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Explanations and instructions of all things Writing.Com.
When you post your work on Writing.Com, you maintain the rights to your own material. When you post an item into your portfolio, the Writing.Com system automatically adds a Copyright statement specifically to you, the author of the item. (For an example, scroll to the bottom of an item on Writing.Com to see the copyright for that author.) For this reason, you must be sure that the work you are posting is your own. Posting someone else's written material and claiming it as your own can cause you problems both onsite and offsite. Do NOT post emailed jokes, forwarded messages or copyrighted images* on Writing.Com.
* Adding text or edits to someone else's copyrighted photograph or image does NOT make that item yours and you will be asked to remove the image from your portfolio, if found. Failure to comply with our copyright rules may result in account termination. The only circumstance in which you may post an image that is not your own original creation is to cite the exact source that specifically gave you permission to post the image.
You Maintain The Rights To Your Work
You are free, and encouraged, to sell your work to others, publish it with others or do whatever you wish! By posting to Writing.Com, you grant us non-exclusive rights to display and store your work on our site. In order for us to show your work to other people who may visit our site, we require these rights. Non-exclusive means that you may give these same rights to anyone else as well; for money or for free!
Posting Your Own Words
Every time a new item is created on Writing.Com, it receives an automatic copyright stamp at the bottom, stating ownership to the author of that item. For this reason, posting work that you know is not your own work is considered plagiarism; the original author can submit your item as a copyright violation. There is a difference between just citing works within your own and posting an entire work completely as your own creation. Plagiarism will not be tolerated at Writing.Com. Such as in research papers, term papers, critiques, etc., proper credit should be given to the cited works. (For more information, see "The Bedford Handbook for Writers": http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0312166370/storiescom)
A Few Simple Community Guidelines
This is a community overflowing with creative people; we understand the need to get those thoughts and ideas out. While you are encouraged to speak your mind and post your own thoughts about things, you are not permitted to take another member's personal correspondence to you and post them in your portfolio. If that member has not given you permission to take his or her personal emails and post them in your item, please do not post those private discussions to the public of Writing.Com. If there is harmful intent behind your posting of the emails, this could be considered harassment. ( Please see our Writing.Com User Agreement: http://www.writing.com/main/agreement.php )
Procedures for Reporting Infringing Material
The following procedures are to be used when submitting or disputing a Copyright Infringement Notice.
You must be the copyright owner or a legal representative of such of the material you are reporting. If you believe that an author on Writing.Com has unlawfully used your copyrighted material, you may send a Copyright Infringment Notice to copyright@Writing.Com.
Before doing so, please follow these steps carefully:
Step 1: Be absolutely sure that copyright infringement has occurred. If you knowingly falsely accuse someone of infringement (a lie), you could be prosecuted for perjury and sued by the accused author.
Step 2: Compose an email, which will serve as your Copyright Infringement Notice, with the following necessary information:
a. Item ID # or exact Writing.Com URL of the infringing material
b. Username (NOT their handle) of the author you claim is unlawfully using your copyrighted material
c. Include a specific copy of the infringing material
d. Your name and contact information (NOT Writing.Com username, but your real name and contact information)
e. State in the email notice:
"The information in this notice is accurate and I, the copyright owner and complaining party, have 'good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent or the law'"
f. State, under penalty of perjury, that the sender of the email notice is authorized as the copyright owner or a legal representative of such of the material claimed to have been infringed.
g. Sign your Full Name (First and Last)
Step 3: Email all of this in one complete email to copyright@Writing.Com with the subject heading of Copyright Infringement Notice.
If you fail to include the necessary information listed above and fail to do so even after initial contact from Writing.Com, the complaint will be deemed legally null and void.
Writing.Com Response to Copyright Infringement Notice
Once Writing.Com receives a Copyright Infringement Notice, the information sent will be examined carefully to be sure all necessary information has been included. If the required information is not included in this email, Writing.Com will make a reasonable attempt to contact you to retrieve the missing information. If contact cannot be made or you fail to provide the required information, the notice will be disregarded.
If all necessary information has been provided, Writing.Com will temporarily remove the infringing material from public access. This protects Writing.Com from all legal liability. As soon as the material is removed from public access, the author of this material will be notified immediately. If the author believes that the material is not infringing or has been mistaken for something else, he/she may send a Counternotice to Writing.Com.
Author's Counter Notice
If you have had material removed from public access due to a Copyright Infringement Notice, you may send a Counternotice to copyright@Writing.Com.
Before doing so, please follow these steps carefully:
Step 1: Be absolutely sure that you have not infringed upon someone else's material. If you lie, you could be prosecuted for perjury and sued by the copyright owner.
Step 2: Compose a document, which will serve as your Counternotice, with the following necessary information:
a. Item ID # of the material in question
b. State, under penalty of perjury, that the material was removed from public access by Writing.Com as a result of a mistake or misidentification of the material
c. State that you consent to the legal jurisdiction in the federal district court where the user's address is located
d. State that you agree to accept service of legal process from the copyright owner or person who signed the Copyright Infringement Notice
e. Sign your Full Name (First and Last) and your Writing.Com Username
Step 3 - Submit this required information via both email and fax. Submit your email to copyright@Writing.Com with the subject of Counternotice. You must also print, sign and fax this counternotice to us at 610-868-5144.
If you fail to submit this counter notice via both email and fax, the counter notice will be deemed legally null and void and the material will remain unavailable from public access.
If you fail to include any of the necessary information listed above and fail to do so even after initial contact from Writing.Com, the counter notice will be deemed legally null and void and the material will remain unavailable from public access.
After the Counter Notice
When Writing.Com receives a counter notice with all of the necessary information, the copyright owner or sender of the Copyright Infringement Notice will be sent a copy of the counter notice and informed that the disputed material will be replaced to public access no later than ten (10) business days. In order to prevent this from happening, the copyright owner or sender of the Copyright Infringement Notice must bring a court action.
The copyright owner or sender of the Copyright Infringement Notice must convince a judge that copyright infringement has occurred. A Copyright Infringement lawsuit will need to be filed in federal court against the accused author and the court will need to be persuaded that the author is indeed committing copyright infringement.
If the copyright owner or sender of the Copyright Infringement Notice does not want to go to court, the material will be replaced for public access.
Repeat Offenders/False Accusers
Writing.Com Members who are repeatedly infringing upon copyrighted material or falsely accusing other authors of such actions will have their account terminated.
If Writing.Com notices blatant infringement activity without a submitted complaint, we will remove the material immediately. We would only do this if we felt it was absolutely infringing on a copyright. We will not be monitoring the site for such activity.
If you would like more information on copyrights and how to protect your written material, Writing.Com highly recommends The Copyright Handbook, How to Protect & Use Written Works, by Attorney Stephen Fishman. This book has everything you could possibly need to know about copyrights: registering, protecting against infringement, forms on CD, and step-by-step instructions. It's in plain English and very easy to read.