Life, photos but not the universe

The living and the dead and SPRING!

After asking for water poetry the other day it suddenly dawned on me that I was about to print, and effectively publish online, a book with a lot of quotes by living people – and indeed dead people whose copyright may now belong to other living people.  I looked up some stuff about permissions and copyright and hastily replaced some of my quotes with others by people like God (Ecclesiastes 1:7) and Heraclitus (540 – 480 BC).  I decided to keep Mark Twain.   The effort of finding out who might have the copyright for a quote by him sounded simply enormous and isn’t there some thing or other about copyright only lasting 70 years?   But I did email one William Ashworth, since he’s alive and has an email address and his quote was a particularly pleasing one, and ask him directly for permission to use his words.  I reckoned if my patience ran out before he replied or if I would need to ask his publisher I could always substitute an old English proverb or a scrap from an ancient Chinese text.

Amazingly he replied almost immediately!  saying permission granted and he’d love a copy but that isn’t necessary.

I immediately plunged into a lengthy dither involving costs, potential embarrassment or approbation, a totally unmerited feeling of having been flattered, a reorganisation of most of the pages and the addition of dust flaps.*

Anyway, you’re spared all that because in my excitement I ordered two copies by mistake.  So if it’s not too awful, William gets one just for being so nice.  He takes a mean photo himself I discovered, when I looked more closely at his website.

I believe two copies of the final thing are being prnited** as I write!  (Tentative) Wow!

So this morning, I tried to print a couple of invoices online and one of the passwords wouldn’t work.  ^~^

I successfully reset it.  Wow!

But in the process, I discovered that my Hotmail account has gone AWOL.***  I got an alarming message saying they’d text me a secret number to prove I am really who I am.  So I hunted around the internet for verification that this is something they really do and got it and followed the instructions.  No text has arrived.  Oooh, terror!   Wurrr!  Not wow!

Then one of the new yellow pages arrived and it seems that my intensive few days on the phone to them bore fruit!  The right fruit!!!  Both entries are present and correct.  Wow!

Also in the post, arrived a letter to someone who has never lived at this address. (This happens a lot).  I scribbled “not known here – return to sender” as usual and stuck it back in the letter box.  Not exactly Wow!

It must be that time of the month – I fielded three calls from companies offering to collect our debts for us.  Not at all Wow!

This morning, I got up with extremely painful feet and decided to give them a brief loosening up period before showering.  Now I’m about to have that shower.  However, the feet have recovered somewhat.  (sort of) Wow!

I’m not going to enjoy a screaming abdab over the fact that the whole morning has vanished while I did all this, even though all the successes are just things that shouldn’t have needed doing anyway.  I’m just going to enjoy the belated shower and then rush about a bit in hopes of fitting into one afternoon all the things I’d expected would take a whole day.   And worry about the secret number which still hasn’t arrived – how long are a ‘few’ virtual,  Hotmail minutes anyway?****  Is my ID being stolen as I speak?  Wurrr! Terror!

Did I say


Well yesterday it was.

Today it was wet.

I think I’ll go back into hibernation.

*curiously, hardback with dust cover costs less than having the cover work printed directly on the hard cover.

**Well I hope it’s being printed – I hope I haven’t told them to prnit it.

***Has anyone been getting excessive and/or unacceptable emails from my Hotmail address recently?

****About 5 hours apparently.  Yes the text came.  Perhaps I still own myself.

February 26, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Copyright and concepts of intellectual property are an absolute minefield and I don’t expect I shall ever understand them fully. I’m marginally engaged just now in sorting out copyright as it affects reproduction (as in the case of your water poems) as compared with copyright as a defence against unauthorised plagiarism, parody or alteration. Nor does the copyright always rest with one person or body – in the case of a painting, for instance, it seems that permission to reproduce rests with the owner, while protection rights rest with the artist’s estate. You may well find that Hotmail owns certain rights appertaining to your snowdrops.

    It’s all a bit baffling Christopher. I looked up Allen and Unwin and read a lengthy farradiddle about who they are and have been over the years and to whom, therefore, one should apply for permissions for the reproduction of works published by them (or other publishing houses variously related to them) at different dates. And then they said “Good luck”! I rather got the impression that they might not know themselves, who had the permission rights.

    Comment by Christopher | February 26, 2011 | Reply

  2. Oh. :-/

    No one owns those snowdrops–they’re G-d’s.

    <– dreamer

    Ah but how wonderful you bothered to get permission. Most folks nowadays don't. And lemme assure you, it's a big mess, this copyright stuff. I'd blame the world wide web, but I believe it's people and their principles–or lack thereof, maybe?
    Oh. That sounded…..almost mean?

    Maybe I should sigh so you get how sadly I actually meant that.

    In the meantime, I'll just vicariously enjoy the snowdrops–and a touch of Mr. Ashworth's ragtime music.
    Oh, it's FUN! 🙂

    Certainly the internet is littered with quotes that almost certainly weren’t permitted Mel! I don’t think I’d be particularly bothered if people quoted me (nicely) without getting permission but then I don’t suppose I’ll ever say anything that’s worth money. On the other hand, it’s hard enough to make a living from art, literature or music without people pinching what you’ve done so it seems only fair to pay for it. Or at least ask nicely : )
    (Yes, Mr Ashworth’s music is quite fun isn’t it : )

    Comment by Mel | February 26, 2011 | Reply

  3. I have a sort of knowledge of copyright and permissions – it is indeed a minefield.

    I nearly rang you Thursday, to ask advice but the more I browsed through stuff the more I realised that each publisher is different and each quote was going to need a whole separate lot of searches : ) I have fingers crossed that I haven’t actually done anything naughty!

    Comment by Thursday | February 27, 2011 | Reply

  4. such beautiful snowdrops!



    Comment by english inukshuk | February 28, 2011 | Reply

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