Copyright Companion for Writers
By Tonya Evans-Walls, Esq.
Legal Write Publications, 2007
Paper, size 8.5 x 11
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Review by Patricia L. Fry
I often refer to Tonya Evans-Walls’ book, Literary Law Guide for Authors and I’m pleased to now have this companion book with everything legal one needs to know about writer’s rights. For example, what is fair use and how is it different from public domain? How is copyrighted work protected on the Internet and internationally? What do freelancers and songwriters need to know about copyright? I am also intrigued by the concept of permissions, which Evans-Walls covers in this volume.
I often get questions involving permissions—when do you need them? Evans-Walls includes some fascinating commentary on this subject. According to this author/expert, it doesn’t matter if something you report in your story is true, there is something called "the right to privacy." She recommends a well-written disclaimer for a historical novel, letting readers know that the story is fictitious.
Evans-Walls, a former member of SPAWN, is a literary and intellectual properties attorney, so she knows what she’s talking about.
Anyone who is concerned about copyright infringement—and this should be everyone who writes for publication—needs this book. You’ll find the copyright protection timetable fascinating. It lays out exactly what is—and what isn’t—in public domain, based on the date it was produced. Also be sure to study the section on getting permission to use the work of others.
I found this book to be well laid-out. Evans-Walls includes forms and case histories, including the Tasini Freelancer Class-Action against the New York Times.
I give Tonya’s latest book five stars. Not only is it complete and easy to read and follow, but this author took the time to create an index, and there’s an accompanying CD.
The Copyright Companion for Writers is another one of those must-haves for anyone who is writing for publication.
–Patricia Fry is President of SPAWN and author of The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell your Book and How to Write a Successful Book Proposal in 8 Days or Less. Her Web site is http://www.matilijapress.com/.