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Will Entrekin on professionalism issues related to editor/writer correspondence.

Wil Shetterly links to the article and offers his views.

A discussion follows.

Nicked from slapfights, your online source of energetic discourse.

I am a little baffled by "If an editor rejects you, the only proper response is to send that editor another submission." That's a response but what if it's clear that that the set of things you will ever write does not overlap with the set of things the editor will ever buy? What are you accomplishing by sending them more work? It just ties the material up for the duration of a rejection cycle.

Digression: How does ownership of the words in letters work again? IIRC the physical document belongs to the person who receives it but who owns the actual words? I know how it works in the UK because of the Diana letters but not how it works in Canada or the US.

[Added later: and how does this apply to email, where there's not really anything physical involved, aside from the medium on which the email is stored?]

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I have no idea where you got the idea that I "depend on all the people whose letters you quote being legally inept." You asked me about a group specific individuals, and I answered with a few specific examples from amongst that somewhat larger group.

Obviously, the same issues come up when other editors quote (e)mail so if it's incorrect for you to do it, it's incorrect for them as well regardless of how long they've been in the field.

Incorrect on what level? On the professional level? Transparently not -- professionalism is a bundle of common practices, not some unarticulated ideal only known, amazingly enough, to people not engaged in the profession. Politeness is also a moveable feast. (See how handwritten mss were handled a century ago versus fifty years ago versus today, for example.) Copyright infringement? As with any other human endeavor, there are costs and benefits, risks and rewards, precautions and chances. If you're sufficiently worried about legal defense funds, feel free to donate to the magazine.

Edited at 2008-05-22 03:38 pm (UTC)

If you're sufficiently worried about legal defense funds, feel free to donate to the magazine.

I am concerned about not being able to say "you know, I wondered if this would ever be an issue way back in May of 2008 and here's the proof."

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