About Me

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Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

An expensive mistake, and a public apology

When I came home from work tonight, there was a comment to approve:
“My name is Linda S Amstutz and I am the author and registered copyright holder of the essay ‘IF MY BODY WERE A CAR’. Publishing this essay without my permission is copyright infringement and a federal offense.”

Here is the link to her website, which I found after some Googling. I checked. It’s a real copyright, all right.

Here is my response to her and to her agent:

Dear Ms. Amstutz and Ms. Smith,

Thank you for bringing my infringement of your copyright to my attention. As you may surmise, your essay was forwarded to me without attribution.

My mailing address is: [given]

I have removed the quotation from my website, and I will post a public apology. I am also bookmarking your webpage as a handy reminder to triple-check before I post anything not written by *me*.

I quite understand if you bill me the $750 for inappropriately quoting you. I will need to pay it out over time, as I am a single mother with extremely limited resources. But my parents raised me to be honest, and I am certainly willing to accept the consequences of sloppy editing.

Yours very truly,
[A very red-faced me.]

Insert childbirth words here.

Edited to add that I just received a very gracious response from the author.

Lesson learned.


bookgrump said...

A few years back, I was very active in a site where the users could post reviews, essays, etc. Frequently, I'd run across postings from people who were using something that had received from a friend. I always zapped them for it because of just this reason. Part of my username comes from the name that people called me there.

Your experience just showed that my anal retentive nature was worth it. Thank goodness that the author was kind enough to forgive.

davewyman99 said...

If you end up paying it, you should leave the post up. On her site, she says the $750 is the price to use it on your site. So, while you're going to have to pay, you'll now how rights to publish it on your site.