LETTER

Rewrite rejected

A chap contacted me, saying he had found me by searching the web for an editor/writer. He said he's setting up a new business, and his business model is the same as someone else's website, so what he wanted was a writer/editor to read and digest this other website then re-write it lock, stock and whatsit, for his new company.

I suggested that this might not be totally legitimate, but he "assured me" he wasn't infringing anyone's copyright... He then asked how much I would charge for this sort of work. I just said that each project is costed depending on the requirements - and that I was too busy (which is true).

After I put the phone down, I suddenly wondered whether I wasn't taking part in some sort of hoax or "sting" - someone trying to find out whether I'd ever copied web pages (which I haven't), or something. It turns out that he's been trawling through directories of editors.

The editor writes: Rewriting isn't illegal, so long as your expression of the ideas is totally original and you can stand up the collection of facts independently. But we wouldn't touch a "business model" like that with your bargepole.

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