The other day, MG sent me this really wonderful list of lessons we should remember about life. Apparently it's making the rounds of the Intertubez and I'm wondering where it came from. Anybody have any clues? Because I'd dearly love to use this text in a book, but yanno, that copyright thing again (see the sidebar, under "Copyright Posts). So if anybody wants to claim responsibility . . . speak now or this may be considered an orphan work.
What's that mean? Orphan works are pieces like this, unattributed to anybody, floating around the Internet anonymously, unclaimed and but not necessarily unwanted, the author unknown or unreachable. As attorney Joe Keeley, who has consulted on recent proposed orphan works legislation, points out on his site, Orphanworks.net, an "orphan work" is not:
- A public domain work
- A copyrighted work whose owner(s) or exclusive licensor(s) decline to license or sell their works for any price
- A copyrighted work whose owner(s) or exclusive licensor(s) offer to license or sell their work to you for a price you are unwilling to pay
- A copyrighted work whose owner(s) you are unwilling to look for
- A copyrighted work with little or no ownership information attached to it (such as a photographic negative or textile)
- A copyrighted work for which a statutory license is available (such as Section 115 of the Copyright Act, usually referred to as a compulsory mechanical license)
There's a fair amount of controversy (and a very good blog following it) right now about orphan works and the proposed legislation, especially among graphic artists, who often can't or don't sign their work and thus are hard to track down, and a lot of crazy freaking out by people who think this means they'll be unprotected (countered very nicely here). Again, though, this all boils down to placing the burden on the user of the artwork. If this orphan works legislation is enacted, it will mean that potential users of orphan works will be required to make (and document) a good faith search for the copyright holder, and only if that fails will the work be considered an orphan.
The scary bit is that it still doesn't protect the user from being sued for infringement should the copyright holder surface. The term "good faith search" is undefined and, like beauty, probably in the eye of the beholder. Hence the suggestion to document your search: Library of Congress? Check. New York Public Library? Check. Copyright Office? Check. Google? Check. And that's just scratching the surface. There are any number of sources to consult and your librarians (who rule the world) can point you in the right direction for the media you're researching. Take notes about where you've looked and whom you've consulted and the results, and keep them handy, just in case. Because if the copyright holder shows in court that he or she is actually pretty easy to find, you're in the deep weeds, my friend.
In the meanwhile, here's the first step of my search for the author of these 45 rules. By itself, it does not constitute a "good faith" search. I have a lot more work ahead of me if I really want to use this. So if anybody knows where this came from, can you leave a comment or drop me an e-mail? I don't want to poach someone else's work without attribution or compensation. Makes for bad karma and an empty bank account.
1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood but, the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative of dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.