Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Blog etiquette / copyright issues - any advice?

I have lots of stuff to blog about, but I'm holding back a bit... I need to move ahead some of the writing projects that constitute my job (rather than my hobby). Yesterday I spent more than eight hours on my 1200-word "column" for the ezine and it still doesn't feel done to me.

Several longer and more complicated writing projects have been languishing for months. I love writing, and these are fun projects - I'm eager to work on them. Yet I feel bad about what is undone and unsure what it will take to get them unstuck. Well, for starters, some loving attention.

So there you have it, my love/hate relationship with the writing life.

I also have an ethics/etiquette question about whether it's OK to post some things I've assembled for this blog. I have several more reflections on joy, responding to "Champagne for the Soul." I thought I'd make it a five-part series. But after I had it all written up, I checked to see how much of the book I was actually quoting. When I added up the quotes in the five posts, they totaled 900 words.

Is that right? legal? I might be able to track down the author and/or publisher for permission, but where do those boundaries actually lie? What's the line between being a fan and being a thief? I have been involved in publishing long enough that I ought to know, but I don't. Do you?

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