Protecting Your Legal Rights Online

In Star Wars, Obi-Wan Kenobi refers to Mos Eisley spaceport as a “wretched hive of scum and villainy” and adds, “we must be careful.” Obi-Wan’s wisdom applies to the Internet also. Regardless of your publishing path, if you write for publication, you should take steps to protect your copyrighted work against Internet-based infringement. No single post can cover all of the ways to protect your work online–and it’s admittedly impossible to completely stop all Internet-based piracy of an author’s work–but here are some tips on things all authors can do to protect and enforce their copyrights: Perform Regular Copyright /

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A Visit to Kyoto’s Nishi Honganji

Kyoto’s Nishi Honganji is one of Japan’s most important Buddhist temples. The Jōdo Shinshū, or “True essence of pure land,” school of Buddhism was founded by a monk named Shinran Shonin (1173–1263), whose teachings focused on a return to a more pure form of Buddhist understanding and enlightenment through verse. Originally known simply as “Honganji,” the temple now called Nishi (“Western”) Honganji was constructed in 1602 on land granted to the sect by Tokugawa Ieyasu. A second temple, known as Higashi (“Eastern”) Honganji sits several blocks away (not surprisingly, to the east). Nishi Honganji remains an active Buddhist temple (with services open

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Ootoyo Jinja’s Guardian Mice

I’ve blogged before about Ootoyo Jinja (sometimes romanized “Otoyo Jinja”), one of my favorite Shinto shrines on Kyoto’s famous Philosopher’s Path. Today, we’re heading back to Ootoyo Jinja, to take a look at the history behind its famous guardian mice. The shrine that belongs to Okuninushi features not only a stone torii but a pair of guardian mice watching over the holy space. The one on the left has a sake bowl–a symbol of health and fertility. (Pregnant women worship here in hopes of ensuring a healthy baby.) Had you ever heard the story of Okuninushi and the field mouse? I first read it as a child, in a

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A Shift in the Wind…

Over the next few weeks, you’ll notice a shift in the blogging winds here at Spann of Time. With The Ninja’s Daughter set to release on August 2, I’m changing up the blogging just a little. Mondays will remain my days for Japanese culture and history posts (still featuring photos from Japan), and  the Twitter #Publaw feed and its associated post will continue to hold the Wednesday spot. However, I’m shifting my aquarium-related posts to Fridays (Fishy Friday, anyone?) and moving forward, Tuesday and Thursday will belong to guest posts, the occasional book reviewer writing-relating musings . . . and photography. I’ve loved photography all my

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The Importance of Lawyers & Agents in Publishing Contracts

Years ago, authors wanting to publish novels really had only one viable option: find a literary agent and sign with a traditional publishing house. Self-publishing “existed” many years ago, but it didn’t have the legitimacy that it has for many authors today. The publishing world has opened up in many exciting ways, offering authors and readers more options than ever before. Unfortunately, publishing’s widening options also provide new opportunities for scammers, & the “well-meaning inexperienced.” The changes in publishing also mean the industry standards are in a state of flux. Some contract terms agents and attorneys accepted even two years ago are

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