Yet Another Website Lifts our Copyrighted Material – Angela Hoy, WritersWeekly.com and BookLocker.com

Yet Another Website Lifts our Copyrighted Material – Angela Hoy, WritersWeekly.com and BookLocker.com
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Awhile back, I found some of our original paying market listings for writers featured on the The Markham Village Writers’ Group website, markhamvillagewriters.com. Below are copies of my exchange with the founder and moderator of The Markham Village Writers’ Group website, Donna Marrin. I have paraphrased the responses by Donna Marrin below. Needless to say, we were pretty shocked that someone running a website for writers thought it was okay to pluck original content from other websites!

INITIAL COMPLAINT

Attn: Donna Marrin, Founder & Moderator
The Markham Village Writers’ Group

The content appearing under my signature was stolen from
WritersWeekly.com. It appears on your site here:
http://markhamvillagewriters.com/spotlight/resources-archive

You have two business days to remove our material from your
website. If you do not, we will invoice you for the
unauthorized use of our copyrighted material.

Angela Hoy
WritersWeekly.com

Poetry Magazine 444 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1850, Chicago,
IL 60611. P(312)787-7070. F(312)787-6650. Email:
editors-at-poetrymagazine.org. Website:
http://poetryfoundation.org. Aims to print the best poetry
that is being written today. We feature original poetry,
translations of poetry, book reviews, and nonfiction essays.
We publish both new and established poets. Welcomes new
writers. Monthly. Pays on publication. Publishes ms an
average of 9 months after acceptance. Responds 1 month.
Guidelines online at
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/submissions
CURRENT NEEDS: We are always looking for original poetry.
Pays $10 per line, $300 minimum, $150 per page of prose.
Limit of four poems totaling no more than 10 pages per
submission. Submit by email or by mail with SASE.

The Prairie Journal 28 Crowfoot Terrace NW, PO BOX 68073,
Calgary, AB T3G 3N8 Canada. Email:
prairiejournal-at-yahoo.com. Website:
http://www.prairiejournal.org. Arts, literary, cultural
small press journal. 100% Freelance. Welcomes new writers.
Semiannual. Pays on publication. Publishes ms 2-4 months
after acceptance. Buys First North American Serial Rights.
Responds within 2 months. Guidelines online at
.
CURRENT NEEDS: Poems. Pays $10-$200 for 500-2000 words.
Submit query by mail.
PHOTOS/ART: Pen and ink high contrast black and white line
drawings. Payment varies. HINTS: Read our magazine before
submitting. Need local colour and indigenous.

Taxi News 38 Fairmount Cres, Toronto, ON, Canada, M4L 2H4.
P(416)466-2328. F(416)466-4220. Email:
taxinews-at-the-wire.com. Website: http://www.taxinews.com.
John Duffy, Publisher. 35% freelance. We are a very small
newspaper with a very limited budget dealing with the
taxicab industry in Toronto, Canada. Occasionally works with
new writers. Monthly. Pays on publication. Publishes ms 1-2
months after acceptance. Buys first worldwide serial rights.
Occasionally accepts reprints. Responds 1 month.
CURRENT NEEDS: Queries. We have a full stable of
contributors now, but if someone has a good idea and can
back it up with good journalism, we’re delighted. Pays flat
fee up to $150 (CDN) for articles of 50-800 words. Submit
query by email.
PHOTOS/ART: Nice to have but not absolutely necessary. Pays
$25 (CDN).

DONNA MARRIN AT MARKHAM VILLAGE WRITERS SNOTTILY RESPONDS:

(paraphrased)

She said she resented my accusation. She also said she’s the
moderator of a group for writers and that she donates her
time by offering info. about markets, etc. She said we don’t
own the rights “to be able to tell people about markets they
can send their work to!”

She said she agrees with our crusade against stealing
articles but said I’ve gone “a little to far” by telling her
she’s stolen “common information” that is on the Internet
for anyone to use.

She signs off with this: “Shame on you!”

WRITERSWEEKLY RESPONDS

Hi Donna,

We send a questionnaire to each publication that will be
featured. They complete the questionnaire and send it back
to us. We use their answers to create an original
(copyrighted) market listing. The editor then approves it
and we publish it. We pay employees to do this work. These
are ORIGINAL market listings, created by us. They are not
“out there for anybody to utilize.” Your excuse for
violating the law is ridiculous.

You copied and pasted our copyrighted material directly from
our website. We took screenshots of your illegal activities
when we first emailed you.

YOU STOLE OUR COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL – WORD FOR WORD. Just
because you “donate” your time to a writer’s group doesn’t
give you the right to violate federal copyright law.

You have 24 hours to remove our material from your website.
If you do not, we will send you an invoice ($750 per
violation). If you have stolen from us, you may have stolen
from others. We’ll be able to easily ascertain who those
victims are and we will notify them.

Penalties for violations of copyright law start at $750 per
occurrence. They go up from there for willful copyright
infringement. You stole three markets from us. $750 x 3 =
$2250. If you refuse to remove the material, that shows
willful infringement. You can be sure we aren’t going to
just let someone steal our material.

See: http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.html#512

“In a case where the copyright owner sustains the burden of
proving, and the court finds, that infringement was
committed willfully, the court in its discretion may
increase the award of statutory damages to a sum of not more
than $150,000.”

Shame on YOU for stealing from us and for claiming to be a
writer but clearly not understanding basic copyright law.
Your response to my request was insulting and
unprofessional. You stole material from us that we paid to
have produced. Your violation makes the markets less
valuable for our readers, which hurts our business. Remove
our material within 24 hours or we’ll be taking this to the
next level.

DONNA MARRIN AT MARKHAM VILLAGE WRITERS RESPONDS:

(Paraphrased)

She skulked away by saying she thought the info. was
accessible to anybody on the Internet and that she was
sharing the info. with other writers in her city. She then
wrote, “I’ve removed all three publications from our site.”

FINAL WORD

Anyone who plucks content from other websites without
permission should not be publishing articles for writers!

Angela Hoy is the co-owner of WritersWeekly.com and BookLocker.com. WritersWeekly.com is the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday. According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: “As close to perfection as you’re going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I’ve ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can’t go wrong here. Plus, they’re selective and won’t publish any manuscript just because it’s accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors’ books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know.”

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