1. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Pratical safety measures

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by GuardianWynn, Dec 31, 2014.

    Now that I am writing more serious, and actually hitting the point of asking for beta readers. What are real standard safe ways to ensure your writing isn't stolen?

    I want to make it clear too. To me its always been about the story, while granted I would be sad if I didn't get my name on something. All the same if it was released as I intended I would be happy.

    So, I read that the safest thing to do is to enter people into a writing contract. But is that too extreme of a request from beta readers?
    How does a contract work?
    Can it be done on line?
    What makes you go "I trust this person" over "I getting it in writing"?

    Edit: DAMN! I hate when I see typos after I post it..... now I am sad. lol

    Is it pratically to get a patent? Can I get a patent?

    What do you do? and why? (That moment I have to admit, I don't even know all the questons to ask. lol )

    Thank you
     
  2. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    My advice: don't worry about it. I doubt if a beta reader (who is really doing you a favor) would sign any sort of agreement, anyway. Your work is copyrighted the minute you create it. If you want to go after someone legally for 'stealing' your product, you need to register the work with the copyright office.

    I would be thrilled if someone showed an interest in appropriating my stuff - it would show that someone other than me thought it had value.

    Best option, if you're still concerned, would be to not show it to anyone until you submit it for publication. Beta readers can be useful, I guess, but they aren't a necessity.
     
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  3. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Normally I don't worry. That is why I asked though.

    I figured before I became one of I dunno how many that made a stupid mistake for not asking, that I would, well ask. lol.

    Thanks for the advice
     
  4. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've never heard of a single case of a beta stealing someone's work, and if someone was inclined to do so, I don't really see how a contract would be a deterrent - they're obviously not too concerned about following the law, right?
     
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  5. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Fair enough. I wasn't sure if it was like a standard thing you guys do and I was the noob who didn't. Live and learn right?

    Thanks for the feedback
     
  6. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Typically, this isn't an issue. Use beta readers you trust if you are concerned about it. You can't get a patent on a story. You already have the copyright as a result of having created the work. You could register the copyright if you wish - it doesn't cost much. If you go with a traditional publisher, they'll do that later.

    Just keep records of your correspondence with beta readers, showing what you sent them and when.
     
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  7. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    If this is a concern, be sparing and, like was indicated, only use beta readers you trust. I'm figuring you're like most authors and won't just share it with anybody who raises their hand. A poor beta reader won't be of any benefit to you (or to them as they'd be wasting their time). How you define or determine poor can vary, but they should be well-read, be able to deliver honest opinions and legitimate concerns, and in a timely manner. They also have to be of the understanding that just because they recommend something, you're not going to automatically enact their suggestion.

    I will add that you want to deliver to your beta readers the absolute best version of the story you can, clean of typos and grammar gaffs and plot issues as you can. Fix all of the stuff you can, so that the beta readers can focus on what you missed and move your writing up a notch. Otherwise, they'll end up focusing on the stuff you could fix on your own anyway. Also, the better story...the better chance they would be willing to assist you in the future. Plus, it's rarely beneficial to have a beta reader read and provide input...then you fix, and ask them to read it again. There is probably very little they can add to what they already suggested--so that makes sending them the best is an imperative not to be readily overlooked.
     
  8. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I used to be paranoid about this years ago - I watched the 80's movie D.O.A. - lol. But I think the truth is everyone is too busy trying to write what they want, without trying to hijack anyone else's work. Doesn't mean you can't take precautions. Find beta readers you trust. Maybe hold back pieces of your work.
     
  9. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    What exactly do you mean by "stolen"? Are you afraid a beta reader will expose your writing to the public before you are ready? Are you afraid that a beta reader will claim to have written what you wrote, and that you will not be able to prove you wrote it? Are you afraid a beta reader will share your completed work with someone who otherwise would have bought it and brought you a profit?

    There are ways to prevent certain things from happening, but those methods cannot cover all scenarios you might refer to as "stealing".
     
  10. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    I suppose I was scared of a beta reader would try to steal it and claim it theirs.

    More on point I was just making sure I didn't fall into a common pit fall I was unaware of. Which it seems he agreed opinion is that beta readers are safe. So I feel better.

    Thanks everyone for your feedback.
     

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