Re: Ethics, ownership of product, and suchlike

Subject: Re: Ethics, ownership of product, and suchlike
From: Tom Murrell <trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2003 09:57:00 -0800 (PST)

--- Bonnie Granat <bgranat -at- editors-writers -dot- info> wrote:
> The following sentence appeared in an e-mail that a prospective client sent
> me:
> What we are really looking for is someone that may have already
> put together a brochure for another company and we want to use this as a
> template so as too save time and money.
> ----------------
> I responded that using a brochure created for another company is "usually not
> done by professional writers." Am I mistaken about this?

I may be mistaken (but I don't think so <g>), but it seems we're talking about
ownership of content vs. ownership of structure. I would expect that the content of
a previously developed brochure would belong to the organization for which it was
developed. However, the structure of such a brochure would not. That would allow
this organization to borrow the structure of such a brochure and use it as a
template, as they suggest.

However, they could do that by simply obtaining a copy of a brochure they like and
using that as a template. They wouldn't need the writer who developed it to provide
the brochure/template. That makes me think there is, at best, a misunderstanding of
what they need. At worst, they want to do a "me too" document that might, in fact be
a violation of copyright law. (As always my legal advice is worth what you're paying
for it. You want good legal advice, see a lawyer.)

FWIW, I think my reaction would end up being the same as yours.

Tom Murrell
mailto:trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com Last Updated 02/12/2003
--God save The United States of America--

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Ethics, ownership of product, and suchlike: From: Bonnie Granat

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