Monday, May 23, 2011

Two Months of April

 Another cloudy damp day, like two months of cool, showery April. We treasure May in Jersey. Usually, at some point in June summer clicks on & it's 90+ degrees & the midday sun isn't so enjoyable unless you're near a beach umbrella or a shady tree.

Interesting situation today. Message from a guy who said he'd included one of my photos (of a now-demolished house) in a book about Elizabeth, with credit. But without prior permission. Legally, it's a gray area, since I post original photos without any copyright mark or rights reserved. The professional quality photographers I know are very careful about that. So I was both pleased & annoyed. I would have given permission, but also would've provided the original digital image;  I cut photos down & sometimes crop them, rarely improving them,  & if the photo has been converted from color to b&w I may have asked a photographer friend to do the change  in photoshop before I submitted it. I've seen many books in this particular series of town histories & the photo images are never reproduced well.

I decided to charge him the  standard rate for poems, two contributor copies, "to keep my self-respect." But if he can't afford that, I'll let it ride. These aren't "for-profit" books, but rather informal pictorial histories assembled by dedicated amateur local historians. 

If someone printed one of my poems & asked for permission after the fact, I might be on the phone to Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.   I give my poems a fairly loose leash - they have no monetary value,  but I value them enough to be  particular about the company they keep.

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"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

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