Dear Miss Snark (c)

According to Writer's Digest (can't remember what month), the writer (sender) of email and snail mail have all copyright, um, rights. In other words, if you wrote a book about with these bad querys in it, you'd have to obtain permission from the writer of the letters. By sending them to you, the writer doesn't give you rights.

Actually, if someone mails me a letter, it becomes my property. I can publish it without their permission, as you can publish my letters to you because they are yours.

A third party, such as a biographer or scholor however cannot publish letters to me without my permission thus some interesting episodes wherein permissions were not granted, or were withdrawn, and biographies had to be re-edited at the last minute.

This applies only to actual physcial letters sent to a person, not to things posted on a blog, for which I technically retain copyright, but yanno...copy at will, have at it.


Mindy Tarquini said...

This applies only to actual physcial letters sent to a person

Because I'm slow...physical letters also means emails?

Daddy told me never write down anything I wouldn't mind seeing on the front page of the New York Times.

For this reason, I do most of my communicating with semaphore.

Dhewco said...

Ummm, that's not what Writer's Digest says. But it wouldn't matter to me, blast my query all you want.


Bill Peschel said...

"Because I'm slow...physical letters also means emails?"

I would think not. Miss Snark is referring to the physical document, the letter, the piece of paper that you ran through the typewriter with your own two hands and signed with your pen.

Collectors love buying that stuff because it's one of a kind.

E-mails, however, don't have a physical presence that would have any value. There's no demand for a printout of an e-mail.