Occasionally, I Google my name to check what’s out there. As you know, I don’t write for free, not unless the article has a link to something I want to promote or sell, or unless it’s for charity. Any how, I was gobsmacked to find part of an article I had written for a well-known website back in 2002, published in an online newsletter of a business in Florida! Not only that, but a couple of lines had been added to it and attributed to me.
I saw red. There were no e-mail contact details on the site. So, I performed a search in ‘Who is?’ and found some details. I e-mailed them, saying I had not given permission for the article to be used, and I let them know I do not write for free. I asked for a payment of $100 for the extract they had taken from my article. I got an e-mail back saying they would contact the writer of the newsletter.
Ironically, the article in question was written for my counseling column and was about setting boundaries. I wrote another e-mail saying I felt my boundaries as a writer had been violated and if the matter was not resolved within the next few days then I would seek legal action. Shortly afterwards I received an apology from the person who had compiled the newsletter and $100 payment by Pay Pal.
We need to value ourselves as writers and not write for free unless we benefit from it in some way or we are doing it for a good cause.
So this tale has a happy ending. I hope they have learned their lesson about publishing people’s work without permission.
Lynette Rees is from South Wales and has had many articles published online and in print publications. Her previous publications include: Writers’ Forum, Vibrant Life, Writing for Dollars and Write Success. Lynette also writes fiction. Her romantic comedy, A Taste of Honey, was recently released by Samhain Publishing.
Visit her website here: http://www.lynetterees.com/