there was a long-standing fanfiction/original content site that went under (the owners no longer wanted to keep it up or something like that)

When the site went down, a good number of the posters (who hadn't actually read the TOS before they hit "submit") found out that this site reserved all rights and ownership of any and all works (and I'm thinking characters) used in the original works as well as the original content from the fanfictions.

Even the people who pulled their work of the site didn't own it anymore.

BenPanced
10-23-2009, 11:59 PM
I wish I could remember the name of the outfit, but I once ran across an epub who bragged about having an open source contract and anybody who wanted to could use it. It was a standard rights-grab that I'd seen others using, so that filled me with confidence right there.

Eirin
10-24-2009, 01:40 AM
I'm trying to make sense of the derivative rights grab, but it's hard going. Unless the siteowner lifted the verbiage from something else entirely and included it without any real understanding, the only other explanation I can come up with is bad faith. That is, in the extraordinary event a piece should sell and become wildly popular, the siteowner could sell derivative work. And yet - leaving aside the sheer improbability - that doesn't make sense either, since the rights grant apparently revokes upon removal of material.

*Scratches head*


I wish I could remember the name of the outfit, but I once ran across an epub who bragged about having an open source contract and anybody who wanted to could use it. It was a standard rights-grab that I'd seen others using, so that filled me with confidence right there.

Open source contract? Wouldn't that be like placing your work in the public domain, only with added weirdness?

I swear, some of this stuff? You couldn't make it up on a dare.

Mac H.
04-26-2010, 08:45 AM
Open source contract? Wouldn't that be like placing your work in the public domain, only with added weirdness?Pretty much.

Done well, though, it can work out.

The best example is the popular 'Creative Commons' license.

A list of books available under that license is listed here:

http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Books

For example, Cory Doctorow published his books 'Little Brother' and 'Down and out in the Magic Kingdom' with Tor, and simultaneously for free via this license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

ie: People are free to copy, distribute, write fan fiction, translate, adapt etc - as long as it is for non-commercial purposes.

So the only people who can sell hard copies are Tor - but anyone can pirate the books legally.

It is a bit weird, but it can be made to work.

So he sells the commercial UK Print rights to Harper Collins even though he's given the non-commercial print rights to the entire planet for free.

So here's his standard PDF version of 'Little Brother' :
http://craphound.com/littlebrother/Cory_Doctorow_-_Little_Brother.pdf

(The book versions are better formatted)

Mac

CaoPaux
08-18-2014, 02:37 AM
PublishingRoom is gone.

Founder recently attempted to Kickstart cloud-based video software, Chromapose (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/chromapose/chromapose-put-yourself-into-your-emails-ecards-an).