Tuesday, May 31, 2011

100 sites for fiction writers: #5 - Scrivener's Error

This is an ongoing series looking at websites that can be of help to fiction writers with their craft and career.

Scrivener's Error

Fiction writers are often nuts. That's especially true when it comes to legal matters concerning writing and publishing.

Often enough there seem to be two types of writers, those who act as if they have not a care in the world when it comes to legalities (as if it is all "beneath them" or some such), and writers who just won't shut up, who sit around worrying themselves into franticness over thoughts of legal troubles.

A sensible writer should be somewhere in the middle. A writer should be aware of their rights concerning their intellectual properties (you know, the stories you write), but shouldn't drive themselves crazy fretting about this stuff. At least not unless they're in true legal trouble somehow.

Generally speaking, probably the best thing a writer can do if facing some sort of legal problems is to hire an intellectual properties attorney. Yes, it might get expensive, but remember this is your work you are dealing with and it might pay off big-time in the future.

But before we go any further, let me say right here and now that I am not providing nor offering any legal advice. This is all merely commentary.

Now that that's out of the way, let's get to the point of this post: Scrivener's Error.

What is Scrivener's Error? It's a blog containing legal commentary about publishing, generally from side of the writers. Who is Scrivener? I don't have a clue. Well, who runs the Scrivener's Error blog? Again, I don't know, but the pages are copyrighted by someone who identifies themself as C.E. Petit, which might be a real name or it might be French, meaning something like "this small."

Regardless, as a writer and someone who had a few university-level courses on publications law, whomever is in charge of the Scrivener's Error blog seems to know what they are talking about. However, there is a disclaimer at the top of the page stating the site is for legal commentary, not legal advice. That's a good safety net to have. Only attorneys should offer any legal advice, and C.E. Petit has not identified himself or herself as an attorney.

What can a fiction writer find at Scrivener's Error? All kinds of stuff, mostly concerning legalities with fiction or book publishing.

Every few days there is a new blog post, usually keeping the readers updated about what's going on with things like copyright law, attacks on writers' rights, how different countries and companies are dealing with plagiarism, etc. This blog pretty much covers the gamut when it comes to writing and legal stuff related to writing.

If the latest posts aren't about anything concerning you in particular, that's alright. On the bottom right of the blog are rather extensive lists of links leading to other sites that have to do with the legalities of writing and publishing. There are links to plenty of well-respected law professors, as well as links to other sites, blogs, groups and associations that are concerned with publishing and the law. There's even a link to the blog for the Supreme Court of The United States.

Obviously if you are a writer in need of legal help, the Scrivener's Error blog isn't where you want to wind up. Instead, this blog is where you can get started. If you should need an attorney concerning a matter having to do with your writing, the Scrivener's Error blog is a solid place to begin your search for such an attorney and a good place to begin learning a little about the law yourself.

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