Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > Book Talk
Reload this Page >

Book Idea - Your Thoughts?

Book Talk A Place To Discuss Books and Audiobooks

Book Idea - Your Thoughts?

Old 10-09-11, 07:25 PM
  #1  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Seattle
Posts: 4,454
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Book Idea - Your Thoughts?

So...I have a family member that worked for NASA for many years in mission control and I have in my possession 100s of letters that were written to NASA when the first shuttle disaster occurred.

These letters range from very touching letters from kids, to letters from world leaders, to nut jobs.

I find the letters very interesting/emotional to read and thought they could be interesting to others.

I am no writer by any means but what do you think the interest would be in a book that would showcase these letters?
Old 10-09-11, 08:11 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Land of the Lobstrosities
Posts: 10,300
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: Book Idea - Your Thoughts?

It sounds interesting, but it also sounds like a legal minefield. Normally the recipient of a letter owns the physical letter but the author still retains copyrights to the content. There are fair use copyright exceptions for scholarly works, but it depends on several factors. There may also be issues about whether your relative is in legal possession of the letters.
Old 10-09-11, 09:35 PM
  #3  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Seattle
Posts: 4,454
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Book Idea - Your Thoughts?

Would that hold true if the names were omitted?
Old 10-09-11, 10:25 PM
  #4  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Land of the Lobstrosities
Posts: 10,300
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: Book Idea - Your Thoughts?

Copyright is entirely separate from attribution. It may make a difference for violation privacy issues, but not copyright.
Old 10-09-11, 10:58 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Seattle
Posts: 4,454
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Book Idea - Your Thoughts?

I appreciate your insight. Is there a way I can get started to have someone look into all of the leagal aspects of this? So far all I can find is resources for people who already have a book to publish...as I say I am no writer but I would like to start talking to someone about this. I don't even care about the money aspect...I grew up in a "NASA" family and I just want to share these beautiful letters with the rest of the world...I am not trying to profit from it.
Old 10-09-11, 11:56 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 472
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Book Idea - Your Thoughts?

From Guide Through the Legal Jungle Blog:

A personal letter is subject to copyright protection – regardless of whether the letter is published or unpublished. In most cases, the writer of the letter is the copyright owner of the letter. As the recipient of the letter, you exercise control over the tangible copy which you may keep, sell, or discard. However, you do not have the right to reproduce, publish, or exercise any of the copyright owner’s other exclusive rights in the letter.

There have been lawsuits over the unauthorized use of personal letters. For example, an unauthorized biog*raphy of J.D. Salinger was enjoined after the author included ex*tensive verbatim passages of Salinger’s unpublished letters without Salinger’s permission.

Also, if the letters include information that qualifies as “private”, you must also consider privacy issues in addition to copyright law issues before doing anything with the letters.


There may be some argument as to whether or not they qualify as "personal" letters, though. But it seems like the rights would still rest with the originator.
Old 10-10-11, 12:49 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 2,386
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Book Idea - Your Thoughts?

There's not only the question of copyright, but also of your (likely) illegal possession of the letters.

Beyond that, though, you're 20 years too late.
Old 10-10-11, 12:56 PM
  #8  
Moderator
 
Groucho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 71,383
Received 119 Likes on 81 Posts
Re: Book Idea - Your Thoughts?

What about all these "Children's Letters to God" books that are out there? Aren't these just grabbed from the dead letter office at the post office?

Old 10-10-11, 03:02 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 472
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Book Idea - Your Thoughts?

That's kind of what I meant when I said there may be an argument that the letters aren't "personal." If someone sends a letter to a public agency rather than an individual, is there a reasonable expectation of privacy? (Maybe... I don't know.) Or if the office of a public figure sends a letter expressing condolences, is that really something that can be kept private?

But yeah, it does seem like a tricky issue.
Old 10-10-11, 07:22 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Seattle
Posts: 4,454
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Book Idea - Your Thoughts?

I'm going to have to research this more. I know it's long past...but even I still found them interesting to read. There are lots of kids drawings as well. Of course I grew up with the astronauts and their kids so the appeal may be partial on my part.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.