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RainBrain
08-01-2005, 07:58 PM
in some parts of my book, i talk about certain events in the news. now, is it ok for me to tell the readers to go check up on the news themselves or should i copy and paste it in my book? i mean like going to a news site like cnn.com and copying the news from there.

scfirenice
08-01-2005, 08:26 PM
I think that you should give the readers the information without them having to look it up. Now.....I'm not sure you can copy and paste something directly from CNNs site. That stuff is copyrited and I would think you need permission to reprint the article in it's entirity. One of the sharp legal minds around here may have to field this one.

MadScientistMatt
08-01-2005, 10:26 PM
Neither. Write the news in your own words if it is critical to the book.

pconsidine
08-01-2005, 10:48 PM
You can certainly refer readers to web sites. The down side of that is that you never know how long the specific content you're referring people to will be where you're referring them to.

You shouldn't even consider copying and pasting. Even if you went through the trouble of doing it legally (with its attendant rights and permissions morass), it most likely wouldn't be as easy as just writing something yourself. I suppose it depends on what sort of information you're referring people to. Is it just factual background or is it something more specific?

RainBrain
08-02-2005, 04:55 AM
The News are very critical to the book. one of the many events i talked about happened in 2002 and when i searched for it, i found the news on cnn and numerous other news site. so i believe these sites keep them on their database for a long time.


now, writing up the news in my own words isn't an option because my main objective here is to have the readers know that i'm telling the truth. i want them to go to the news site themselves and read up on the information

as for pconsidine,

the information i'm refering people to are very factual information that happened. i dont know, i might just have to refer readers to the sites because getting cnn.com to sign over any rights would be next to impossible and time consuming.

MadScientistMatt
08-02-2005, 05:22 AM
Now, writing up the news in my own words isn't an option because my main objective here is to have the readers know that i'm telling the truth. i want them to go to the news site themselves and read up on the information.

Then the correct thing to do is cite the information, customarily by using endnotes. The more scholarly sort of books would use a Works Cited section anyway. In any case, cutting and pasting the text would not prove that it was true, simply because anyone can claim their own text was cut and pasted from an official website.

For that matter, screen captures that show the article on the page where it supposedly appeared aren't proof, either. It doesn't take that much skill to create an authentic-looking replica of a page with your own news inserted in place of the original text. I've even done that myself as an April Fool's prank.

Also, keep in mind that it will likely take a couple years between when your book is complete and when it hits the shelf. News about 2002 may not be up in 2007 unless your readers use the Wayback Machine.

What you are looking for here is how to write citations, and these normally do not go in the text itself.

RainBrain
08-02-2005, 05:48 AM
Then the correct thing to do is cite the information, customarily by using endnotes. The more scholarly sort of books would use a Works Cited section anyway. In any case, cutting and pasting the text would not prove that it was true, simply because anyone can claim their own text was cut and pasted from an official website.

For that matter, screen captures that show the article on the page where it supposedly appeared aren't proof, either. It doesn't take that much skill to create an authentic-looking replica of a page with your own news inserted in place of the original text. I've even done that myself as an April Fool's prank.

Also, keep in mind that it will likely take a couple years between when your book is complete and when it hits the shelf. News about 2002 may not be up in 2007 unless your readers use the Wayback Machine.

What you are looking for here is how to write citations, and these normally do not go in the text itself.

believe me, it will be up. during my search for these news, i saw incidents from 1997/1998. so the possiblity of it being unavailable isn't what i'm worried about. these events i'm talking about aren't small events. they are events that were carried by numerous sites so if one doesnt have it, i'm sure others will.

but like you said, i might look into how to do the citations. that seems logical

Sassenach
08-02-2005, 08:39 PM
1. You're assuming that all your readers will have immediate access to the Web.

2. If they do have access, you're assuming they'd want to stop what they're reading and do research.

3. You cannot 'copy' from cnn.com, et al. That's copyright violation.

RainBrain
08-02-2005, 08:49 PM
1. You're assuming that all your readers will have immediate access to the Web.

2. If they do have access, you're assuming they'd want to stop what they're reading and do research.

3. You cannot 'copy' from cnn.com, et al. That's copyright violation.



well, anyone who picks up my book will want to verify my claims since i'm not talking about your typical things here.

take this scenario for an example (this is not what my book is about) :

i send a manuscript to a publisher. this manuscript is about how many people i killed and what i did to them. how i ripped their hearts out and pissed in their lungs through the hole in their chest. how i chopped them up in pieces then cooked their flesh and ate it with my dog skippie. how i had anal sex with the corpse of a deceased victim named emily then ejaculated in her nostrils. now, after describing these heinous murders to the readers, i decide to direct the them to where they can go to verify my claims to insanity.

you're telling me they wont drop the book to find a computer with internet access even if they dont have one?

i seriously doubt that.

MadScientistMatt
08-02-2005, 09:23 PM
you're telling me they wont drop the book to find a computer with internet access even if they dont have one?

Precisely.

If you have written a gripping story, readers won't be able to put down the book until they're finished. If the majority of your readers start thinking, "This is BS. I've got to go confirm this somewhere else," and set down your book to go check the Internet, this isn't a good sign at all.

RainBrain
08-02-2005, 09:40 PM
Precisely.

If you have written a gripping story, readers won't be able to put down the book until they're finished. If the majority of your readers start thinking, "This is BS. I've got to go confirm this somewhere else," and set down your book to go check the Internet, this isn't a good sign at all.

what if they read it and think "this is BS" like you said, and then they go to confrim and find that it was all true, then what happens? i'll tell you what happens. it doubles their confidence in the book and they'lll wanna read more.

see, this topic i'm writing on is so unique I actually expect and encourage readers to verify the claims. that way, they'll better understand the concept i'm trying to open their eyes to.

madscientist, theres always an exception to every case and my case is the direct exception to what you're saying.

for every one of my claims these readers verify to be true, the more they'll stay glued to the book. This is United States of America. the internet is only the next door away if you dont have one

it works both ways my friend. the trick is to mold your craft ingeniously

pconsidine
08-02-2005, 10:28 PM
I think Matt's point is that they've already put down your book. Typically, that's not what you want to have happen. Frankly, if it's a topic that is even remotely serious and/or scholarly, a well done Notes section is really all that's required. The internet isn't likely to add any sort of credibility that wouldn't have been gotten that way.

What's unfortunate is that the more you talk about it, the more it sounds like some kind of nutty conspiracy theory sort of book that no amount of internet research is ever going to prove or disprove. Not saying that's what it is - that's just the feeling I'm getting.

MadScientistMatt
08-02-2005, 11:32 PM
If the reader wants to put down the book for any reason, it's not a good sign. If your book is sufficiently interesting, a reader might want to check the facts later, but would not want to stop reading a good book to do so. If you write with sufficient credibility, readers should not get such an overpowering feeling that this can't be true that they would want to put the book down to verify this. Fiction writers refer to this as the "willing suspension of disbelief."

I've read some books proposing rather shocking claims before. For example, that one that came out recently arguing that a Chinese fleet had circumnavigated the globe in 1421. He was able to describe the evidence for his claims in sufficient detail that it first had me pondering his evidence. It didn't have me wanting to interrupt my reading to seek independant confirmation.

Most things I can picture seeing reported on CNN are either (1) reasonably likely events, so they would not strain a reader's belief, or (2) things that people would remember from that time. I just don't see many cases where a well-written book about fairly recent news events would conjure up such an overpowering feeling of incredulity that it would send someone who has no home Internet access scurrying to get online to confirm these claims.

I suppose it might be useful if you posted a link to what news article you plan to reference, so we can judge just how unlikely this article is.

ritinrider
08-03-2005, 03:00 AM
what if they read it and think "this is BS" like you said, and then they go to confrim and find that it was all true, then what happens? i'll tell you what happens. it doubles their confidence in the book and they'lll wanna read more.


This is United States of America. the internet is only the next door away if you dont have one



Ok, please allow me to interject here. Word of caution, I haven't read all the posts yet so I may be repeating someone, sorry if I am. That said, first, if I read a book on say Jeffery Dahmer, Charles Manson, or some mother in Texas who killed her children before the age of 5, I expect the author knows what he/she is talking about. I read the author's credits if they have any. I trust the publisher to have at least given the book a cursory legal look to be sure it was true. Most important, as I'm reading the author gives me information that tells me the research has been done and what I'm reading is in fact, fact. I don't put the book down and go research the subject. I'm not that interested, just interested enough to read the book.
Second, "the internet in only the next door away if you don't have one." Ha! A popular misconception. I currently don't have internet service at my home, and if it weren't for my husband's former employer, I wouldn't be looking forward to having it either. So where do I go to surf the web? Today, I'm at my husband's former place of employment. They generously have allowed us computer access after hours. When I'm in town I use the library computers, assuming one is free. Neither of those places are 'next door'. Today, I drove 11 miles of country roads to get to the computer. When I'm in town, it's a 20 mile drive. With the cost of gas I don't make those drives often or without an agenda in mind. Just to let you know, I can get internet service at my home, but I would also have to pay a long-distance charge. The cheapest route I can go is $50 a month. Sorry, folks, that's more than I want to spend, and it's more than some people have. Not to mention there are people like my mother in the world who don't have or want a computer. What are they going to do when they read your book?

So please lose the attitude that everyone has affordable internet access at their fingertips.

Nita

RainBrain
08-03-2005, 05:47 AM
first, to ritrinrider, not everyone has internet access but a good enough portion of the US population has it unless of course you live in the projects.

now, maybe i shouldn't have use that "pyschopath killing" method as an example because my book is very far from that. my claims aren't anywhere as preposterous as that

the topic for my book is something not a lot of normal people come up with. so, only if i can give an idea what it is about. but i cant.

but anyway just like pconcidine suggested, a well done notes section seems all that IS required.

Jamesaritchie
08-03-2005, 08:39 AM
Do not copy and paste. Even nonfiction news events are covered by copyright laws. When you see the eaxct wording of articles on different newssite it isn't because they copied each other, it's because a central site distributes the work.


You can't show opinion to prove something is true, and taken alone, any news site is only opinion. You must cite the sources the news site themselves use.

An article is proof of nothing. It's the sources cited in the article that give proof. A greatmany articles posted on CNN and other news sites, and in newspapers, have later been proven to be completely untrue.

Writing something in your own words, while citing sources, is usually teh best way to make people believe someting really is true. This is how all those news articles came to be in the first place. Some reporter write the events in his own words, and then cited sources.
And just because something is archived for years does not mean the link to it remains the same for years. Links to articles can change daily, and many places move archived articles behind a subscriber only wall after a certain amount of time. Whatever else the internet is, permanent is not something to be counted on.

There's nothing wrong with giving links, but there's a lot wrong with depending on those links.

RainBrain
08-03-2005, 09:33 AM
Do not copy and paste. Even nonfiction news events are covered by copyright laws. When you see the eaxct wording of articles on different newssite it isn't because they copied each other, it's because a central site distributes the work.


You can't show opinion to prove something is true, and taken alone, any news site is only opinion. You must cite the sources the news site themselves use.

An article is proof of nothing. It's the sources cited in the article that give proof. A greatmany articles posted on CNN and other news sites, and in newspapers, have later been proven to be completely untrue.

Writing something in your own words, while citing sources, is usually teh best way to make people believe someting really is true. This is how all those news articles came to be in the first place. Some reporter write the events in his own words, and then cited sources.
And just because something is archived for years does not mean the link to it remains the same for years. Links to articles can change daily, and many places move archived articles behind a subscriber only wall after a certain amount of time. Whatever else the internet is, permanent is not something to be counted on.

There's nothing wrong with giving links, but there's a lot wrong with depending on those links.



i cant thank you guys enough for your information.

but yes, in my book i also mention that if so and so link doesn't work, the story i'm talking about can be found by just searching for the subject which will yield alternate valid sources.

in an effort to conceal what my book is about i have inadvertently led you guys to think something totally different to what the deal here is.

however, i absorbed more than enough information in this thread which intend on utilizing

Lauri B
08-03-2005, 06:10 PM
i cant thank you guys enough for your information.

but yes, in my book i also mention that if so and so link doesn't work, the story i'm talking about can be found by just searching for the subject which will yield alternate valid sources.

in an effort to conceal what my book is about i have inadvertently led you guys to think something totally different to what the deal here is.

however, i absorbed more than enough information in this thread which intend on utilizing

Speaking as a publisher, it's going to be difficult to evaluate a book if the author keeps saying, "refer to cnn.com/august 15, 2004, ref: big tomato grown" or something. The book has to be complete in and of itself. If you have information that is important to your story, include it. Don't make your reader do extra work. You can have a list of resources, a comprehensive bibliography, even a list of of "places to verify my claims" at the back, but don't interrupt your narrative with directives to your reader to close the book and check for more information elsewhere. It's distracting.

RainBrain
08-03-2005, 08:21 PM
Speaking as a publisher, it's going to be difficult to evaluate a book if the author keeps saying, "refer to cnn.com/august 15, 2004, ref: big tomato grown" or something. The book has to be complete in and of itself. If you have information that is important to your story, include it. Don't make your reader do extra work. You can have a list of resources, a comprehensive bibliography, even a list of of "places to verify my claims" at the back, but don't interrupt your narrative with directives to your reader to close the book and check for more information elsewhere. It's distracting.


thanks for this answer.

underthecity
08-03-2005, 11:45 PM
Rainbrain,

I realize that the example you gave about the mutiliated corpse story is far afield than what you have actually written. But I'd like to further your example with a similar story.

You might be familiar with the serial killer Ed Gein. There is an excellent book about him called Deviant that I read a few years ago. Many of the things Gein did are really outrageous, something one wouldn't think anyone would be capable of doing, yet Gein did in fact do those things. The author wrote the book based on interviews and research, but never "directed" the reader to research outside the book to verify the facts.

No matter what your subject matter, if you've written it believably and have based it on facts that you absolutely know to be true, then your reader won't worry about closing the book to run to the computer to doublecheck your story. Your book should be the source of the subject, period. In other words, in the future if someone is interested in the subject, it is your book to which he will turn. The web should be secondary.

And if after reading your book the reader is compelled to do more research himself, then he will make the choice to turn to the web or other sources. And then he will find out that you know your stuff. Especially if you have provided facts that aren't available on the web or anywhere else.

A bibliography at the end would be most appropriate, too.

underthecity