There are certainly exceptions to every
rule; Fly Anglers OnLine (FAOL) is free.
You are welcome to share information you find
here, to print out fly patterns, the instructions
from our various Fly Tying series and have them
for your own use - or for your club's newsletter
(provided you give us proper credit) and you may
also use them for a fly tying or rod building class.
Here's the 'but': if you are doing the classes
for profit you can't use the material. As long
as it is free, feel free to use it. Trying to
profit from what others have provided here for
free is not allowed. Besides that, it really is
tacky - it is like trying to pass the information
off as if it was your own. Since we do have
copyrights on everything on FAOL, it is also illegal.
We have had a couple of instances over the years
where someone tried to put up articles on their
websites claiming it was their work. It is a very
small world, and eventually we do hear about that
sort of thing. It usually only takes a phone call
to stop it, and sometimes it was just done in ignorance.
We do receive many requests to use material in
club newsletters and websites - I don't think we
have ever refused (there may be an exception if
the material is from a book and we don't have
permission to let others use it - in which case
we refer the person back to the publisher). The
fun part of sharing our information is we do
receive copies of club newsletters as a 'thank you'
for use. Besides, we may even gain new readers
who have not found us yet by surfing the Internet.
We commonly use excerpts from books, and you
have probably noticed we have several publishers
as long-time Sponsors. They have learned they
benefit when we use their material and sell more
books or magazines as a result. We do not however,
use excerpts without permission.
Since I was a freelance writer before we started
FAOL, I do know how much a writer depends on his
writing both for the money and his reputation.
I would have been appalled to learn that someone
was reprinting my articles and sending them on to
others, either by snailmail or email.
But here is the absolute height of either stupidity
Can you imagine someone writing to the author of
a magazine article and asking him to send a copy
of the article? How about something to the effect of:
"I don't subscribe to that magazine and don't want to,"
but they want the information which it offers.
I'm not kidding, it happened. In fact, a writer had
73 requests for either the article or a personal
explanation about the system he described. This
is in the current issue of RodMaker Magazine,
'Letters,' page 7. I could hardly believe it.
The writer simply told them to "buy a copy of
the magazine and read it yourself." I don't think I
would have been so polite.
While I'm thinking about it, here's another one.
We have had email from people who wanted us to
tell them how to start a website, how to design
it, what sort of format to use, where to find a
(usually free) ISP to host it, and who they
should contact for sponsors. If I am feeling
generous, (and don't count on that) I send them
a list of books to read. Or I might tell them
we are available as consultants and our fee starts
at $200 an hour plus expenses - and would they
like me to send them a contract. I usually don't
hear from them again.
Isn't that sort of like writing to General Motors
and asking for the complete instructions to build a Buick?
I know this has happened to other people and
companies too, we had it about once a month in
our former business. I couldn't believe it
I guess I am confused. I don't know if our
society has deteriorated to the point where
people are just getting dumber, lazier, or
expect everyone else to do all the work for
them so they will reap the benefits.
I said at the beginning of this that FAOL is
free. It is. BUT - I do have expectations
of you and all of our readers. It is called
paying forward. You have the obligation
to pass it on. Maybe you can just recommend
FAOL as an information place for fly fishing,
tying, or rod building. Maybe you can help
someone with their casting, tying or techniques
which will help them catch more fish. Perhaps
you can help with a group, teach kids, be involved
with the Boy Scouts, volunteer with a stream clean-up,
take a wounded vet fishing, teach your own kids
the value of preserving our waters...there are
many things you personally can do to keep the
Just do it. ~ DLB
If you would like to comment on this or any other article please feel free to
post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!