One Way To Make “The Daily Beast”

What was I saying yesterday about what we leave behind as writers? About our words mattering? About our books following us forever?

Screen capture of the Daily Beast.
Screen capture of The Daily Beast.

Well, not long after, I stumbled on that story.

The article goes on to explain that the Chicago Teachers Union is NOT pleased:

CTU spokesperson Stephanie Gadlin requested that the publisher remove a logo on the book cover which she thought too closely resembled the union’s insignia. Robert Bloch, a Chicago lawyer who represents the union, also wanted all print copies to be recalled. The current cover of the novella on Amazon appears to still have the words “Chicago public schools” in the background.

The author maintains the story is based entirely on a joke:

“F*ck ‘em if they can’t take a joke, you know?” he said in an email exchange with The Daily Beast.

Indeed, in this sense that author can only be laughing:

“We wish Mr. Schivone [the author’s alleged real name] or Mr. Matthews well with his book, but we do not seek to engage in his public relations strategy to drive book sales and public interest,” Gadlin told The Daily Beast. “We are concerned about the appropriation of the Chicago Teachers Union’s logo in the book’s cover art, and we’ve asked that it be removed or undergo modifications.”

As to NOT wanting to assist his “public relations strategy to drive book sales,” it would seem that ship has now sailed. If the union had chosen just to ignore his 87 page production, in all likelihood few would have ever heard of it. Instead the union has made this news, so it’s now in The Daily Beast (and probably elsewhere), which essentially constitutes massive free advertising.

What we see here also is a serious issue worth bearing in mind: logos and copyright. Artwork has to be YOURS or YOU have to own the rights.

Photos taken by U.S. Federal government employees as part of their jobs are usually in the public domain. I don’t know about school districts and other state and local entities so would research that one before assuming anything is “free to use.” U.S. labor unions are not government entities, so their logos, etc., are obviously not in the public domain: they belong to the unions.

Okay, that was my distraction for this morning. It’s back to proofing Distances now. Have a good Monday, wherever you are in the world. 🙂