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Here’s A Blog Authors Need to Read: Legal Minimum

The Lendink brouhaha is still dying down, but I think it’s not too early to consider what we can learn from the incident.

One conclusion I reached as this story unfolded was that we all needed to learn more about rights, licenses, and contracts. And I include myself in that group; while I can usually figure out legal situations, I don’t know enough specifics to really understand it. Luckily I found a blog that can help.

The blog is called Legal Minimum, and it’s written by a law professor named Don McGowan. He’s an adjunct professor of Entertainment Law at the University of Washington as well as he General Counsel of The Pokémon Company International. He writes from the viewpoint of creators and explains concepts using plain English.

Folks, this is a blog that all authors need to follow. If you can’t write the blog posts, you definitely need to read them. And that’s not rude; it’s a basic fact that self-published authors need to understand the contracts they sign and the rights they have. This blog will help.

Take today’s post, for example. The title is Lending and LendInk: six lessons on copyright from one big mess, and it covers information that corrects a number of mis-beliefs held by some authors. It’s well worth a read.

Update: I’ve just heard from another lawyer I know who disputed the analysis in the post at Legal Minimum. She recommended that a better blog to follow  would be Scrivener’s Error. That may be true but the blogs don’t fill the same need. Scrivener’s Error doesn’t offer the explanations.

I say follow them both.

Scrivener’s Error

Legal Minimum

image by Phil Roeder

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Scott_T August 14, 2012 um 10:57 am

or it might just be a sign the laws need re-written so people can understand them without a law degree.

Don McGowan August 15, 2012 um 1:01 pm

Thanks for the shout out. I’d love to have known what the other lawyer felt I got wrong. It’s tough to get everything correct, especially when writing a blog post.

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