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The Ins and Outs of Free Writing Contests
(free writing contests)
Free writing contests are available by the thousands. They are virtually a dime a dozen on the Internet. No matter what your niche is in the writing community there is a free writing contests out there for you. How do you know which ones to enter and which ones are legitimate? That?s simple. You do what you do best-- research.
While providing the story for the free writing contest will probably be the easy part, researching the thousands of available contests will be a daunting task. If this is un-chartered water for you, you have the start at the beginning. Finding what free writing contests are available. Grab a notebook or start a word document and list the contests that are available. Beside each contest name you will want to put what kind of writing they are looking for and when it needs to be done by. By doing this first you will be able to eliminate any that do not coincide with your writing niche or with your schedule.
Now the free writing contest research begins. Finding out if a contest is worthwhile and legitimate is comparable to running a background check on a person. First check the contest website. Do they have all contact information available? Do they tell you what company is hosting the contest? If they are not, you will have likely found warning number one that it is a scam. So scratch those off your list or at least move them to the bottom until you can find out more information on them. Start asking around to colleagues and writers groups. Search the writing forums and the Internet scam sites. The Better Business Bureau is also a good place to look.
Once you narrowed the free writing contests down to the legitimate ones, read the contest rules and regulations. Some contests require you signing over all rights to a story even if you don?t win. Are you willing to do this? Giving up rights to you writing is a lot easier to do when you are getting something in return. After you enter there is no going back, so make sure this is what you want to do.
The final thing you need to look for is if the contest is just a cover up to get you to buy services or products. This does not necessarily mean they are a scam or don?t actually award winners. It simply means that they will try to entice you to use their critiquing services or offer you a book at a reduced fee that your work will be published in. Being published sounds like a great deal but is it a book that carries prestige that people are going to see?
Many authors think that writing contests will launch their career into a successful endeavor. This is not the case, especially for free writing contests. Even winning the grand prize of a smaller known contest is not going to affect your literary journey. Even though they may not springboard your career, there are good reasons to join writing contests. You will get unbiased opinions and valuable feedback from the judges. If you make it into the higher rounds, editors could also see your writing.
Ultimately whether you enter a free writing contest the choice is yours. Just ask you self if the time spent writing and researching the piece you choose to enter is worth writing for free in most cases. The critique and feedback may be the most worthwhile thing you receive from the contest. But then again the judges opinions are a dime a dozen just like the contests.
What is copyright infringement What Is Copyright Infringement? The Layperson's Copyright Primer Copyright laws are constantly changing, and knowing exactly what copyright infringement is, whether you?re creating an eBook, publishing articles, using music as a backtrack to your podcast - or what have you - is essential to selling your online media. Although the laws change from one jurisdiction to another, knowing the basic rules of copyright infringement will ensure you?re following the proper rules of engagement when it comes to creating your works. Before you make any final decisions regarding the use of a work that has been copyrighted, please contact a copyright attorney to ensure you?re following the law ? this will keep you from being sued or, even worse, punished in a court of law. What is Copyright Infringement? Copyright infringement, as defined by Wikipedia.org, states: ?Copyright infringement (or copyright violation) is the unauthorized use of material that is protected by intellectual property rights law particularly the copyright in a manner that violates one of the original copyright owner's exclusive rights, such as the right to reproduce or perform the copyrighted work, or to make derivative works that build upon it. The slang term bootleg (derived from the use of the shank of a boot for the purposes of smuggling) is often used to describe illicitly copied material.? So, what is copyright infringement in plain English? It means that if you?re not allowed to use something, then don?t use it ? plain and simple. It can be very simple to get permission to use a work ? many times you?ll be able to use a ?sample? of music or excerpt of written work for a nominal fee, or small attribution. However, if you do not have the permission of the copyright holder ? whether it?s an author or a publishing house ? you can be sued for copyright infringement or worse. What is Copyright Infringement in America? In many jurisdictions, such as the United States of America, this act is known as a strict liability crime or tort (a tort is a civil wrong ? not a criminal wrong). This means that the person who infringes the copyright - whether intentionally or not - will be responsible for the damage or loss. Also, the prosecutor (in criminal court) or plaintiff (in civil court) must only prove that the act of copying was committed by the defendant ? they do not need to prove guilty intent. This means, even if you had no intention of committing copyright fraud or infringement, you can (and in present times, in many cases, WILL) be prosecuted, even if you used the material in good faith. What is Copyright Infringement in action? Many cases of copyright infringement are difficult to see to the layperson, because the violation is not limited to exact copying. In many cases, when something is inspired by another thing ? such as in music, when the inspiration of one song is used to create an entirely different song ? it?s difficult to see where the new product or ?thing? has crossed the line to something illegal. Some works aren?t even protected by copyright, such as compilation of facts that lack the creativity necessary to be covered by copyright, or works that are in the public domain because the copyright has expired. Knowing the difference is often very difficult to see, and because of this we?ve seen a number of copyright infringement cases in recent years, especially in tandem with the music industry. As you can see, copyright infringement is a very difficult, albeit necessary, act to define. However, if you make sure that you?re using works that are in the public domain, or have long since been out of copyright (think Beethoven or Frankenstein) you?ll be safe. Do you fair research, and if you have any questions contact a copyright lawyer and ask ?what is copyright infringement? to learn the most up-to-date information for your jurisdiction.
Copyright lawyer rating Determining what's in a Copyright Lawyer Rating You can find a copyright lawyer rating these days by doing a quick search online or by subscribing to a mailing list to the copyright lawyer guild. What goes into determining a copyright lawyer rating may be how many cases he/she has won or lost? The person that has won the most cases will be at the top of the rating chart, however someone that just comes in may be at the bottom for lack of experience. If you are searching for a copyright lawyer you will want the best but keep in mind that if they already know their copyright lawyer rating is high, their price might be raised more than the others in the field. So, make sure this is someone you want to represent you or to do your filing. If you are simply getting a copyright you probably don?t have to have the best and can go with your average rating. Someone suing you for copyright infringement or something else means you may want the best; you don?t want one that had a bad copyright lawyer rating. Do you? Today many companies are offering their own little search areas for towns, you might find a whole list of companies that need reviews and chances are those that are all bad rating are from one person. These sites are very new and popping up everywhere, the only way to find out how true the copyright lawyer rating, is by asking them. Another way they do a copyright lawyer rating is by passing out a few sheets of papers with a bunch of copyright lawyers names on them and having their peers rate them. I don?t really consider this fair because someone with the same amount of time and wants to be top in the field may mark their competition down just to get up on top. Not to mention how can they rate them when they may have never heard of them. Do you give that person a bad rating or a one star because you have no clue how they perform? Do you leave it blank? Find out why a copyright lawyer rating got the marks they did. Keep in mind that a client that didn?t win a case can have it out for them and rating them bad or review them as bad in every site that they can, which can cause a big drop in ratings, especially if they are new. Not all lawyers like that fact that just about anyone can rate them online these days, it was easier when their ratings only went with what cases they dealt with, how many they represented and their win/lose streak. There is a website called Martindale, it gives you ratings of many lawyers. This is a great site to come view to find lawyers in all types of fields, not just copyrighting. Explore it, there are a ton of reviews written by lawyers and clients, there are also legal articles, cases, events and much more for you to look at. Don?t forget about the peer ratings, which you can find person most qualified to help you. This is one place that does seem fair when giving out their copyright lawyer rating, they make sure that the top person can only be rated if they?ve been in that field for over 10 years, which makes it fair to a person that has very little experience. They won?t be on the rating list which means they won?t be at the bottom of the list. Remember, if your copyright lawyer rating isn?t up there doesn?t mean he/she is bad, they may have requested not to have it published or may not have been in the field long enough to be judge. The best judge for them will be you.