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Fair Use Copyright Law
Don?t Overstep the Fair Use Copyright Law
Many people are interested in the fair use copyright law. The fair use copyright law enables people to use portions of material that is copyrighted for the purposes of criticism or as commentary. The hard part for many people is understanding what is permissible under the fair use copyright law and what is not permissible. Anyone who writes or publishes should brush up on what is allowed and what is not allowed. Using another person?s words to make news reports, to use as a comment or criticism or to use for research, scholarship, or for educational uses that are nonprofit are generally considered fair use. In these instances, the fair use copyright law allows one person or author to make use of another person or author?s work without asking permission to do so. In situations that do not fall within these specifications you are probably violating someone?s copyright if you use their work ? especially if you are using another person?s work for economic or commercial gain.
When you are trying to see if you can use another?s words, you should keep a few things in mind. The answer to the following questions will help you gage whether you would be violating a copyright. First, are you transforming someone else?s work or are you copying it? Second, are you going to be making any financial gains from your work that would compete with the original copyright holder? Third, do you have the author?s permission to quote their work? Just because you list the author and give credit to him or her does not protect you from infringing upon someone?s copyright. Fourth, how much of the original author?s work are you using? If you are using a substantial amount of another?s work, you are probably in direct violation of their copyright. Many publishing companies have set rules on how much material they will allow to be quoted in other sources. Some of these ranges start at 100 words or less. However, there are truly no standards to go by, so be careful. You can not assume that keeping your copying fewer than 50 words will allow you to pass under the radar ? especially if the original piece is hovering around 125 words itself! Lastly, what portion of another?s work are you using? If it is the meat of the book and the most important part of the book, you are probably in direct violation of the owner?s copyright.
With a little common sense it is not hard to decide if you are violating someone?s copyright. People who are truly interested in staying within the guidelines of the fair use copyright law usually do a good job of doing so. Many people push the fair use copyright law right up to the line, while others will blatantly cross over it without giving a second thought to the repercussions. When these people are summoned to court to answer for their vagrant disregard for the property and copyright of another they are usually sorry. Sorry they got caught! It is very important that people who take advantage of the fair use copyright law are held accountable for their actions. Without accountability many more people would follow in their footsteps and use another?s works as their own.
To Enter or Not to Enter Writing Contests (writing contests) If you are a freelance writer, it is because you love to write. Why not put those abilities to use and enter a writing contest? You have nothing to loose and a lot to gain. You can find writing contests by simply searching the Internet. Writing groups and message boards may also have listing for these contests. No matter what you writing genre maybe poetry, fiction, non fiction, there is a contest out there for you. Read about them and choose which ones are right for you. It is not necessarily about winning or loosing but about the experience and knowledge that you gain to get there. Whether you win or not there are still valuable things that can be learned or gained by entering into contests. Entering writing contests will help you hone the skills that you have. Try something new, you may choose to write in a niche that you normally wouldn?t. You get constructive criticism from someone new. Someone that doesn?t have to worry about hurting your feelings and that is unbiased can be a wonderful asset to your career. The feedback you receive can be invaluable to you. It will get your name out there and give you a place to showcase your work. Depending on how good your story, if you make it to the next round your writings could be in front of editors and agents. This feedback and criticism is even more important than the first. Do not your eggs all in one basket. Enter a couple contests to get multiple feedback sources. Not every editor or agent is going to agree. By entering multiple contests and find common points about your writing that need perfecting you will be able to concentrate on a general consensus about your abilities. There are some downsides to entering writing contests, too. Chances are that a simple contest is not going to launch your career into star status. Do your research just as if you were going to write an article about contests. For many contests you give up your rights to your entry whether it wins or not. You need to decide whether or not you are willing to give up all rights to your story. If you win it is not a big deal, but if you loose your giving your work away. Are you willing to do this? Research the contest. You can search the Internet for reports or opinions on contests run by the company. You can find valuable information on if the contest is legitimate, if entering has had any effect of previous entrant?s careers, and if it is really worth it in the long run. The bigger and well-established companies will give credibility to your work if you win. But the bigger and more well know the companies are will also bring in tougher competition with well know authors. Some companies offer contests as a disguise. Yes they will give away prizes and declare winners but their main goal with the contest is advertising. It can be in the form of offering you to buy obscure book featuring your contest submission. Sometimes it is an editing company that offers a discount for its services or a company that will offer you discounts on writing classes. A writing contest is just a possible stepping stone. Whether it helps you or not is the unknown, but it definitely won?t hurt you. It may help you reach the next level of your career. You and only you will be able to make the decision on whether or not writing contests are a good move for your career.
Conducting a Self-Evaluation After Getting Fired Sometimes life is hard and when you get fired, it gets even harder. In a country where employee turnover is high and there are no laws to protect you at your work place, potentially anybody is at risk to be fired. In general, that is true, but companies usually only fire a person that has done his or her job improperly, or is not qualified for his or her job any more. Therefore after you get fired, it is time that you conduct a self-evaluation. First of all, you need to make sure you know the reason why you have been fired. Do not just assume, you know why you have been fired. Make sure that your employer tells you the exact reasons why he has fired you. A self-evaluation as to whether the employer is right and whether you might have to work on yourself can only be done after you know why the company has told you to leave. If it was tardiness and absence of work that has gotten you fired, you need to be self critical enough to see that you need to be on time and be at work every day that you are not taking a vacation day. Keeping a job means playing by the rules and these rules do include times that you have to be a t work if you want to keep the job. When your boss told you, that you are not accomplishing your work or you are not qualified for the position, think back and try to find out why he might have said that. Did you deliver your work on time? Was it correct, mostly without any problems and errors? If that is not the case, then perhaps your boss was right and maybe you were not qualified enough to do the job. It might be that you need some more training or some more classes at the university to be able to do your job right. Or maybe you have just chosen a job that is not for you. When you are conducting that self-evaluation, make sure you are not too hypercritical. If it clearly was your fault that you got fired, you need to improve yourself and the personality traits that have led to the firing. Sometimes even though your boss gave you an explanation why you have been fired, you might not agree with the reason you have gotten fired from your company. Yes, sometimes these reasons might not be right. Since this is a society where anybody can get fired, maybe you have been fired because your boss did not like you and he made up some dubious reason for firing you. This is why you have to conduct a self-evaluation to make sure if what you were told is the truth. A self-evaluation might also lead you to the conclusion that you need to choose a different profession than the one you have been in. Maybe it took to get you fired to ser you in the right direction and at some point in your future you might actually thank that boss of yours that he had fired you. Otherwise you might have never found the job that you were destined for and would have been miserable doing the job you were doing. Unhappy employees are not good for a company and some bosses are good enough to realize that. Whatever the reason is that you got fired, make sure you find the reason and check with yourself how much truth lies within that reason and do you have to change to be a better employee and be able to keep your next job.