Thursday, 30 July 2009

When is a comment an article? - and vice versa

At Harrogate I met a great many amazing writers; but the person I most wanted to speak to wasn’t around when I was. That was Simon Kernick, a writer I very much enjoy, but would not normally go in to bat for. That was, however, before someone from Marketing Week decided to put their ill-informed and utterly ridiculous opinion across, and I lost it.

My response was, perhaps, longer than the article itself. And while I don't back down from what I said, I don't like the shrillness of the tone, and really hate the fact that I called the author a lazy journalist. But she was. The author of that article, Ruth someone, desperately tried to make it appear that the good people at Transworld were fricking eijits, but in her clamour to do only proved how little she knew about book marketing.

But on balance I am resasonably happy with what I wrote ; I am, however, unhappy about Marketing Week publishing it on the web as an opinion piece with my email address under it. Name: fine; email address: not good. I spoke to the editor and he seemed to broadly understand my issues with what they'd done. And it's a legitimate issue. My comment was used not only as a web article, but also as a whole page in Marketing Week . If I’m honest, I just wanted to get paid, but at no point did Mark offer this as an option. He did however concede that this is an odd situation.

Who do your comments belong to? Are they yours, or a web operative's? If you post something on my site, am I allowed to take control of it? Does anyone know of the legality of this? I complained and my comment has been taken down. Not much of a shock there, I guess, but it's still mental. What happens next?

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