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runt
02-15-2006, 03:14 PM
I have one question. I sent my poem to a company a couple months ago and last month I got a letter that said that my poem was there property. The letter said that my poem shall be deemed, and shall remain, the property of the company. None of the Information shall be subject to any obligation of confidentiality on the part of the company and the company shall not be liable or owe any compensation for any use or disclosure of the Information (my poem), other than such liability as arises out of the copyright or patent laws of the United States. My fiancee says that the letter wasn't even an original. It was a copy. He said the company must have done this to others before. Does anyone know if this is legal?

aspier
02-15-2006, 05:53 PM
I have one question. I sent my poem to a company a couple months ago and last month I got a letter that said that my poem was there property. The letter said that my poem shall be deemed, and shall remain, the property of the company. None of the Information shall be subject to any obligation of confidentiality on the part of the company and the company shall not be liable or owe any compensation for any use or disclosure of the Information (my poem), other than such liability as arises out of the copyright or patent laws of the United States. My fiancee says that the letter wasn't even an original. It was a copy. He said the company must have done this to others before. Does anyone know if this is legal?

Write back to them and tell them you are now living in Europe and am not so hot about America's laws as it doesn't apply in Europe. Secondly, change one word in the poem or misspelt a word and claim your copyright by sealing it in an envelope and posting it to yourself. Datestamp must be visible. Don't open the letter. This is proof in court.

Better still, send them a letter saying that you are so happy they want the poem that you are prepared to send them more poems. Their return letter will contain a yes or a no. This is proof that they have the poem.

But best of all. Don't worry! Let them have the poem and write a thousand more! I believe basically poetry belongs to the reader of it ... ok, its a weird thought etc. but peace of mind is also a plus point.

Here's my complete works ... if you like you can select one and have it as compensation for those sheizzzies' deed of almost theft. http://users.skynet.be/spier/oeuvredownload.htm

You know, I'm thinking, why don't you paste that poem here, so we all can read it (and copy it!). That would be nice of you!

Richard
02-15-2006, 06:25 PM
Secondly, change one word in the poem or misspelt a word and claim your copyright by sealing it in an envelope and posting it to yourself. Datestamp must be visible. Don't open the letter. This is proof in court.

No, no, no. This is 'poor man's copyright' and it is worthless. Expunge it from your brain and never think of it again.

Yeshanu
02-15-2006, 06:42 PM
Get a copy of Jenna's new book, Street Smart Writer, and read it.

Now!

Seriously, it will tell you in that book that they cannot claim all rights to your work unless they have a contract signed by you giving them such rights. I'll be back soon with Jenna's exact wording. (If I'm wrong, somebody correct me...)

But please, please, get the book. It will help you avoid this heartache in the future!

(Edited to add: My daughter seems to have absconded with my book. I'll be able to post a definitive answer this afternoon, but if anyone else with the book posts first, so much the better.)

Yeshanu
02-15-2006, 07:37 PM
runt,

A question for you: Is this in regard to the same material as you asked about in this post?

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27263

It would help me advise you if you posted the actual text of the letter in the thread.

Ruth

aspier
02-15-2006, 07:43 PM
No, no, no. This is 'poor man's copyright' and it is worthless. Expunge it from your brain and never think of it again.

OMG yes! True! ... Smile ... eh but by misspelling you create a case of which poem is the real one! He then can then sue them for spelling this particular word right ... (he has proof that he missplelt it). As poet and artist he had wanted a misspeld word, etc.

+ the whole case will draw the attention of the media! Both poems will become world famous but the price of the one with the misspelt word will be the original and the price will be higher! Oeee, runt can make a lot of money but while doing it he will not have to write poetry. Ying-yang thing, see?

Paint
02-16-2006, 01:13 AM
[QUOTE=runt]I have one question. I sent my poem to a company a couple months ago and last month I got a letter that said that my poem was there property. The letter said that my poem shall be deemed, and shall remain, the property,etc]

Who is this Poetry.com? Are they going to try to get money out of you later? Don't give them a cent.
Call it a learning experience and forget it. Vow to research who you are submitting to more carefully in the future.
I belong to the school of thought that to get you give, so tell yourself you gave them the poem, for publicity.
If you loved the poem, rewrite it into something else. Maybe it will be better.

Yes, get Jenna's book, she has a great deal for Awers.
Don't think you are the only one...there are lots of stories here.
@#$%$$#@$%!!! anyway.
Paint

JRH
05-06-2006, 02:29 AM
Poetry.com is a SCAM directly related to the National and International Libraries of Poetry, as well as Nobel House Publishers and the Poetry Society of America and with them has been the subject of numerous exposes by ALL the major news networks

For specific information on these and other SCAMS, check out
http://windpub.com/literary.scams/endall.htm

All the above have been subject to exposes by the major news networks and many articles on the Internet and they are designed entirely to take your money and offer nothing substantive in return.

Take care, avoid the "free" contests, and confine your submissions to legitimate markets which can be found in the Writer's Market Poetry Yearbook, or at http://www.writerswrite.com/poetry/markets.htm or http://www.drowningman.net/poetrylinks.htm among other places.

As far as your Poem goes, I agree with what has been written before by Hapi Sofi in saying that they don't own your work, (whoever THEY might be), unless you have SPECIFICALLY signed a CONTRACT granting them ALL rights, those right remain yours, and NO Organization" can claim the rights to your Poetry simply on the basis of submission.

I understand your original post was in regard to a Greeting Card company, and I can't understand how any legitimate operation would make such a claim except to intimidate you for fear of inadvertantly publishing something similar in the future, and suing them for infringement, and any such conflict would hinge on proof of authorship (as evidenced by Formal Copyright) and proof that they had the opportunity to steal the work, (which basically means you should maintain proof of any submission or any other contact with them).

The problem with Poetry.com and their bretheren is more complicated, as any work published by them will be CONTAMINATED by their REPUTATION regardless of any rights signed away.

Bottom line is that unless you've SIGNED your rights away, noone you have submitted to can make any claim to your poem.

JRH

veinglory
05-06-2006, 03:18 AM
Copyright stays with the creator unless her or she personally signs a document passing it to another entity.

embraceltd
09-05-2006, 12:45 PM
I have had letters back from poetry.com, they say my poems will be published but as ever 'alas' no way of buying the books in the bookshops, not even waterstones! I have been a semi-finalist, yep but I got to part with the cash first hey! not impressed anymore, nope nat nada! I want to know who they really are and why they conning us people, and am I really a crap poet?! mmm, not impressed with poetry.com.

Jamesaritchie
09-05-2006, 03:07 PM
OMG yes! True! ... Smile ... eh but by misspelling you create a case of which poem is the real one! He then can then sue them for spelling this particular word right ... (he has proof that he missplelt it). As poet and artist he had wanted a misspeld word, etc.

+ the whole case will draw the attention of the media! Both poems will become world famous but the price of the one with the misspelt word will be the original and the price will be higher! Oeee, runt can make a lot of money but while doing it he will not have to write poetry. Ying-yang thing, see?

No, that's another myth. Misspelling or changing a word doesn't help, either. If they own the poem, they can change any word they want, any spelling they want, etc. This may be teh scariest myth of all..

The only way to keep your property is not to sign it away. Once you do sign it away, and this can sometimes be done simply by submitting to a site that has prominent notice about rights, you no longer own the work, and have no say in what is or isn't done to the work. They can change teh way the words are spelled, or change the words themselves, or rewrite it any way they wish.

Dekomposer
09-05-2006, 03:20 PM
If you haven't entered into any form of contract (written or verbal) giving them the ownership of copyright, then they can't claim it.

They have to prove that you gave them your copyright. The way to protect your copyright on all works, is to send it to yourself by post, in a sealed envelope, before sending it out to anyone else in this way, you have an official date and time stamped receipt, if they contest that, then they must produce evidence that they had the work in their possession prior to this date. However, in this instance, if you didn't take the precaution the other supporting evidence (and we assume that you kept a copy of this on your comp) is to go into properties which will show when the file was first created.

If the poem is any good, write to them, contest copyright ownership and tell them you are taking legal advice on the matter...............normally that would work.

KTC
09-05-2006, 03:23 PM
crumple the worthless piece of paper you received and throw it in the garbage.

Apologies...throw it in the recycling bin.