Monday, February 13, 2012

And then breaking through the concrete

The nasty discoveries of the week-end took time to resolve, and as should be abundantly clear to me, I don't have any time to spare.  However, defending the rights of creative people, whether they are visual artists, performers, or writers, has long been one  of my priorities.  Way back when I was pointing out how much of Ginna Gray's  RWR workshops were lifted word for word from  Shelly Lowenkopf's 1982 article in The Writer to calling Romantic Times with the information that Sylvie Sommerfield had copied Jan Westcott's The Hepburn to letting Nora Roberts know via our little nascent group on AOL that there appeared to be passages in books by her friend Janet Dailey that a reader had spotted as copied.  It's ugly to think that someone steals like this, as if the words and ideas and visions come into our heads are nothing but randomly firing neurons and therefore free for the taking.

Sometimes, however, there can be small nuggets of gold in the tons of black sand.

Yesterday, while trying to track down the non-fiction works that had been stolen and self-re-published by "Robert Wiseman," I came across the original of one of them:  Time Management for Creative People:  Manage the mundane - create the extraordinary by Mark McGuinness.  Published online in 2007 as a PDF, the 32-page ebook contains the following copyright notice:

This e-book is published under a Creative Commons License which allows you to copy and distribute the e-book as long as you keep it intact in its original format, credit the original author and do not use it for commercial purposes.
As someone who has difficulty managing time to find enough for my creative endeavors, I was immediately intrigued by this but I had to put off reading it until I could notify the author of the apparent theft and then deal with all the other household chores that needed to be taken care of on a Sunday afternoon before dashing out for supper at the Asian buffet. 

When we returned from supper and had let the dogs out and so on and so forth, I turned on the computer and discovered that all of the Kevin Peters/Robert Wiseman had been removed from Amazon.  Yessss!

I wondered, however, if Mark McGuinness, in the UK, would ever find the infringing works.  The answer to that question was in my e-mail box this morning.  He looked and couldn't find them.  This gives me the happy task of letting him know they've been removed and pointing him to this blog and the Dear Author discussion for the details.

In addition, I have been introduced to the work of Mark McGuinness. 

I have to do something to break through the concrete of reading bad books and taking on new projects.  I have to focus on the essential.  Maybe stumbling across all those horrible book titles was a karmic seremdipity.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I need to tend to the urgent -- the day job -- and then get on to the creative.


  1. Linda Hilton is my hero. Thank you!

    1. You are more than welcome, Kate. Maybe it's karma, I don't know. Your book is set in 1884 New York; I'm currently revising my book sent in 1884 Arizona and preparing it for e-publication on Amazon. But whatever it was, as soon as I realized the books had been stolen, I saw red. I had to do something. I'm glad it worked out so quickly. Let's hope it never happens again.