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  1. Sparkle
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    Sparkle Member

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    Protecting a manuscript

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Sparkle, Sep 1, 2008.

    How is the best way to do it?

    It's very easy to discuss your novel on the internet, and to even show extracts from it - but isn't that taking a risk?
     
  2. Iaevich
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    In Britain at least copyright is automatic, but that doesn't prevent someone from taking your ideas and creating new copy.
     
  3. Sparkle
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    So basically, it isn't a good idea to give anything away!
     
  4. TWErvin2
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    With respect to writing, you cannot copyright an idea.

    It is never wise to post your manuscript on line, simply for reviews. Posting a full manuscript = loss of first electronic rights, at least in the eyes of many publishers (there have been threads on this forum that have discussed similar topics this at length).

    If you want to post a section of a chapter of a novel for a crit/review in a password protected forum, that is okay, as I see it.

    If you're going to post more the forum should have restricted access resulting in a small group of members only who have password access, such as with an online crit group.

    Otherwise, it is impossible to 'protect' a manuscript. If you photocopy or email a copy to a friend or family member, then the possiblity of someone else having access to it technically exists.

    Honestly, the chances of someone stealing an aspiring author's manuscript and submitting it as their own is very unlikely. Even so, by only posting small sections, a writer avoids this remote possiblity entirely.

    Hope that answers your question.

    Terry
     
  5. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I should add, it is virtually impossible that posting an idea online would result in someone stealing a novel. If I give a group of writers a 50 word description of my idea for a novel, will any of them be able to produce a novel that resembles (or even come close to) what I would write based on that idea?

    Coming up with an idea for a novel is the easy part. Executing it to the level that it is accepted for publication, that is the hard part.
     
  6. mistressoftheflies
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    mistressoftheflies Member

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    I don't think anyone would steal it in any case, especially if it's unfinished.
    Besides, you shouldn't be handing out your novel online anyway.
    Edit it yourself, post a chapter of section for review, then send it off to the publishers!
    Assuming you're aiming for that, of course. :]
     
  7. Scarecrow28
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    I'm very paranoid about my novel and just try to limit any mention of the novels content whatsoever. And when I do, I just state very general things, nothings that really important to the novel, like the genre or style.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    actually, terry, it = loss of 'first rights' period... electronic, or otherwise...
     
  9. TwinPanther13
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    That is my only problem first rights that is why I do not put too much outh there.

    As I was reading it though if i post a novel online I have the rights to it. Only in the instance of a trial or any kind of buying of rights do you have to have a legal copyright.

    But as Cogito is found of saying no idea is original. It has all been done before in some way. So sharing the premise and genre and that is ok cause I am sure someone has thought of it before you or me.
     
  10. Ungood
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    Writing is like baking a cake.

    Anyone can get the recipe, know the parts, and even possess the tools to do the job, (Flour, eggs, Mixer, Icing, sugar, etc) but it is the skill of the baker that separates a good cake from a mediocre one.

    No idea just like no cake is truly unique, all the parts are the same in the end of things, it is the way the baker puts the cake together that makes it unique or awe inspiring.
     
  11. Dcoin
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    Dcoin Contributing Member

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    I like your an analogy very much, but if the person takes your idea and publishes it (even in small media), it prevents you from ever developing that idea again. In other words… the cake they make may stink, but it will forever become their cake.
     
  12. Acglaphotis
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    I wouldn't post a manuscript, not even a full chapter online. Just a small excerpt to give to some people for a couple of reviews.
     
  13. BillyxRansom
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    BillyxRansom Active Member

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    Tell that to Tolkien.
     
  14. Ungood
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    That is incorrect.
    and why people should consult the actual sources of things before they take anyone's word for anything.

    There are a lot of misgivings about copyright and what it means.

    One of the main ones is that a work needs to be published. This is not true.
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ideas can NOT be copyrighted!... if they could be, no new fiction would ever be written... don't ever give or take advice that you haven't checked out at the source:

    www.copyright.gov
     
  16. Dcoin
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    I stand corrected, thank you
     
  17. Unknown Deity
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    Unknown Deity New Member

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    While jk rowling was writing the first book of harry potter she already had the final chapter of the 7th book written, she stored it in a bank
     

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