Personal Correspondence

If you are worried about infringement or your work has been copied and you want to take action.
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wryx10
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Personal Correspondence

Post by wryx10 » Thu Jun 05, 2008 7:05 am

I have recently found that a scan of a letter I wrote to my mother has been published by her in an autobiography which is being sold online.

Do I have any rights as far as getting the letter removed from the book? It is used out of context (if that matters).

I have contacted the publishers and they have stated they do not need to remove the letter as once it is sent it is technically published.

Is this correct?

Thanks.

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CopyrightAid
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Post by CopyrightAid » Sun Jun 08, 2008 6:29 pm

Wow - I have never heard of a case involving personal correspondence like this, so I'm afraid that I am guessing a bit ;)

The law states that copyright exists in any literary work from the point of creation. So fundamentally, I believe that unless you have give/sold or otherwise transferred the copyright in the literary work (the letter) then publication in this manner without permision would be an infringement.

I suspect there may be special rules that apply to personal correspondence, (needs research), but for a commercial publication like this, I believe you should have been asked for consent before publication.

If this is a big deal to you, and you cannot settle it ammicably, I suggest you take this matter to a solicitor - you may be able to apply for an injunction to prevent your material from being included in the book.

wryx10
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Post by wryx10 » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:11 am

Thanks!

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