Becoming a writer is a dream for many who feel they have something valuable to say to the world. With so many ways to be published, whether through a personal blog or self-published book, opportunities to fulfill that destiny abound. However, there are three important legal pitfalls that aspiring writers should avoid.
David Walsh Bronxville, New York business mogul, tells aspiring writers to be careful what they say about others to avoid instantly ruining their own careers. Referred to as libel when in written form, any false statements meant to cause harm to a person’s reputation are considered defamation and can be punishable by law. Writers need to be careful about how they characterize another in their work as well as what they say about others on social media platforms.
Using another writer’s work without proper permission or attribution is considered plagiarism, and it is a surefire way to ruin any budding writer’s career. Even seemingly innocuous things like organizing ideas in the same way about a topic as another author can result in writers getting fired, getting sued, or simply facing the shame of such a black mark on their career. A good rule of thumb writers are often told is to use many sources while researching a topic to avoid unintentionally lifting verbiage from one source.
When writers are first starting out, they often take jobs with publications or marketing companies that will own any work completed there. That’s okay if it is task-specific for that company or client. However, writers who wish to eventually publish novels can get into trouble if they use their concept or characters while employed elsewhere to write. New writers need to know that the publications or companies they work for often own their work and any future derivative of it.
Becoming a writer is an exciting career choice filled with opportunity and adventure. The best way to end up with a successful career is to begin with the right information.