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Copyright - Making Use of Threshold Web Pages

 
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Last Updated: September 23, 2009
 
Note:  Please do not link to the graphics on any of the web pages at www.threshold.ca. (this includes the Andrew Bowling pages)  It throws the hit and visit counters off.  However, feel free to provide a link at your site to my page that has the graphic.  Thanks.

I feel it is a natural thing to want to make use of web pages you find on the internet and to share this with others you know or teach;  or to inform people who visit your own web pages.  There is a growing resource of rich material on the net, especially in the area of Reiki. 

While imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, I feel that with the age of the Internet some people actually try to make themselves look as competent as others who author interesting web pages.  They do this by making questionable use of the originator's material, and may not even give any credit to the author.  In the case of one Reiki historical site, the author rarely mentions the source of his information, only the end source.  For example, he may reprint information originally coming from a certain Japanese Reiki teacher, but he won't tell you where he found the information - whether it be a Reiki book, web site, the material of another, or directly from another Reiki person.

This person's intentions and those of others like him may be good but they are not giving credit to their information sources.  The internet is much like a series of books in a store or library - if you are quoting or referring to information from another source, you should give credit to that source.  A side effect of not doing this is that people are unwittingly contributing to a slow down or even halt of information being shared.  I for one have stopped sharing most new historical information from my public pages and only share with my student base.

Understanding Copyright

I find that most authors will allow you to print their pages and share with others.  It is interesting though that some authors will copy material from other sources and then place their own Copyright on the page.  This of course is not legal in most countries and there is an international agreement on Copyright. 

Simply put, anyone who originates material, whether they publish it, place it on the net, hand it out, keep it to themselves or otherwise, has the original rights to the material.  They don't have to register this or place a copyright warning on their material.  All they have to be able to do is prove the information in it's current form originates with them.  And there is a fine line as to how much you can change original information and then call it you own.  

This goes for translating material into another language - the copyright still rests with the originator of the material.  Like any book or publication, there is a small amount of information that may be done this way, but you still need to give credit and reference to the original author and source. 

For more information on International Copyright Laws, click here.


I feel there is a better way to make use of the hard work of another author.

How to Handle ALL Reiki Threshold  Pages
and Other Pages on the Net

First, please think of my web site as my own published book.  Would you copy or translate the pages of another person's Reiki book right into your own web site or Reiki material without permission? 

With few exceptions, I have not placed a copyright at my own public pages.  However, I have created Adobe pdf files that you can download and print, and share with others. These already contain my copyright information, my name and my web page address.  As long as you leave these the way they are, I am content.

I know that people will want to share parts of my pages with others, but in the past I have experienced some un-Reiki like attitudes around my own contributions.  Whether printing my pages or simply referring to them at your own web site, please take the following approach.  It may also be an acceptable method for other authors on the net.

Note that I ask that you do not use my material in a publication or duplicate it on a web site.

The Printing Approach

Here is a way to print material and keep even the author content:
  1. When desiring to print my pages, please check to see if there is a downloadable Adobe pdf file, and use that for printing. 

  2.  
  3. If there isn't a page, contact me and ask me to create one.  I am usually happy to do so and it doesn't take me very long.  Other web page authors might do the same with their pages for you if you ask.

  4.  
  5. If you are in a hurry, please ask me anyway, and then print the page as is.  I realise that sometimes there is a lot of stuff at the top and the bottom of the page that does not relate to the material you want.  If you decide to trim this make sure it is still obvious where the page came from.  That is, leave the page heading and web site name, if it is there, and please DO NOT trim the content in my pages. 

  6.  
  7. For the previous step, you should set your browser's printer setup page to include the web page address on the page you print.  This leaves no doubt as to the source. 

  8.  
  9. You can notify the author that you enjoy the material and you are making use of it;  perhaps you can explain how.  Re-assure the author that you are making the source of the page obvious to your readers.

The Internet Approach.

Some people are so enthusiastic about new information that they will actually copy the originator's work right to their own web page, even leaving out their source and a link to the source page.  Ignoring the legality of this, it isn't really in keeping with the Usui precepts to do something like this.  But I understand such enthusiasm, so here is one approach I recommend.

If you find someone's web page very interesting, it makes more sense, and it is good Internet etiquette to simply place a link from your page to the page you like.  Then you can do the following:

  1. You can notify the author to say you have done this - it's just polite to do so.

  2.  
  3. Place a comment next to the link to explain why you find the page interesting or useful.  This allows the reader to learn and appreciate what you have to offer (and you don't have to steal someone else's originality).

  4.  
  5. Check the original page from time to time to make sure the link is still active, or to see if anything has changed.  If so, you might want to make an update notice at your page.

  6.  
  7. If you truly find the material to be of great value, you might want to make a copy of the page for yourself, Just In case the person decides to close down their web site. If this happens, FIRST do a search at the author's site or on the internet to see if the page has simply moved to a new address.

  8. (I have been frustrated in the past when I lost access to some really good information when a site suddenly disappeared). 

Encouraging the Authors to Share

By taking the above approach you will be giving credit where it is due - the authors of the pages - and you will actually be encouraging them to share even more at their web sites.  Most of us begin to hold back information we have discovered as soon as we start seeing material that was "borrowed" from our own pages in a way that does not seem appreciative.  I feel that using the above approach will keep the Sharing going strong, and we all benefit from this. 

What Can Authors Do

As an author, you can help out your readers by doing some of the following:
  1. make an Adobe Acrobat .pdf file of your page and make a link for people to download the page.  This way you can make sure everything on your page is the way you like it, including credit to your self and where you web page is located.  Also the finished page is difficult to change, but most won't want to as you have made it very easy for them to access it. 

  2.  
  3. offer to make a reciprocal link to anyone's web site who links to one of your pages.  This promotes good feeling and a sense of camaraderie.

  4.  
  5. if you have material that you truly want to Copyright, make sure this is very obvious on EACH web page. 

  6.  
  7. As a last resort you can investigate Copyright procedure for your country (as well as International Copyright Law) and formally register your material. 

Above All, Let's Encourage the Internet to Continue as 
a Place of Sharing and Honoring People's Contributions.



Copyright Law Sources

10 Big Myths about copyright explained

BERNE CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF
LITERARY AND ARTISTIC WORKS

Canadian Copyright Act

 

If you have comments or suggestions, Contact Me.     I will try to answer them all.

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