Outdoor Writers Association of America
Northwest Outdoor Writers Association
This Week's View

by Deanna L. Birkholm

February 22nd, 1999

Well Darm

I have just gone through a rotten experience.

As you may know, some of the articles and features which appear here on Fly Anglers OnLine are written by and for other websites, or print magazines. We do that in order to provide a wide variety of articles and to introduce our readers to other websites or print sources which we think readers will enjoy.

When using others peoples material it is necessary to get use permission. Occasionally we have used small excerpts, giving full credit to the source, without asking permission. But use of an entire article, such as three in the recent past from Warmwater Flyfishing does require use permission.

Frankly I was delighted when the Advertising Sales Manager for Abenaki agreed to provide five subscriptions for the FAOL January Contest. And even more delighted when, after explaining I felt we were not providing enough good information to our Panfish readers especially since our main writer was having heath problems, he gave me permission to use anything in Warmwater Flyfishing written by their staff writers. I happen to think Warmwater Flyfishing is an excellent magazine, and have recommended it to many of our readers. As did Randy Fratzke, (our main writer for Panfish,) in another article in our Panfish section. And we used two articles, both of which have now been removed.

I did made a mistake, and used one which was not written by one of the staff writers, my fault, and it has also been removed.

So no big deal, we all make mistakes. Right?

Well, no. The rotten part is the person who gave me permission denied doing so. Because using someone else's work without permission (even though we do give full credit) really is serious and wrong, I keep track.

Written permission from publishing houses, (usually to excerpt from specific books) is kept in a file. Emailed permission is printed out and goes in the same file. Verbal, (phone) permission is logged in my phone journal, tagged so I know who said what and when.

It doesn't do a lot of good to be able to prove something, or to know you did the right thing when the folks on the other end KNOW they have been ripped off and are convinced I am lying. It also leaves a terrible impression of what FAOL is. Which I guess what disturbs me most. And let's face it, I've been lied to before.

Maybe that's a condition for living in the USA these days.

No excuses, we will continue to work with folks who will/can give use permission, publish articles from known and unknown writers who specifically write for this website, and work hard at providing the best in information available for our readers.

Just don't yell at me too much if you come across an article that is no longer there. If someone has asked to have it removed, it will say so. And now you know why. ~ Deanna Birkholm

If you would like to comment on this or any other article please feel free to post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!

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