Friday, April 20, 2007


Recently I did a vanity google on my name, and up popped a Toronto dentist's website. Hmmm...

Now this very nice dentist had called me two years ago after an essay of mine appeared in the Globe & Mail, and asked permission to hand it out to a few patients and maybe include it in an in-house newsletter. No problem, I told her, and no charge. I was flattered she liked it, and happy she was thoughtful enough to ask first.

Now, while I don't mind my work being passed around an office, I don't want it up on someone else's website without permission, and without payment. Not only that, the artwork appeared there as well, leaving the dentist open to a lawsuit by the artist who retains all rights once it has appeared in the Globe. A fellow freelance writer was sued successfully by Getty Images after she used an image on her website without permission. It was a scanned tearsheet of her article, and while the words were hers, the image was not. She was slapped with a bill of over $1,000 but they settled on $200 per year.

Something to think about.