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Magazine writers

>     I've noticed that two individuals who were subject to a lot of 
>     controversy on this list are both magazine writers.  DQ mentioned an 
>     article he wrote in FAMA, while Craig Bingman is science editor of 
>     Aquarium Frontiers magazine.
>     Do writers use this forum as a means of garnering ideas for articles, 
>     or do they participate like the rest of us--to gain knowledge?  I am 
>     not comfortable with the notion that some of my postings may end up in 
>     an article somewhere, without my permission.  What are the rules on 
>     this topic?  I am guessing the various internet discussion groups are 
>     extremely fertile for a writer looking for ideas. 
>     I am not being judgemental; I am merely curious.  If I were a writer I 
>     would probably surf for materiel.  Any other magazine writers out 
>     there?

There are a number of us on the list that write quite regularly, including
myself.  No one writes in a vacuum.  We are all influenced by what we read,
hear and learn from any sources we come across.  This is true even in
scientfic experiments that are written up in peer reviewed journals.
Everyone works off the base of knowledge that has been assembled by others
before them.  To do otherwise would be foolish.  We _all_ can benefit by
the experience and mistakes of others.  

To use someone else's _words_, however, without their permission and proper
credit _is_ copyright infringement.  I think I have _once_ used a question
directly out of an E-mail as the basis for an article.  But when I did, I
contacted the person (and in this particular case, since the writer was a
minor, her parents as well) and obtained their permission before using her

While I do not abuse the posts of others, and I doubt any _responsible_
author would, I have to say that you must _assume_ that _anything_ you
write (or otherwise post) on the internet can and probably will be used
inappropriately by someone who doesn't know better, and without your
permission.  But then, since I found that I had been quite remarkably
mis-quoted (or mis-paraphrased as the case may be ;-) in TFH a month or two
ago, you can hardly blame mere mortals.<g>

If you don't want to lose control of an article, drawing, photo etc. DON'T
POST IT ON THE NET.  But I think you will find that there is more to be
learned from those aquarium writers who hang around here than there is risk
that they will take advantage of you.

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association