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PostPosted: May 19th, 2004, 10:53 am 
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Joined: May 19th, 2004, 10:46 am
Posts: 21
It wasn't enough that Suite101.com decided to stop paying their writers. Now they are publishing ebooks from "archived" topics. That is to say, topics in which the author has moved on. Not only are they publishing the ebooks, but they are doing so without some authors knowledge or permission -- and they state that their contract entitles them to do this.

Not only that, but they are so afraid of editors deleting their work and leaving suite101, that they have locked the writers out of their topics. Writers can no longer edit or update THEIR OWN MATERIAL without permission from a higher up. Or rather the article can't be edited or updated by the original author 30 days after publishing.

I don't understand why there are still people writing for this website.


Amazing.


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PostPosted: May 21st, 2004, 10:09 am 
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Joined: April 11th, 2004, 12:18 pm
Posts: 106
anonwriter wrote:
It wasn't enough that Suite101.com decided to stop paying their writers. Now they are publishing ebooks from "archived" topics.
Amazing.

I'm hopping mad...but also relieved. I used to write an American Fiction Authors column for them. When they stopped paying, I left. After the required amount of days my articles had to be archived--I think it was 90--I went in and deleted every single article. At least I hope I did. How can they get away with it? If they are, then they shouldn't. I hope everyone will spread the word about them.
Do I have permission to post this information on my message board? Or will you? We need to get the word out.
Thanks for the heads up...
Marie

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 Post subject: Hi, Scribendee
PostPosted: May 22nd, 2004, 2:34 pm 
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Joined: October 21st, 2003, 7:59 pm
Posts: 101
Location: Florida
I just joined your website. Looks very interesting!

warm regards, susie :)


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 Post subject: Re: Hi, Scribendee
PostPosted: May 24th, 2004, 9:05 pm 
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Joined: April 11th, 2004, 12:18 pm
Posts: 106
fillerlady wrote:
I just joined your website. Looks very interesting!

warm regards, susie :)

Thanks Susie,
I look forward to getting to know you!

Marie

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PostPosted: May 26th, 2004, 11:44 am 
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Joined: May 26th, 2004, 11:34 am
Posts: 1
I checked my contract from 1999 - I quit writing for them when they quit paying. Unfortunately, they have the "non-exclusive right to publish the content in electronic form." Where can you find the ebooks for sale?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May 26th, 2004, 11:58 am 
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Joined: May 19th, 2004, 10:46 am
Posts: 21
Quote:
"non-exclusive right to publish the content in electronic form."


it should read, "in electronic form on the Suite101.com website." Is an ebook to be downloaded onto one's computer still on the Suite101.com website? I think it's a very gray area. That Suite101 is doing this without the former editor's knoweledge or permission is an outrage.

Equally outrageous is their refusal to allow authors access to their own articles without permission.


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 Post subject: Suite 101
PostPosted: May 26th, 2004, 12:41 pm 
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Joined: April 14th, 2004, 5:17 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Paris, TX
I just signed a contract with them and now feel like I should just quit. I can't believe we can't go in and edit our own work. I didn't know this until after I signed or else I probably wouldn't have.
I have not been able to get to anything on my topic. The higher up says that this is the first time it has ever happened and that it is a "glitch." I think I'm being taken for a ride.
:evil:

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 Post subject: Re: Suite 101
PostPosted: May 26th, 2004, 12:44 pm 
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Joined: April 11th, 2004, 12:18 pm
Posts: 106
alinasandor wrote:
I just signed a contract with them and now feel like I should just quit. I can't believe we can't go in and edit our own work. I didn't know this until after I signed or else I probably wouldn't have.
I have not been able to get to anything on my topic. The higher up says that this is the first time it has ever happened and that it is a "glitch." I think I'm being taken for a ride.
:evil:


I hope you find a way to get out of there. How many other contributing editors do not know this is going on? I wish you the best, Marie

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May 26th, 2004, 1:24 pm 
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Joined: May 19th, 2004, 10:46 am
Posts: 21
There are glitches now and then for sure, but the main issue is that you will not be able to edit anything over 30 days old, and that Suite101 has every right to make your topic into an ebook whether you agree with this or not. If this is something you can live with, by all means, stick with The Suite. I recommend joining in or at least lurking in discussions in the editor's forums to find out what is going on. If you have any questions, most folks there are quite helpful.


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 Post subject: Suite101 problems
PostPosted: May 26th, 2004, 2:29 pm 
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Joined: August 20th, 2003, 12:38 pm
Posts: 11
I still write for Suite101. Why? Because I don't want any other person taking my topic. There are some out there that would jump at the chance to do the topic I do, and I don't want them to!

The contributing editors had to give an "okay" before the topics were reproduced. In fact, they had to be asked. I wasn't asked,probably, because i have been extremely vocal and critical of their policies or lack of renumeration. I had considered writing for their Suite U, but the reimbursement is too litle for that, too. Ten percent isn't enough for any of those courses. You'll find the same thing with Barnes and Nobel, too. Courses, please help us develp!!! Then, look at what you get paid.

No, thanks. I don't need it.I will continue writing Prisoner Advocacy and Criminal Justice for Suite 101 once a month-- that's all the time they get from me. It exposes my book a little and people can find me as a source of contact for working with the wrongfully convicted.


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 Post subject: Three year term?
PostPosted: May 26th, 2004, 3:54 pm 
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Joined: October 8th, 2003, 12:22 pm
Posts: 39
I wrote for Suite 101 very briefly, until I realized I wasn't being paid enough.

I was pretty sure my contract stated that Suite 101 only held the rights to the material for three years ("only" three years, I say sarcastically). But, for me at least, that time would have expired by now.

Anyone else remember a clause like this in their contract? I was writing for them around 2000 or so.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May 26th, 2004, 4:27 pm 
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Joined: October 10th, 2003, 2:58 am
Posts: 1
Location: Canton, MI
I joined Suite101 in the summer of 2000. Here is the "Ownership of Content" section of the contract then in force:

The Contributing Editor represents and warrants to the Company that the Contributing Editor owns the copyright of the Content supplied to the Company and hereby grants Suite101.com the following rights and licenses regarding the Content:

(1) The exclusive right to publish the Content in electronic and/or print form, which exclusive right shall expire 90 days after the date the Contributing Editor first supplied the Content to the Company for publication.

(2) Following the expiry of the 90-day exclusive right period, the Company shall retain the non-exclusive right to publish the Content in electronic form.

(3) The non-exclusive right to use excerpts of the Content in any advertising and promotional materials (in both print and/or electronic form).

(4) If, following the expiry of the 90 day exclusive right period referred to at paragraph (1) of Part 3 above, the Contributing Editor grants, licenses, permits or otherwise allows the publication of the Content in any other on-line publication or web site, the Contributing Editor shall do so only if such Content contains a hyper-link to the Suite101.com web site or if the name, Suite101.com, is contained in the byline.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May 27th, 2004, 8:31 am 
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Joined: February 5th, 2003, 5:44 pm
Posts: 502
Location: Georgia
I signed up to do a Suite U course, but found the whole process to be confusing and time consuming (although I am not so patient when it comes to computers.) I realized about halfway through that I was doing an inordinate amount of work for no guaranteed money. IMO, if you are an established writer or maybe a person looking to get clips to start out, the whole Suite thing would probably work for you. I'm not quite established yet, and I feel like my energy is best spent trying to find work where I sign on the dotted line and that means checks start coming in. (Sorry to be so crass about it.)

I bowed out, especially when I got a rather snitty email reaming editors for removing or editing content on their sites. That got my back up (what if I discover something new in the course of research?), and made me wonder why the email had been sent in the first place, you know? Now I know.

Keep in mind, though that the first editor I worked with was really, really nice and helpful. I just couldn't produce as much as they wanted me to, try to write other stuff, look for paying gigs, and watch my kid at the same time.

So. I guess my advice when working with Suite is to make sure you understand exactly what it is you're getting into and weigh it against your other obligations and responsibilities.

Wordchick


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PostPosted: May 28th, 2004, 1:49 am 
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Joined: September 24th, 2003, 5:13 pm
Posts: 33
Location: Toronto
I just use it for online content - I expect it will be there when I'm dead and gone.

I knew they didn't pay when I signed up.

I do North American Places - Crosswords, etc.

My travel articles - Crossing Canada - if I want to use them again, I'll just re-write them.

Once you've posted work to a place on the web, it's published - that's what a lot of publishers figure anyway.

I got a letter from somebody at Via Rail - the department that does up their web pages - they were interested in what I was doing there at Suite with my Crossing Canada journal.
The way I look at it, the online content at Suite paid off - didn't get a job out of it, but I've been brought to their attention.

Take a positive view - post your articles and link them to other things you're doing - that's the best way to get the most out of the online content.

Or quit and don't write for them anymore - that's all you can do. Kinda' ridiculous staying just cause you don't want them publishing your stuff on their e-books - you've already given it to them anyway and you have been paid in the way of online content.

I'm not taking sides with anybody on this and I'm not blowing Suite 101's horn either - it is a piss-off them doing that, but we know that happens with online content outfits, so accept it or walk away from it.

Carly Svamvour

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PostPosted: May 28th, 2004, 3:36 am 
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Joined: January 25th, 2004, 10:26 am
Posts: 6
Location: France
Personally, I have been at Suite101 as a writer and editor (when it was a paid job) since 1999, and I'm not at all happy with any of this. I too am only sticking around so no one can republish my content as an ebook and sell it. I don't care if I don't make money, but dammit I don't want THEM making it! Here's the latest description from the discussion list:

"Over the past few years there have been changes in the opportunities available to the Contributing Editors at Suite101. Originally, the policy was "one Topic per Editor." We had requests from our writers that this restriction be lifted. We complied with this request.

Further there were a large number of retired Topics with continuing substantial traffic and content which related to existing active Topics. Some Editors wanted the opportunity to expand their readership by taking on the retired Topics. To this end, we started the Topic Adoption Program.

These changes in policy enabled the Editors to manage and contribute to a larger number of Topics with expanded readership and content. The Adoption policy allows an Editor to adopt a Topic but an Editor cannot adopt the articles written by the original Editor. The Adopting Editors may add new articles to the adopted Topic and manage the discussion threads but they must not edit the content posted by the retired Editor or take credit for this content. This retired content is protected by the original writer’s copyright. It is the responsibility of Suite101 to make best efforts to protect the integrity of these copyrights.

However, with over 55,000 articles and nearly 500 writers it has become an unmanageable situation to assure that content is not altered or deleted from the Suite101 database. We have now taken steps to assure the content is safe.

In a virtual community as large as Suite there are bound to be misunderstandings and disagreements. These disagreements might be between writer and Managing Editor, Managing Editor and Senior Managing Editor, Course Developer and Dean, or Copy Editor and Writer. Any of these individuals could also find fault with the team in Vancouver. Unfortunately conflicts do not always get resolved to everyone’s satisfaction, and a disgruntled Writer or Course Developer could and in some cases has, deleted his/her articles or Course when leaving Suite101. This poses an even greater risk to adopted material and guest articles, which must be protected from deletion or alteration whether in anger, good intentions or in error.

Suite101 is also vulnerable to any disgruntled writer who might go into articles they have written or adopted to post inflammatory content. With several thousand articles on the site, we have no practical way of protecting the content from the misdeeds of a very small number of writers.

Our virtual community is not unlike the communities we live in day-to-day. We lock up our assets to protect ourselves from a very small percentage of the population, not because we do not trust our friends, neighbors or co-workers.

When it comes to security issues the wise practice is to act quickly and with a minimum number of people being involved. If a businessperson is about to install a safe in the office it is unwise to give 30 days notice to the company’s employees and associates that the company's books and money will then be locked up. Likewise we do not give warnings when we are about to change the passwords to our servers or access code to the office’s security system.

For these reasons we have and will take steps to lessen our exposure to the loss of content from our site and/or damaging acts by those who have access to our database of articles and courses.

Steps taken or being taken over the next few weeks:

New article content will be "live" for 30 days after its published date.

Free access by the CEs, MEs, SMEs and Copy Editors to edit the new article content will continue during this 30 day period.

After 30 days from the date of publication, only MEs and SMEs will be able to edit content.

Editors adopting Topics will not have editing access to the articles written (including photos, graphics etc.) by the retired writer.

If an Editor wishes to make substantive changes or an upgrade to a previous article they wrote, they will treat the upgrade as a new article and link the new content to the original.

Editors will be able to request that their MEs make corrections to broken links or graphics, and instructions for this procedure will be released shortly. Such corrections will not constitute "new" material.

Course Developers will have 30 days to fine-tune their course materials after a course goes "live", during which at least one course session should have occurred. After this 30-day period, access to the course content will be restricted to the Dean of the appropriate School or SuiteU’s Advisory Board.
The steps we are taking may seem harsh to those who have had ready and open access to all of their writing here at Suite. The content that has been accumulated through the efforts of our writers, past and present, and at an expense to Suite101, is one of the company’s shared assets. We apologize for the inconvenience this change of procedures is causing some of our writers and understand this change is viewed as a loss of freedom. We are exploring a technical solution that will allow editing but not deleting of content. Best-case scenario is that we will have a solution within the next 30 days and the worst case is that we fail in our efforts. Work will start on this project Tuesday May 27th.

Editors are free to make copies of their articles and republish them elsewhere after the 30-day exclusive time limit has passed as laid out in the Contributing Editor’s contract. It is not our intention to restrict the Editors' opportunity to showcase their work. Our objective is to restrict the removal of content from Suite101. This restriction of deleting content is not tied to the Best of Suite program.

For the reasons outlined above we believe it is prudent to keep this asset out of harm's way. If we lose valuable assets we also lose some of our ability to earn the revenue it takes to maintain Suite101 so we can continue to offer the opportunity to publish our writers' work. We believe the steps we are taking are in the best interest of the total community."


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