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Communication Key to a Better Work Environment Everyone knows the story of A Christmas Carole. On Christmas Eve, poor Bob Cratchit, who is working late again, spends his day working up the courage to ask his boss, Mr. Scrooge, if he can have Christmas Day off from work to spend with his family. When he finally does get up the nerve to ask, Mr. Scrooge lets forth a tirade over lazy people using Christmas as an excuse to have a day a off from work. This fictional story unfortunately rings true for a lot of people who have to work up the courage to ask for things from their employers. An employee who has to feel about their employer the way Bob Cratchit felt about Mr. Scrooge is not a very happy and productive employee. To get the most of out of your workers, you have to create a much more hospitable working environment. To create a better working environment, keeping the lines of communication open is absolutely crucial. How does communication work in your office? Do you get the impression that everyone is walking around on eggshells around you? While this kind of fear from your employees may be good for your ego in some senses, it is really bad for your business. When your employees don?t feel like they can talk to you, you will lose control over what is going on with your business. You may be the boss, but your employees are the ones who are actually on the front lines. To know what is really going on out there, you need your employees to communicate honestly with you. If they feel that you are unapproachable, they will hide problems and concerns from you, and you won?t be able to act to fix them. You can?t expect to run your business with half of the information about what is actually going on, and so your business will suffer for your ?mean boss? routine. There are still other problems with creating an office environment in which your employees feel like you are unapproachable. In general, there will be a dark cloud over the office when you are around. The stress will keep employee morale low, and employees with low morale are employees with low productivity. Besides, who wants to work hard for someone they cannot approach or who doesn?t show they any respect? Shutting down those lines of communication will definitely affect your bottom line as employees ?phone it in? because they don?t feel invested in making your business a success. If you want a better working environment, you have to improve the lines of communication. If there has been a communication breakdown in the past, take the time to address it with your staff. If you staff is small, talk to them each one on one, letting them know that your door is always open and that you want more regular communication with them. If you have a larger staff, schedule a meeting to address the issue. Weekly office meetings are a great way to keep communication channels open and swap ideas in the office environment. If weekly meetings are not feasible, find some way of touching base with your staff on a regular basis, either through weekly emails or a weekly newsletter. Also, you should encourage your staff to communicate with each other. Sharing information among the staff is a great way to generate fresh ideas and fresh approaches to problems. If your office is suffering from a communication problem, make nipping it in the bud a priority. The pay off will be more productive workers and a whole lot less stress. Who knew work could actually be a pleasant place to be?

Movie Copyright Law College Students Are Being Targeted For Breaking Movie Copyright Law Many people have taken up the hobby of downloading movies and songs on the Internet and sharing them with their friends and family online. However, this is direct violation of the movie copyright law. Not surprisingly, the biggest violators of the movie copyright law are students. It is not surprising that the movie industry sector is sending out copyright infringements claims to college universities around the country. One reason that college students may be the hardest hit when it comes to violations brought against them for infringing on movie copyright law is that they are not aware of how serious a crime it truly it. Many college students who have suits brought against them are shocked, to say the least. They question why they were not warned about the perils of downloading movies and songs online and passing them along to friends. However, with the rise of claims that are being handed down, no one can claim ignorance for much longer. Word is being spread near and far that if you are engaging in illegal downloading and/or sharing then you can be brought to court. College students are learning the hard way that it is against the law and in violation of the movie copyright law to share or download copyrighted material. Many colleges and universities are now stating in their handbooks that it is against the law and the university rules to illegally download movies, music and other forms of media online using a school computer. In addition to illegal downloading and sharing software, the files take up space on the computer systems and use a considerable amount of bandwidth. While most universities and colleges will not look at the content an individual has -- they can isolate and identify the individuals who are hogging up the bandwidth by using illegal file sharing software. The movie and music industries have stepped in and are demanding restitution for illegally downloaded movies, music and other forms of copyrighted media. They have detection agencies that have the technology to identify and trace copyright infringements straight to their source. Once the computer is located they can notify the university or the college that they are in violation. The university will be told that they have a copyright infringement claim against them. Based on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act once the computer is isolated Internet access is terminated to that computer and court proceedings can begin. Does this sound far fetched? Well, it is not. You should know that in April of 2003 four students were sued by Recording Industry Association of America. These students attended Princeton, Michigan Technical University and Rensselear Polytechnic Institute. One student alone had an estimated liability of $150 billion. When you consider that you can be charged $750 per song that is illegally downloaded, the total can add up fast! The good thing is the lawsuits against the college students were settled for amounts less than $20,000. That is not pocket change for college students ? or anyone for that matter! Movies and music are meant to be enjoyed. However, illegally downloading movies and music is not much different than walking into a video store and sticking DVDs and CDs in your pocket. Be careful. You do not want to be caught violating the movie copyright law.

Ghost Writer: Who Uses Them and Why (ghost writer) A ghost writer is someone who is hired to write for another person under their name. In most cases ghostwriters do the work while the hiring person gets the credit. The use of a ghost writer is huge business. People in virtually every aspect of life could use a ghost writer. A ghost writer will need the ability to become the person they are writing for. The writer has to be able to use their mannerisms, their words, and their way of speaking. The writing must read like they are coming from the person themselves. Being a ghost writer means that you give absolutely all rights to the credited author. You will need to decide if it is worth it for someone else to take credit for your work. There will be confidentiality clauses in your ghost writing contracts. They will state something to the effect of legal action will be against you if the writing is reproduced by you in any way shape or form. There are many reasons why a person would use a ghost writer. Celebrities and public figures use ghost writers to write their biographies and memoirs. Ghost writers are hired to make celebrities sound as interesting and compelling as possible. Their purpose is to pen the stories into best selling books. Motivational speakers may use ghost writers to write self help books. Just because they are great speakers does not mean they can pen the words on paper. Or they just may simply not have the time. There are many types of ghost writing opportunities available. Non fiction writing would be your biographies, autobiographies, how to books, and memoirs. A ghost writer?s role in non fiction could range from the very minimal to the most complex. They may be given an almost complete manuscript and asked to add some finishing touches. Or they may have to start at the bottom collecting research and following the project through until publication. Accomplished fiction writers may use ghost writers to carry on a series of books after the author has passed or to carry out the series while they work on new ventures. The Author may have an established pen name that they use a ghost writer for while they write under the real name. Ghost writers are often used for scripts and screen plays. They are hired to finish and polish the writings of the authors. High school and college students will hire ghost writers to write their entrance essays, thesis, and term papers. Although this may seem unethical, it is legal. The writing and selling of the paper is perfectly legal. It is when the student turns the paper in as his or her own writing that it turns into an illegal action. The political venue for ghost writers is to correspond to the letters that they receive. Official will review the letters before being sent. A political speech writer is often considered a ghost writer. But others will argue this since it is public knowledge that political officials do not write their own speeches. In order to succeed as a ghost writer you must have excellent writing skills and often be able to take on the personality of the credited author. You must also be a great sales person in order to sell your service and be able to prove that you are the best possible choice for them to use you in their endeavors. Making the decision if ghost writing is right for you may be a difficult one. It is often hard for writers to give up all rights to their work.

Software copyright statement A Software Copyright Statement Protects Current and Future Works If you have a site that is dedicated to the sharing and distribution of open source software it is a great idea to have a software copyright statement that explains the limits of use for your software as well as the limits of your responsibility for those uses. I also recommend getting an attorney to look over the statement before posting it just to be sure there are no legal issues that you may be unaware of. A software copyright statement doesn't have to be a 10 page booklet on the law or the protections that copyright offers, it should be a simple short paragraph stating the basics and hopefully covering your rear from litigation and/or responsibility should someone use the software you are allowing them to use for something insanely stupid or frighteningly criminal while establishing your ownership of the material and expectations of those you are allowing to use your creation. This for some is a no brainer because they've done it before and know the ropes. There are new software developers born and made each and every day and this type of software copyright statement may serve to save them a little grief of their own some day. If you are being kind enough to freely share the software you created with others, you'd like to think that they would at least return the favor of using it within the letter of the law or the manner in which it was intended. This, however, is rarely the case so protecting yourself, your copyright, and your future interests by posting a software copyright statement on your website is really the best way to go in a situation such as this. Trust me I'm not trying to talk anyone out of sharing his or her software with the world. I rather like open source software and admit to using it freely (no pun intended). I love saving money almost as much as I love playing around with new technology. Software allows me to do that and find likes and dislikes about all kinds of programs. Issuing a software copyright statement is one way of protecting your investment of time, effort, energy, and sheer brilliance in the making and design of your technological masterpiece. Hopefully that flattery will keep you going a bit longer at any rate. It is important to know that a software copyright statement is only part of the process required to protect your software but for the most part poses a significant deterrent to those that would abuse your copyright and/or your kindness in allowing the distribution of your software. Even if you are charging people for the use of your software (we are a nation of capitalists after all) you still need to protect the labor you have put into making not only the software but the distribution method, the website, the payment method and the thousands of other things that are part and parcel of the business model for your software distribution. Your software copyright statement is a very small protection for your software don't expect it to be the brunt of your protection. Most of the software developers, coders, and programmers (and any other name you wish to call them) that I know aren't as concerned nearly as much about associating their name with the products they create as they are with protecting future potential income from both the products they are currently designing and the future, improvements they will make to the software and the much improved finished product that comes later. By protecting all your work with a software copyright statement you are not only protecting current works but future works as well.