Letters To The Editor For November 3rd

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24-Hour Short Story Contest

I imagine you get a lot of positive feedback on your 24-Hour Short Story Contest, but even so I will add mine to your batch as well. This was my first ever writing competition and my first ever short story, and I found your contest to be exhilarating, exhausting, stressful and thrilling all at the same time!

I very much appreciate the honorable mention recognition for my story. It helps keep me eager to do more of what I love.

Sincerely,
Judy W.

Does That Website Really Own The Photo They Just Gave Me Permission To Use? Not Likely!

I have to say I appreciate both you and Chuck for being careful of image rights. Thre are a lot of people out there who figure no one will ever know, so no one should care. I’ve had unpleasant experiences dealing with such people, one of whom was a former boss (and that cavalier attitude toward copyright, both image and text, was one of the major reasons I left).

Stock photo sites do give you a lot of options for low cost, but if they don’t have what you need, then you might try looking for forum or portfolio sites for photographers and/or graphic artists/designers. Try a lot of them; the wider the net, the more likely you’ll find what you need. If a work has been posted online, then chances are that someone will recognize it, and image creators are just as defensive of each other as writers are – if you say you’re looking for the legitimate rights holder of a given image because you’re trying to get permission, they’re likely to point you in the right direction. Yes, it may take some time, or you might get lucky right out of the gate. It’s hard to say.

Whether you can afford the proper rights is another matter. Before the microstock sites like istockphoto became common, stock photography was a decent way to make a living, often running hundreds of dollars for a single image. (Have you ever browsed Getty Images? Pricey.) You might have more success requesting a similar photo from a photographer who posts at microstock sites. It won’t be identical, but you should be able to get the necessary elements. Who knows? The new composition might be even better.

A site that has permission to use a photo can give the photographer’s name (and usually ought to list it by the photo) or the name of the stock site that sold it, which will have the photographer’s name for all photos. If they don’t have the name, they don’t actually have the image rights.

Lauryl

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