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Booklet Tips From Paulette

Writing, producing, and promoting tips booklets for marketing, motivating, and making money.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Booklet Content - Original, Public Domain, or Someone Else's

You're probably like me, in that you hear and read lots of things about your topics of interest. When it comes to writing a booklet, it can be a challenge to know what you got from where. Was it something that you read or heard from someone else? Was it a notion you formulated all on your own? Was it a combination of things internal and external.

Now I am not an intellectual property lawyer, nor do I play one on television. I know there's not an original thought in my own booklet (now more than a million copies sold) and I know I have not stepped on anyone else's copyrighted materials. There are specifications about copyright law, which you can find at the Library of Congress Office of Copyright. Do a Google search to find their site. It's more information than you probably ever wanted to know in this or any other lifetime about rules governing copyright.

The short answer I give people about this is to stay away from anything that has a registration of service mark or trademark, for starters. And stay away from an acronym that someone has developed and has been associated with them consistently for a period of time. One example of this is as follows: one of the earliest Professional Organizers in the industry is a woman named Syephanie Winston. You may have heard of her. She created an acronym many years ago that described her approach to the only four things you could do with paper. The acronym was TRAF, which stood for Toss, Refer, Act, or File. If anyone uses that acronym and does not attribute it to Stephanie, she will have every right to legally come after you for copyright infringment.

Otherwise, use common sense and information in the public domain, things which are so basic that you cannot get yourself into any trouble in the process. And give a shot at what's on the US Copyright Office's site if you want some ironclad reference.

Until next time,


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