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I have a question related to the part of this thread about using
proprietary information in a writing portfolio.
What if the work you hope to include in the portfolio is copyrighted by
your previous employer, but the employer makes the information freely
available on the Web as part of its public Web site?
In other words, what if the information includes no trade secrets of any
kind, is freely available to the public, but is copyrighted by the company?
Could creating a short portfolio of selections from such documents be
considered "fair use," since the copies are not being republished or
offered as a substitute for the originals, they are not being sold for
profit, and such copying does not affect the market for the originals? How
would prospective employers view the use of such material by an applicant?
Yesterday Lisa Wright <liwright -at- rmi -dot- net>, wrote:
>> Is it reasonable to
>> just use them [selected examples] anyway, without permission?
> You need to consider a couple of things: is the subject proprietary and/or
> confidential? Could anyone gain a competitive advantage over your current
> company? Perhaps more importantly, would your current company *perceive*
> that their confidentiality has been violated if they found out?
> I believe it's very important for your future employers, particularly if you
> are going into contracting, to believe that you are a trustworthy
> individual. Why would they hire you if you're just going to turn around and
> show confidential information to the next company you interview with? They
> will understand if you can't show them actual manuals. I've used the
> following techniques to demonstrate the breadth of my experience without
> violating anyone's trust: