RE: Client misunderstanding of public domain

Subject: RE: Client misunderstanding of public domain
From: "Al Geist" <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>
To: "'Traci Pearson'" <pearsontechcomm -at- comcast -dot- net>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2007 22:00:01 -0400

Traci Pearson wrote:

>I've got a client who insists that I use content
that is posted on the Web in a manual I'm doing
for them. Not only that, they want me to edit the
content to match the style of their manual.

I told my client they'd better get express
permission, preferably in writing, to actually
use that content in their own manual (which will
have my client's copyright on it) as well as permission to edit that

One of their (my client's) managers said, No,
they don't have to. It's posted on the Internet
and therefore it is now "public property."<

Hi Traci,

Sounds like your client wants a whopping big lawsuit dropped on his/her lap.
Things posted to the Internet are not in the public domain unless the
originator of the material expresses in writing that it is free for the

I won't call that manager an idiot...okay, I will call him/her an idiot, and
an ignorant one at that.

Here is a website that may help you. Also check out the U.S. Copyright

Al Geist
Technical Writing, Help, Marketing Collateral, Web Design and Award Winning
Voice/Msg: 802-658-3140
Cell: 802-578-3964
E-mail: mailto:al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com
URL: (Online portfolio and resume)
See also:
URL: (Fine art photographic prints for home or
office and beautiful note cards for all occasions.)


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Client misunderstanding of public domain: From: Traci Pearson

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