Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Copyright? Did someone mention

I have been writing a list of resources for the workshop. That's fine but I also thought I should include a local contact in a slightly different sort of way. It's not a business organisation but a craft group. 
The craft group has a website. The information on it belongs to the craft group. 
I did the right thing and asked for permission to use it. The response was to give me some information I  already had. It did not expressly give me permission. Now, in law, it might be considered that,  by giving me the information, the person I contacted had given me "implied" permission to use it. 
Given my rather awkward relationship with the group I felt that was not good enough. I really need their express permission. It is for their benefit, not mine, that I am doing this. I had a message back saying what I rather feared. It amounted to "you don't need our permission because the information is on our website". Sorry, I do need your permission.
If the person I contacted doesn't give me express permission I won't include the information. Right now though I am hoping that I will get express permission.
This group has been given information about copyright  by me and by another knowledgeable member of the group. I have written about it for their newsletter and there is information in their library about it.
Some time ago I genuinely misunderstood somebody's intention when she posted something on line. I thought she wanted it passed on so I did. She didn't like it. I made genuine and sincere apologies but she refused to accept them - to the extent of blocking me from all contact without a word of explanation. I only found out from someone else. It's something I will always regret. I did acknowledge her ownership. I didn't intend to hurt her but she was, and apparently still is, upset and angry. It has made me even more cautious than before.
Things I have written have been passed on to other people without my consent. It has happened frequently in the past and I don't doubt it will happen in the future. It annoys me because, if asked, I would probably say "yes, you may" most of the time. If I didn't want it passed on then there would be a good reason for it. 
Late last year I gave a report to the group I need permission from. I wrote it very carefully and, unusually for me, I read it out exactly as I had written. I was asked to give them an actual copy. I have done so on the understanding that it is not and that it is used in its entirety. Why? Because I know there would be a temptation to edit out parts of it. They are not critical of the group but, if not left in, they would change the understanding of what had taken place and why - and I own the copyright.
All this seems to make no difference to the person I approached. She clearly didn't see the problem as a problem... but I know it would have been if I hadn't asked permission. 
Is copyright really that hard to understand? I suppose it is.

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