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Paying Market for Writers/Reviewers/Editors
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DonnaG
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

daniel abelman wrote:
tony or anyone else for that matter can write what the dickens they want as long as they dont break our COMMUNITY rules


While that may be technically true, daniel, I would like to remind people that if you write something that could be viewed as libelous (i.e. call a lawyer a crook without having some darn good evidence in your pocket to back it up), it will cause problems.
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rust



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DonnaG wrote:
daniel abelman wrote:
tony or anyone else for that matter can write what the dickens they want as long as they dont break our COMMUNITY rules


While that may be technically true, daniel, I would like to remind people that if you write something that could be viewed as libelous (i.e. call a lawyer a crook without having some darn good evidence in your pocket to back it up), it will cause problems.


Actually, in a private community forum, the question of libel is moot. Just as a club is private, so too is this site. And, the concept is extremely well defined, and is not as fuzzy as "insulting" or "hurtful" -- or other subjective moods.

Now, in PRIVATE communications (and this forum *is* private), saying that a lawyer is a crook is not lawfully prohibited. Expressing an opinion between private individuals cannot be taken to a public level, not even if the tenor of the communication is controversial in its veracity.

So, this means, that if I privately say that Donna is a Kool-Aid drinker... well, that may be controversial on one level, but verifiable on another. The statement has many different interpretations. But it can't be taken from this context and put into a public context.

Interesting, isn't it?
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DonnaG
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, perhaps we are misusing terminology here then, Dave. Statements posted within a private online community may not be actionable in a libel suit but defamation most definitely can be:
http://www.citmedialaw.org/threats/cretella-v-kuzminski#description

Dave Kuzminski lost this case last week and is facing a substantial monetary penalty. I believe he is looking into launching an appeal.
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JonP
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surely the problem with that one is that the relevant thread in Absolute Write Water Cooler is publicly visible?
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DonnaG
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, JonP. I had some momentary concerns about that today, too. But everything that's been said over there has also been said here.

This topic at TWI is also publicly viewable. You have to be a member to post anything, though.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right, terminology is king.

If I say that Harper is a crook, that is not actionable, however if I say that you, Donna, stole funds from your place of business, that would be.

However! if I can prove it, it may be actionable, but since it is provable the case would not be winnable.

If I state a general term, such as, be wary of ANY self-publishing scheme as it could be a scam, and say so in terms of a specific entity, it would not be actionable.

"Be wary of any self-publishing scheme, even Lulu, as it could be a scam" would not be actionable.

If I said something that is untrue, "Lulu is not a reliable publisher, as they stole my money and I got nothing in return", now that would be actionable.

In truth, I have had no experience with Lulu, and based on what I have seen, they have every appearance of being legitimate and trustworthy. To say that they "stole my money" (even if they took my money), would be actionable. There are certain terms of contractual agreement that limit their liability, and you would not enter into such an agreement without first indicating your acceptance. Therefore, to say that they "stole" -- an act of theft -- would definitely be defamatory.

Interestingly enough, there are many, many examples of predatory behaviour on the part of some publishers which would lead you to think that it would be hard to find a trustworthy one -- but, they do exist.

On the other hand, if someone starts threatening lawsuits and other actions because of criticism -- now that is something to think about. Human nature tends to make people defensive, especially when they tread on thin ice. The reactionary behaviour can be said to be a "tell" of their intentions.

In any case, if I were any one of the many people on this message board (and I suppose I am, now!) I would say, don't let ANYONE stop you from telling of your experiences, whether good or bad. The idea here is to disseminate information that will aid in publishing your ideas and those of others.

And that is why I have been publishing an online newspaper (yes, and losing money) because sometimes, the view from below is a little closer to the truth than the view from up high.

But, then again, a million visitors in three years isn't anything to scoff at...
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Effie
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DonnaG wrote:
This topic at TWI is also publicly viewable. You have to be a member to post anything, though.


Just to side-track a mo -

I can't see anything on TWI unless I log in. My maching has even stopped me from logging in automatically when I tick the 'remember password' box, or whatever it says when you log in.

Perhaps the best thing would be to lock this thread and say no more about it. Is that giving in? I don't know. I just hate all these threats and don't want to worry about people being upset.

This is different to someone giving a rejection for a piece of work or having to read a rotten crit someone has given - that is part of being a writer.

This is different - this is sinister. I don't like it.
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rust



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Effie wrote:
DonnaG wrote:
This topic at TWI is also publicly viewable. You have to be a member to post anything, though.


Just to side-track a mo -

...

Perhaps the best thing would be to lock this thread and say no more about it. Is that giving in? I don't know. I just hate all these threats and don't want to worry about people being upset.

...

This is different - this is sinister. I don't like it.


That is the Chilling Effect...
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DonnaG
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Effie wrote:
Perhaps the best thing would be to lock this thread and say no more about it. Is that giving in? I don't know. I just hate all these threats and don't want to worry about people being upset.

This is different to someone giving a rejection for a piece of work or having to read a rotten crit someone has given - that is part of being a writer.

This is different - this is sinister. I don't like it.


Yes, locking this thread would be 'giving in'. As I've stated a number of times here, we all have every right to ask questions about anything. Especially writing markets when those markets are advertising all over the internet and don't make their employment offers very clear.

I don't view MF as 'sinister'. He's obviously trying to set up a new venture. Nothing wrong with that. What I would like to see, though, is more information. Why would anyone apply for a job with MF Publishing London without asking the kinds of questions we're asking here?

When you apply for a job, it's very much a two-way street. You have to impress the employer with your education, job experience, skills and charm. In turn, the employer has to impress you with their vision, strategy, organizational structure and financial soundness.

So far, all MF Publishing London has given anyone is vague promises of some kind of freelance writing work. That's not professional, IMO.
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daniel abelman
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DonnaG wrote:
[...... I would like to remind people that if you write something that could be viewed as libelous (i.e. call a lawyer a crook without having some darn good evidence in your pocket to back it up), it will cause problems.



..... wow! now there i was, thinking that all lawyers were crooks. i'll stop thinking that immediately. thanks inkflow for setting me straight.

i somehow think that the MF has disappeared -- so this is all theoretical: -- if something libelous is posted, who is up shits' creek --- the poster or the admin/owner?


daniel
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Tony



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My goodness...

daniel, where on earth did all that come from?

Tony
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DonnaG
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

daniel abelman wrote:
DonnaG wrote:
if something libelous is posted, who is up shits' creek --- the poster or the admin/owner?


daniel


Answer to that one, daniel, is: possibly both. Depends on the nature of the beast (i.e. who said what to whom, in what context, etc.), who is making the legal charge, how good a lawyer each party can afford to hire, and what mood the judge happens to be in on the day the case appears in court.
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DonnaG
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I want to share with you part of an email I received today from Victoria Strauss. She is a published author of novels for adults and young adults and, more importantly in this context, she is an active member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, where she serves as Vice-Chair of the Committee on Writing Scams and the webmistress of the Writer Beware website. You can follow her here:
http://accrispin.blogspot.com/

Quote:
I've taken a look at the MF Publishing "blog" and the many places it has reposted its job solicitation online, and it looks unprofessional to me, especially in the lack of substantive information about the publisher or the site it claims to be setting up. Where is the money coming from to pay all these writers and editors? Why such an emphasis on new, unpublished writers (who may be less experienced, and therefore more likely to agree to low pay and/or author-unfriendly contract terms?) Who is behind MF Publishing? What experience do they have with setting up and/or running content sites? For these reasons, I would be very, very cautious about submitting until the site is actually up and running, and it's possible to assess quality, content, and terms of use. There may not be any nefarious intent here, but there are many things that can go wrong with a startup, especially if the people involved lack experience. In this case, just as with a new publisher, one of the most important things to determine is whether it can actually manage to publish anything.

Have a look at this blog post of mine from a while back, which discusses the implosion of a startup magazine enterprise. I was reminded of it while reading the call for writers posted on MF's blog: http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2007/09/victoria-strauss-laray-carr.html

I've seen the kind of legal threats made by MF many, many times. They are intended to intimidate; there's rarely any intention of following through. In my opinion, the remarks on your forum were pretty mild.


Thank you, Victoria!
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Effie
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And thank you Donna!

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! I missed all this!
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