Unpacking Copyright

This week around the house, I finally got around to unpacking some lingering boxes. Three of these were in the master closet, along with a garbage bag full of my husband’s clothes (that he obviously hasn’t really missed, but oh well…). DH installed the final closet organizer and shelves, so I did the unpacking.

What’s surprising is the amount of empty shelf space, along with half of a clothing rail. The rail will be filled when we bring up our extra coats from the basement, but the shelves? I guess I did a better job of decluttering before the move than I thought!

The other thing DH did was to tidy up and hang pictures in this little nook off of the great room. On the right is the door into our bedroom. I finally unpacked the several boxes of books there, and filled the bookshelf, and DH hung his family memorial items. I’m happy with how it turned out! There are still plenty of projects, but getting these done is a good feeling.

Learning about Copyright

This year, I set a goal to learn something about copyright once a month. Copyright is so important to writers, as it’s what gives our work value and enables us to make money from it, by preventing others from doing so without our permission (legally, at least). But there is so much nuance to it, and so many details.

A couple years ago for Christmas, I received The Copyright Handbook, by Stephen Fishman. I already knew the basics, like the fact that we have a copyright in our work as soon as it’s committed to paper, hard drive, or whatever other fixed form, and that holding a copyright does not require registration. I re-read Chapter One, which is a good reinforcement of the basics. On one level, I knew that it’s not required to put a copyright notice on the material for it to be copyrighted, but what I wasn’t clear on was that this isn’t even required by a publisher. The notice is more to reinforce the fact that it’s copyrighted to anyone who might be thinking of infringing, and deter those who might otherwise not realize the material is copyrighted. I also learned that the disclaimers that are inserted by publishers are mostly a tradition (and reinforcement to those who might unwittingly use the material otherwise), but not a requirement, though they were historically. The words “all rights reserved” were never a requirement except in Brazil and Honduras.

If infringement does occur, the author is likely to get a better settlement if the material bears a copyright notice. Without the notice, the infringer might owe a lesser settlement due to the possibility that they could have thought the material was in the public domain (i.e., not copyrighted).

What I’ve Been Reading

I’m still reading the final book in that fantasy box set, which is actually six short novels. That box set has been quite the deal, at $ .99, and has given me many hours of entertainment! I’m really enjoying the current book.

In nonfiction, I read Playing with Fire by Scott Rieckens. One thing I love about reading personal finance blogs is reading about the author’s journey out of debt and/or to being financially independent. Playing with Fire is such a story, about when the author realized he and his wife wouldn’t be able to retire until they were over 70, due to their paycheck-to-paycheck, luxurious lifestyle, and goes over the changes they made to get out of that cycle and work toward the life the really wanted. Recommended!

What I’ve Been Writing

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I met my writing goal this week of 450 words/day for five days, and a total of 2250 words. Actually, I exceeded it a little, and got over 2400 words, so that tells me I’m good to bump up my goal again! So this week, I’m going to shoot for 500 words/day, for five days, and a total of 2500 words.

I met my learning goals this time too, by learning something about copyright as noted above, and I also completed Week 4’s videos and assignment for the WMG Publishing “Teams in Fiction” workshop. This week, I want to complete the videos and assignment for Week 5.

What about you–have you unpacked anything interesting lately? What have you read recently? And how are you doing on whatever goals you might have, whether writing-related or otherwise? I’d love to hear from you–please share in the comments!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.