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Alan Bates 03-13-2009 08:05 AM

I like to think of myself as a generous man. I freely share my studies with other steamboat fans and historians. When asked, I have freely given permission to use my work providing credits are printed with the drawings. Lately, I keep finding sketches taken from my books, mostly the Western Rivers Steamboat Cyclopoedium, in other peoples' publications with no credit given.

When I wrote the book a critic from Academe' panned it because I did not use citations. There was no need, for the Cyclopoedium is an original work. Now, those lazy Academe' bums who write river-oriented books copy drawings from it and claim them as their own. Some of them hope to evade detection by mechanically reversing the sketches, by adding crude embellishment, or by whiting out parts, but they cannot deny their theft. It is sickening.

There is nothing I can do about it, of course. Litigation would only enrich attorneys at my expense.

This is a hurtful practice.

Franz Neumeier 03-13-2009 09:02 AM

Well, Alan, I see one thing you can do: Publish a list on the message board of who is using your sketches. It's pretty likely that people reading these papers also are reading and hence will learn about the theft :-)

R. Dale Flick 03-13-2009 09:19 AM

*RE: Plagarism/Fair Use/Infringement.'*
Hi, Alan & steamboating colleagues:
Interesting comments you made above Alan on what's been happening with your publications. Recently I've delved into this on behalf of S&D including discussions with Franz. Since September I've researched and written two basis papers on (C) Copyright and shared. I'll be glad to either do a 'Forward' in document form or mail copies to your home. No doubt you as a professional already know most of this already. I certainly don't want to belabor a topic discussed on here previously.

(C) Copyright, again, can be claimed by any creator of a writing, graphic, photo etc. in a tangible form of expression with creativity and originality. The matter of 'Innocent Infringement' when a party uses materials from another with no knowledge of (C) Copyright or that so being displayed. It's tricky, for sure. 'Fair Use' allows portions of minimal amount to be quoted or used with credit given to the original source. Copyright law is intended to protect the writer/creator but still recognizing that limitations would totally bring any scholarly research, writing, history to a halt. Such laws are said to "Protect the innocent grazing sheep from the maurading goats." Every poster on this web can claim (C) to their posting; yet Franz as web founder and manager really owns it. In many cases web sites are understood to allow further use of postings by others.

*Copyright Duration Chart*
1. Published/Created before 1923 - 'work' is in the Public Domain.
2. Published/Created 1923-1963 and (C) NEVER RENEWED - in the Public Domain.
3. " " 1923-1963 and renewed - (C) 95 years from first publication.
4. " " 1965-1977 AUTOMATIC RENEWAL and 95 years.
5. 'Created' but NOT published or registered before 1978: Single term of 120 years from creation for 'unpublished' works for hire [Job related] and unpublished or 'pseudonymous' works.
6. 'Created' before 1978 but published 1978 to 2002: Copyright expires Jan 1, 2048.

Unfortunately, most general publications outside of the leading classics, scientific etc. are regarded as having a 'usable' or 'shelf life' not more than 70 years--yet there are exceptions. Even some of Capt. Fred Way's books--or others penned recently by some we know--are being removed from library shelves for lack of circulation or interest. Anybody creating a body of work in writing etc. must officially register that work for protection to be safe. You don't need a visible (C) Copyright or (R) Registered Trade Mark but it is prudent to do so. Hope you get this matter corrected. As you say the legal cases involving such are more trouble and cost than worth the effort. Most cases are settled quietly between the parties out of court. Yet, some cases receive national asttention involving millions $$$. A claimant has to prove actual financial loss or other inconvenience. The highest courts also make no judgement on work that is ' poor taste.'

Well, what do I know?

Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River.

David Dewey 03-13-2009 12:22 PM

I've done a number of designs for my hometown, Dunsmuir, CA's Railroad Days (which, BTW, used to be copywrited, but now many towns use that name for their celebrations). I have on that I think is rather nice of SP1727 steaming past MtShasta and a nice pine tree. One year I found that design on a T shirt with a major brewery's logo on the other side being used for a different event.
I didn'tknow whether to take that as a compliment or a theft of work. I did tell the Railroad Days comittee that it would have been nice if they'd asked me first--maybe at least given me a few shirts (although I probably wouldn't wear one wht that other logo on it!).
So, all I can say Alan, is; I know from where you speak!
Keep the faith; hopefully our reward is a steamboat ride someday!!
David D.

Alan Bates 03-13-2009 02:30 PM

The Cyclopoedium is copyrighted and so marked under your paragraph 4.

This has been going on for years. Everybody who does something original is preyed upon by these skunks. The REAL problem is that litigation costs more than can be realized from it. I just suddenly got a belly full of it when I saw my drawings in two more books. If the authors had had the courtesy to simply give credit I would not object.

Following Franz's suggestion here are the two books:
Paddlewheelers on the Upper Mississippi by Nancy and Robert Goodman;
Packets to Paradise - Steamboating to Fort Benton by John G. Lepley.

I frequently "borrow" from the S&D reflector for my Old Boat Column. I credit the Reflector for the "loans." Further, the Waterways Journal has had an informal agreement with the S&D for decades for this use.

No author stands alone. All of us are dependent upon each other. I am griping about the discourteous rudeness of others taking credit for what I have done.

R. Dale Flick 03-13-2009 04:33 PM

*RE: (C) Copyright vs. (R) Trade Mark.*
Hi, Alan/David & steamboating colleagues:
May not be 'pure steamboats' but the topic above along with Alan's and David's dilemmas are worth discussing here. Again, I hate to belabor but if the topic is presented then comments are sure to follow. Another sticky issue is a work created by an individual in the work place as part of their profession on company time using company equipment [Or even at home or away from the work place] with salary and fringe benefits. Let's not go there now.

There's a difference between (C) Copyright and (R) Registered Trade Mark. (R) refers to logos, slogans, designs, product graphics, titles etc. David, if a (R) had been appended to the design you mention there 'may' have been some degree of protection. Take time to examing the labels sewn into clothing. You may see the (R) there--or some confusing lettering with a serial number--announcing the design or name is protected. Examples: NAUTICA, IZOD etc. Cruise lines also append (C) or (R) to their ads and company names. Example: 'The love boat,' 'Journeys to America,' 'Steamboatin' with red/white/blue color field etc. I recently saw a leading promo for CUNARD LINE [QM-2/QUEEN VICTORIA] in which the (R) appeared no less than about six times.

Again, people usually don't look or pay attention. Catching the culprit bootlegging a logo etc. is hard but can be done. Other times a logo or graphic is cribbed with just the slightest alteration of the design, wording, coloration, graphic etc. and can be gotten away with--but don't be too close. Sure makes life interesting and exciting, doesn't it?

Well, what do I know?

Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River.

Carl Jones 03-13-2009 11:42 PM

don't know much
I was told years ago that the makers of state highway maps, often made small mistakes, left off the name of some small town or a route number just for the purpose of catching someone else in the act of copying their map without permission or credit. But those were big companies going to considerable expense to do a map. That was in the days when I was doing PR for historical sites for the Nebraska State Historical society, 20 -30 years ago.

from the tops of the mountains

David Dewey 03-14-2009 12:48 AM

Tis true, I know the AAA maps of northern California show "Shasta Retreat" as a community north of Dunsmuir. It's actually an old Methodist camp that has been a neighborhood INSIDE the Dunsmuir city limits since the 1950s. I think it's still on their maps too!
David D.

John Jarrett 03-14-2009 01:06 PM

Alan I feel your pain and disgust. As a photographer, my images are stolen on a regular basis. When I worked on the AQ I actually walked up on two different PAX who were pressing their digital cameras up against the glass displays, which contained photos I had shot from the cruise. One man I recalled meeting as his family boarded at Mud Island. He told me to be sure to take lots of photos of his family during the cruise because he wanted to buy them all. When I caught him copying my images with his digital camera, some sixteen of his family, I was outraged. Of course, he never bought a single image. I do what I can to protect my livelihood by superimposing copyright over images on my web site, but I'm sure some thieves will print it anyway and tape it onto the fridge.

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