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wandering glider
Senior Member
since 2001-04-04
Posts 501

0 posted 2005-11-17 12:49 PM


In this electronic medium, at what point, or in what context, is a work considered published?

Here is the context of the question:  I was looking into the rules of a poetry contest.  The statement was made that an entry into the contest could not have been previously published in any form including electronic.  Granted, a contest can be qualified by any rules one can imagine, but it raises this puzzling question.
I have since been asking this question of board members of said contest, published poets, retired professors, editors who have also published their own work, and just about everyone else I know that might have given this some thought and I get a slightly different response from each.

Everyone agrees that e-mail never counts as being published.
Everyone agrees that if it appears in an e-zine or some such very in-print looking or claiming to be site, that it has been published.
And of course, if publishing rights have been given, it has been done.

But here's the rub.
Many say that if it has appeared on a WEB site, it has been published.  Some even state "if it's 'out there' it has been published" (whatever that means, and that comes from a poetry organization's legal advisor, no less).
Other's say that if it is part of a writer's group, discussion forum, critique site, or the like, that it doesn't constitute publishing, WEB site or not.

So, I open the question here:

When (or where) has a poem been electronically published?  

At PIP specifically, for example, though my question is much broader than that, are forum submissions to be considered published, or just those works appearing on the main site, or neither, or both?
This relates to both the question I raised above about contests and to crediting previous publication.

(note:  this has nothing to do with copyright.)

Thanks for your time and enlightenment,


© Copyright 2005 wandering glider - All Rights Reserved
Marge Tindal
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since 1999-11-06
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Florida's Foreverly Shores
1 posted 2005-11-18 09:43 AM

I recently inquired about this at Writer's Digest for a 'contest' they were presenting~

I asked -

Can you please clarify "unpublished" for myself and for others?
Does that include websites where a poem may reside?
Does a poem being placed on the Internet constitute being "published?"

The reply from the Customer Service Rep was -
Marge: posting on a website is considered published.

That's okay with me ... if I intend to enter a 'contest' ... I would just have to write something NEW and not post it on the Internet anywhere ... (until I either WON the contest ... OR didn't)

Hope that helps~

There 'may' be some organizations that run legitimate writing contests, that don't stipulate 'non-published' as a requirement~

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