6:00 pm Dinner
6:30 pm Meeting
7:30 pm Guest Speaker
8:30 pm Networking Social & Desert
9:00 pm Close
Harry’s Hofbrau, 390 Saratoga Avenue, San Jose, California 95129
Dinner meeting: $15 ($10 applied to meal)
Libel, Copyright, & First Amendment Rights
Author and California Deputy Attorney General Rick Acker outlines the legal issues facing writers
By Dave LaRoche
Vice President, Board of Directors
South Bay Writers
We hear it often, know it applies, but what does it mean? One thing to know, it’s a government thing created by Congress and that might start one a quiverin’. Copyright, what does it mean? Legal terms, which this is, or portends to be, often belie the layman and laywoman because the language is strange and we don’t understand it.
Some say it’s a way of protecting your words as they’re assembled, that no one else has permission to use, sans your release. Any words? On paper or spoken? For how long are they protected and what does “protected” mean? Will they Marshal forces, activate the National Guard? And, what does using my words mean?
There’s a rumor that we need do nothing, that as soon as I type this revealing, solicitous article, character by character, it’s mine and protected. But then I’ve heard that registration is best—a seal, I suppose, of government approval. Who do I talk to about that?
There are other legal concerns a writer might have: slander and libel, trademarks, the First Amendment and how it applies. Where are our boundaries? What can I say about that ass-hole that reviews my work and how does a trademark apply. I thought those were for tires and stoves.
Most believe, I certainly do, that a writer has pretty much free rein, and within the truth, most anything goes. On the other side of that hand, however, is the cost of defending that right, how long it might take, and when it is worth it. Well, my “darlings” might qualify.
Rick Acker will reveal all on March 10. These questions and others related to writers and law will be answered. Rick is an attorney and author. He is Deputy Attorney General in the California Department of Justice. His unit prosecutes corporate fraud of the type described in his latest legal thriller, When the Devil Whistles (#1 Kindle bestseller). His other novels include Dead Man’s Rule (Top Pick, RT), Blood Brothers (4 stars, RT) and the Davis Detective Mysteries for young adults.
Rick holds law degrees from the University of Oslo and the University of Notre Dame, where he graduated with honors. In addition to his novels, he’s a contributing author on two legal treatises published by the American Bar Association.
So there you have Rick. Cruise over to Harry’s on the tenth and listen to this erudite man fill us in on the intricacies of the writer and law. I’ll be there, will you?