Authorized Content Versus Illegal Use
It has come to my attention that on Jan 20, 2017, Citizen’s Companion/Lakeway Publishing illegally re-published an article of mine from many years ago on their website.This was done in direct contravention of the publishing agreement under which the article was submitted, which provided First North American Publishing right *only*, and limited reprints dependent upon my permission. No such permission has been grated for any Lakeway/Citizen’s Companion issue, on-line or in print, since the departure of Connie Payne as editor. Every piece submitted under Susan Hughes and Connie Payne was submitted with the same FNAS rights statement, whether the piece would have my byline, or would be included without specific credit (such as in the oft-reprinted Special Editions, all but the first of which were reprinted without my permission.)
Lakeway/Citizen’s Companion use of my work is not just illegal it is inexcusable and lazy. Inexcusable because the ability of authors to direct the publication and republication of their own work is fundamental to intellectual property law, and anyone in publishing has the obligation to know this, and abide by the terms under which work is originally submitted.
The sheer volume of information I choose to share with the living history community is clear evidence of my desire to make that information available–but under MY terms, to protect MY professional reputation and ability to support my family with my work.
When Lakeway/Citizen’s Companion chooses to ignore my legal copyright, they put me at risk. Without that request to republish, I have no chance to update the research and information included. Research is not stagnant. It moves forward. The information I shared 15 years ago, 10 years ago, 5 years ago, 1 year ago—it may all be superseded by things I discover or connect next week. Without a secondary publisher meeting the actual terms of prior article submissions, readers don’t get the benefit of that ongoing research, and may be led to discount my professional reputation, which harms my ability to continue to do what I love.
I have had the same two email addresses publicly available for over 18 years. I can be contacted very easily through Facebook (on The Sewing Academy page, or my personal page, or through any number of hobby-related groups), or through my own websites. I am in the phone book. There is zero excuse for a lack of contact from Lakeway/Citizen’s Companion. If they had wanted to abide by the legalities of using my work, they had ample avenue to do so.
Please note that if you want my most updated research, you can contact me. If you want to publish something I have written, you MUST contact me. All of my work is protected under copyright, and permission must be requested to republish it, whether physically, or in digital form.
If you see articles of mine being republished by Lakeway/Citizen’s Companion, please know they have done and are doing so without legal permission, and please do take a moment to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know, which allows me to contact them *again* and request that they cease illegally republishing my materials.
Even with my byline added (not my complete short bio, which gives readers the ability to contact me!), what they’re doing by republishing without consent is illegal, and not fair use. They continue to profit (through digital and on-line subscriptions) by work for which I was not paid (because I submitted them for publication with Mrs Hughes and Mrs Payne with strict copyright transfers of FNAS rights ONLY, in exchange for receiving a complimentary subscription to cover the publication dates.) It is MY choice to make MY work available for free…. no outside publisher gets the right to do that, and co-opting my work for unauthorized republication is both inappropriate and unethical.