Do you give permission to use your materials?

Subject: Do you give permission to use your materials?
From: "Megan Golding" <megan -dot- golding -at- dvtsensors -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L, a list for all technical communication issues" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2000 15:04:18 -0500

I work for a small company writing manuals . A customer of ours wants to
customize existing training manuals that I wrote. I wonder how frequently
writers give permission to use sections of their manuals. I told our
customer I'd waiver the copyright for them and provide them source documents
to take sections they need for their materials.

My reasoning is this: people buy our product based in large part on ease of
use. If my training materials make the software easier to use, then more
potential customers are our there. In addition, I don't see why this
customer should "reinvent the wheel" to create their custom materials when I
have a perfectly good base for them to build on.

I should be clear: I am not a consultant (I would never give away my work if
I was!), but rather I work for a company writing generic manuals. This
customer needs a customized manual. I am not in a position, at my job, to do
the customization for them. I have asked for final review of their finished
materials as a way to ensure quality (and that our company name doesn't come
up looking bad).

Do any techwhirlers give permission to others to use what they've written?
Does anyone see any really big pitfalls to this "open" approach where I make
my document source available to others to mold for their own uses?

Thanks in advance for your insight!

Megan Golding, Applications Engineer
DVT Corporation, mailto:megan -dot- golding -at- dvtsensors -dot- com

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