cupidsbow (cupidsbow) wrote,

Copyright Dilemma

So I got an email the other day that made my go like this: O_O

It was an official-sounding copyright agency saying that I was owed money for the reproduction of one of my online essays, and please get in touch so they can pay me.

And... I had indeed copyrighted those essays, so that corporations couldn't take them for free and make money off them (this was before CC was something I knew about). But if I'd been asked, I would have likely granted the academic use I suspect the essay was put to without charge. (I haven't heard back from the agency yet with details, so I'm not sure what the use was.)

I posted those essays to the web so that any scholar could use them as a resource, free of charge.

I dunno what to do about this. Maybe give the money to the EFF? That sounds about right.

Has this ever happened to any of you?

When I put up my new website I'll CC everything, so hopefully this won't happen again... although if the money is a lot (which I highly doubt), there's a temptation to keep everything copyrighted and send all future proceeds to EFF and Creative Commons. That seems ethically dubious though, given my stance on the public domain. Right? Right? *sigh* Darn ethics.

This entry was originally posted at
Tags: copyright, ethics
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