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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Das Sagte Nuff! #10

My good pal Robert Thomas brought this one to my attention over the weekend. Robert dropped a German fanzine, Das Sagte Nuff devoted to Marvel Comics into the store for me to check out. Inside are several articles, all written in German, covering Marvel Comics worldwide - well, at least I expect that's what the articles are covering as the photos are plain to see. In amongst them all is an article covering Newton Comics with my name mentioned and several images which appear to be lifted straight from this blog. My images, my scans.

I know what people will say, once it's on the internet it's public domain. These days it appears that once it's in print, it's public domain and frankly I don't have much of an issue with that. It's the sheer lack of manners that's gotten to me. If you want to use my work then do what I do - ask first. I've learned the hard way (and, in some cases, paid a higher price than would be expected) and in this day and age a simple email is all it takes.

I have no idea what the article says - my ability to read German faded away once I left Mr Sultans class at the end of year eight, much to the delight of Mr Sultans as he was never happy that I knew more ways to swear in German than he did (I probably still do). I do know a couple of people who can read German and I'm hoping that one, or two, of them will be able to translate this article so I can discover what was written and just how much of it was lifted from here, either a straight lift or re-written. Again, that doesn't bother me so much as the lack of manners.

Ever since I began writing articles and being published I've seen my work appearing all over the place, sometimes credited, most of the time not. When I wrote articles for magazines such as IT Magazine I got used to seeing them posted on various fan sites around the world a few months after publication. I'd contact the web-masters and simply say that I'd have been happy to write a new article or expand the previous one (there's always material left over), but most would simply not reply. I'd see my work in books - that was the norm, but it did anger me when a U2 'Encyclopedia' used my work and credited it to a girl I used to slightly know - a girl who had issues dealing with the truth as she firmly maintained that both Bono and The Edge were close personal pals of her and that she'd quit working for the band because drummer Larry Mullen Jr had come on to her at a party. Naturally she'd gone from working for U2 in Dublin at a pay rate of over a hundred thousand pounds a year to being happily unemployed and living off the dole here in Adelaide. Such is life.

In the case of this German magazine I'd have been more than happy to provide more information as I know a lot more now than I did when I began writing the Newton articles, so the information that they have might well be slightly out of date, or contain some elementary errors that I've not gotten around to fixing. I understand that such small press publications don't have a lot of money, but a complimentary copy would have been enough. The same thing happened last year when the Planet Of The Apes fanzine, Ape Chronicles, took it upon themselves to lift my article on the POTA Newton Comics, gave me a credited byline and called me a correspondent. In this case I emailed the editors of the magazine and stated that I wasn't one of their writers and that I wasn't happy at all that they'd reprinted my work without asking. I got a reply back apologizing, but, frankly, once it's done it's done. There's no removing it. I did ask for a retraction to be published in a future issue, but I have no idea if that happened. and I did ask the editor how'd he feel if I merely scanned and posted the contents of his entire magazine on my blog - he replied that he wouldn't be happy with that. All of this does make me reluctant to keep posting my research into the '70s and '80s Aussie Marvel reprints though.

Back to Das Sagte Nuff. Once I have the article in question translated I'll post it here and see what the publishers of the fanzine think of that. In the meantime, they know where to find me, there's plenty of email links around the place...and I'm sure someone can alert them of this. I might even email them myself. I guess I should be happy that they at least got the web-address right, unlike an article that appeared in an Overstreet Price Guide a few years back.

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