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PostPosted: October 19th, 2003, 6:24 pm 
I'm not sure what sort of recourse I have and would like advice. I stopped freelancing for this newsletter publisher on June 1 with an August issue of a national newsletter. I recently discovered that he continued to use my name as editor for two subsequent issues, though I had no editorial input (or payment!) He just sold the company as well, and I think he used my name to make things appear stable, although I had quit. I'd like to know if I can demand restitution, at least an apology? I don't appreciate having my name on a product I had no involvement writing or producing.
Thanks for any help.


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 Post subject: Just some thoughts...
PostPosted: October 20th, 2003, 2:41 am 
I doubt you'd ever get an apology from the guy who did this, as he's already sold the publication. If the publication continues to appear, you might ask the new publisher to print not an apology but a Correction, so to speak, regarding the "mistake." If it's that important to you, you might get that: An explanation to readers of the issue in which the correction appears that you were not the editor of issues X and X2, or whatever issues they were.

I personally wouldn't worry about it, unless you think those published issues of the newsletter were poorly done, and you want your name disassociated with them?

Just some thoughts...

Bob Freiday
Author: "10 Golden Rules of Freelance Writing and How I Broke Them (How to Break the Rules and Make It as a Magazine Writer)" [Shameless Plug!], now available at Booklocker.com: http://www.booklocker.com/books/1368.html

Email: ScribeGuy@ScribeGuy.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: October 20th, 2003, 12:41 pm 
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Joined: October 8th, 2003, 4:46 pm
Posts: 687
Hi, I woudn't worry about having your name there as an editor. Quite often the block of text that lists contributors, editors, managers, sales reps, etc. is completely, or at least partially made up in advance, so as to be "permanent." They keep the same block and paste in on issue after issue. People simply forget to go in and update it. I wrote for two magazines that had me listed as a contributor for months after I stopped working with them --- I could still be listed, for all I know..lol The way I figure it, it's free advertising for me.

Also, it's possible some of the material you had worked on for past issues may be running in later issues, and therefore it's not necessarily incorrect to list you. And they probably don't have the time to go in and double check every assignment, so they erred on the side of caution.

In short, pop them a note or call, but in publishing this sort of thing is no big deal. Consider it free advertising.

Cat


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PostPosted: October 29th, 2003, 2:53 pm 
I have a similar situation and would love to hear some feedback.
The publisher in question keeps re-using previously published material without any additional pay.
For example, I wrote the copy for a visitors guide in 2002. The same material was published again in 2003 without an opportunity to do an update and make revisions.
Is this a common practice?


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PostPosted: October 29th, 2003, 3:10 pm 
I would be a little pissed about that, since you did write it......


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: October 30th, 2003, 6:32 pm 
If you feel that your name somehow affected the value of the business that was sold, then you could alert the buyer and they could perhaps sue the seller for fraud.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: October 30th, 2003, 8:13 pm 
To answer Janis, it shoudln't be common practice. And I was frankly surprised at the number of replies who told me to ignore it or consider it flattering. Suppose I were a famous author or editor, for example, and the publisher used my name to up the value or credibility of his publication (as one guest sort of suggested). In this case, I'm certain he wanted the publication -- he sold only two of about six newsletters -- to appear stable to the buyer. And I don't appreciate having my name on something I did not plan, write or edit. As for your question, Janis, it is more common than you might realize to republish your work. My contracts usually are work for hire and assign rights to the client or publisher. But it depends on your contract wording, especially in a publication like that -- one that had a specific year on it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: November 1st, 2003, 5:42 pm 
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Joined: October 8th, 2003, 4:46 pm
Posts: 687
More importantly, what do you you think should happen to those involved? Obviously the publisher is not the one doing the layout or editing, or perhaps even the assigning, so you really want to go after the staff, not him (or her). Even if it WAS the publisher's fault, he or she will quickly blame his staff, anyway. Maybe a secretary got behind (was off sick, having chemo, went to her mother's funeral, had a dog get hit by a car...etc.) and didn't get the memo to the composing room in time to make the change. Maybe her personal crisis was such that she was just plain careless in considering your feelings and what she was doing to you by leaving your name in there. It's unfortunate when people can't do their jobs because their personal lives get in the way. Or maybe she (or he) is just a lousy secretary, editor, typist..etc. Certainly then, these people should be disciplined for such action that caused you so much misery. What do you think this discipline should entail? I suppose you could spend money and sue the publisher for his/her carelessness and he or she would be forced to fire the offenders involved....but would this really change anything? If you went after monetary damages, how much $$ do you think the use of your name was to the sale of the publication during those months? If your name is Jackie Collins it's going to be worth more than if it's Average Woman...so you'll have to determine in $$ what benefits the publication enjoyed at your expense.

If I felt as strongly about this as you do, I'd certainly send a registered letter informing the publisher that the oversight was unacceptable, caused you emotional stress and upset and point out that the use of your name was in some way beneficial to him and you expect to be compensated. Then tell him how much money you feel it was worth. Chances are he'll pay to avoid a lawsuit and simply make sure the staff are disciplined. I'm sure you'd never make such a grevious error and maybe you're right, there should be some consequences for such an event.

Good luck with it all....

Cathi


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