Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Is this ethical? Or even legal?

Hi Folks,

About ten years ago I wrote a how-to story, with photographs, for
what then was Lapidary Journal Magazine, on how to cut cat’s eye

To my considerable surprise now I find that someone by the name of
[–masked–], whom I have never heard of, on October 14, posted this
story of mine to a web site [–masked–], which appears to be run by
Interweave Press, the present owner of what once was Lapidary
Journal, and from which site my story has at this moment been
downloaded 68 times without any contact with or asking me.

Would anyone care to comment on the ethics and legality of this?

Cheers all
Hans Durstling
Moncton, Canada

The question I would have for you is what were the terms under which
you sold the article? Was there a contract? And if so, did you sign
over your copyright to Lapidary Journal? If you did, then they can do
whatever they like without talking to you.


The legality of the use of your article would depend on the original
agreement between you and the now defunct Lapidary Journal which was
purchased by Interweave. Also depends on the language of the sale
agreement of the original Journal. Not an easy answer without seeing
your original agreement. Another complication for you would be the
filing of any lawsuit would probably have to be in the US, not in

Ethics also depends on whether you signed your rights to the work
over to the magazine. If you did, then you did not own that property
any more and Interweave would have the right to sell your article. If
the rights are still yours, then you might have a claim against the
company that is selling your work. Contact a lawyer.


Interweave started making certain projects available online…and
they do pay royalties for purchased downloads, I just got a small
check for a few dollars for a filigree project I did for step by step
wire jewelry a few years ago. A couple of years back, they sent out
some about this, and I think I had to update my contact
info etc. Contact them about royalties…it probably won’t be
much…my latest check was only about $11…but something is
better than nothing.

I just found the email they sent out in 2007…I will forward this
to you directly and you can contact them through this.



Contact Interweave Press immediately. Make a formal written complaint
after you email them. That’s just not done, unless they get away with
it. Both Interweave and Lapidairy are honorable companies and should
recognize your contribution and make a public apology. The person who
passed your work off as their own should also be exposed.

Did you ever copyright the article? It is usually automatically yours
by date and then you file it or did LJ have all rights to it when it
was first published? Whoever owns it should have been asked
permission to download it and/or reuse it as an article, on a
website or print. Its only a courtesy and maybe illegal depending on
the original agreement. A copyright is usually good for 28 years and
then if not refiled is anybody’s to claim.

PS I forgot to ask-were you given credit for the article or
photographs? Shame on them if not! That is plain old plagerism and

Hello Hans, Back in the day, I wrote an article for Lapidary Journal.
The present owners can do whatever they choose with your article
unless you have a written agreement about the copyright. Sorry, but
at least your efforts are still helping people. Just think of that

Tom Arnold

Would anyone care to comment on the ethics and legality of this? 

If I understand you correctly, your story, which ran in Lap Journal,
had been re-run online without your knowledge or any additional

Yes, that’s standard practice. It was probably in your original
contract that you also gave the right to re-publish online.


Ethics? Sleazy if you ask me to do it without consulting you. Well,
I haven’t had a high opinion of the former LJ for many years,
basically since it stopped being a labor of love and became a
commercial rag.

Legality? Depends, you may have given LJ the copyright, if you did,
Interweave now no doubt owns it. In fact you could probably get in
trouble for distributing this on your own.

Ben Brauchler