• Challenge,  On Writing

    Sucked Down a Copyright Hole…

    I Do That To Myself At Times… I am such a copyright junkie, when given the excuse, I find myself going deeper and deeper into legal articles and having so much fun. That’s where I lost a few hours tonight. If you have no idea why I would think copyright is fun, take the Magic Bakery classic workshop. Or read my book on the topic. Copyright is magic and is why WMG Publishing exists, five employees have their jobs, and Kris and I live in this fantastic new place. One place I played tonight was the 35 year rule. For example, I signed maybe 60 Work for Hire contracts in…

  • Challenge,  publishing

    I’m a Copyright Junkie…

    I Know…. Sounds Painful… Today, I found some amazing articles on copyright and trademark. Basically IP. One pretty amazing article was on copyright, bad agents and lawyers, really bad contracts, divorce, and more twists and turns than anyone will be able to figure out because of all the stupidity over the decades. It concerned the Tom Clancy’s estate and Jack Ryan. I am not going to link to it because the copyright and trademark concepts in it will just give anyone who is not a copyright junkie the wrong ideas. A second court case article was posted about Dwight Yoakam suing Warner Brothers for continuing to sell his songs. Actually,…

  • Challenge,  publishing

    Cover Basics

    I Got a Surprise Today… With the Covers 101 workshop starting next week, I decided I needed to round out my education a little on what the writers were doing who hired people to do their covers. All of you know I think that is a waste of time and money and can hurt your writing overall, but numbers of writers I know have others do their covers, so I was curious. So I wrote one wrier and asked a favor, if that person wouldn’t mind sending me a blank copy of the contract they use with their cover designer. I got a nice letter back saying they didn’t have…

  • On Writing,  publishing

    Public Domain Day

    I Know… Copyright!… But hang on, it’s interesting, honest, because for the first time in a lot of years, major works are entering the public domain. Now granted, for some countries, this is a normal thing. For example, in Canada, any author who died in 1968 has works entering the public domain now because of life plus 50 year rule. But the United States has had some pretty messed up copyright laws since it was founded and copyright was put in the Constitution. Now finally, everything from 1923 has dropped into public domain and that will continue to move forward each year, one year at a time, until it catches…

  • Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

    A Copyright Scam

    On Facebook and Other Places… You know how really stupid writers are about copyright when some company can offer a way to make money off of the writers by sounding stupid and using terms wrong. The scam I have seen numbers of times now is that a company will offer to “Copyright Your Work” for you for a measly $99.00 plus fees. Not kidding. (I bet those of you who understand copyright just shook your heads.) And I got a hunch the scam artists on this one have a lot of takers. All writers too stupid to realize that the moment they wrote their story in some form, it was…

  • Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

    A Copyright Question

    Going To Phrase It A Little Differently Tonight… Fact: You sold all rights to your book, signed them all away in some contract that seemed like a good idea at the time. Your book no longer exists in your magic bakery. Now, a corporation owns your book, is doing nothing with it, and you can’t get it back. It is an accounting number on their financial bookkeeping. All your work is gone. Poof. Because you made a bad decision and signed over all rights for the life of the copyright. (All the writers I saw in Barnes&Noble did that, sadly.) Question: When can you or your heirs publish that book?…

  • Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

    July Workshops and Copyright

    Still Time to Jump In… Kris and I have been working some on the two new regular workshops, Information Flow and The Magic Bakery, and they are turning out really nifty so far, in my opinion. The Magic Bakery will help put this business in complete perspective. And Information Flow is going to be tough, but an eye-opener. And I had a question yesterday that made me realize that writers just don’t know much about the aspects of Public Domain, and thus Copyright. So if I asked the question… “Can your heirs still sell your work 71 years after your death, when your work has dropped into the public domain?”…

  • Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

    Working All Evening On Lectures

    Took a While… On Monday I am doing two lectures, one on corporations for writers and one on IP Valuation and Copyright Termination Clause. Great fun for me. I love reading about copyright and studying copyright. Why wouldn’t I? It’s how I make my living. So tonight I got deep into the Google of articles on those topics (and others, of course, when Google is at play.) I already had my lectures pretty set, just wanted to play more. (grin) Should be a fun few hours for at least me. Not sure how the poor folks who will be listening will take it. (grin) What is a Copyright Termination Clause?…

  • On Writing,  publishing

    Copyright and the Fear of Learning

    Copyright… I did a post yesterday about the WMG business online workshop and a few people signed up. That surprised me, honestly, because I didn’t intend that post to do that, but instead just show how writers feel they don’t need to learn or don’t want to learn business. Another area like that is copyright. So I thought I would just ask here if it would be worth Kris and my time to do an extensive six week workshop about copyright. Now understand, Kris and I make all our money off of licensing copyright. The seven employees at WMG Publishing Inc. make their money from licensing copyright (except the two that…

  • On Writing,  publishing,  Topic of the Night

    Topic of the Night: TIME GOES BY

    I have talked a ton about the value of long term thinking and understanding copyright.  So for fun tonight, let me give you a fun example of what is possible. And what Kris and I are planning in the future. Let me take the book Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Long Night. Kris and I wrote the book in 1995 and it was published in 1996. Twenty years ago. I think the contract on it was an all-rights contract combined with a work-for-hire contract. At least all the later media books were, but not sure on this one, I will have to check the contract. If I remember right, the novel itself…