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Evaluating your Free Offers of Stuff Getting free stuff can be a lot of fun, and for many people, the hunt for freebies is as fun as actually enjoying the free products themselves. There is a dark side to freebie offers, however. Many scam artists have come to realize that pretending to offer free things is a great way to trick people into handing over sensitive information about them than can be used in identity theft operations or even bilk them out of cold, hard cash. For that reason, it is important to make sure you know how to stay out there when you?re looking for free offers. There are some things you can do to make sure you freebie hunting only brings you good times ? these common sense rules are a great place to start. You?ve heard it a million times before ? if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The reason you have heard it so many times is that it almost holds water. Think about the reason that companies give away free things. They?re usually not doing it for charity. They want you try to their products in the hope that you will come back to them as a paying customer in the future, and they?re doing it to build good will for their company over all. They?re definitely not doing it go broke. So consider whether the freebie offers you come across make sense according to these criteria. Does it make sense that a company will give you a free bag of their new flavor of chips or a trial size jar of their new face cream? Sure it does, because if you like it, you may buy these products in the future. Does it make sense that a company will give you an all expenses paid, two-week first class trip to Bali for you and ten of your friends? Not so much. Don?t waste your time on these too good to be true freebies ? they may end up costing your big time in the long run. By the same token, the more outlandish an offer sounds, the more you have to look for the small print. Sure, maybe the hotel chain is willing to give you a free weekend in their beachfront hotel. The small print in the offer might say that you have to agree to spend 10 hours a day at a sales seminar or that the free weekend is yours after you pay for a two week stay. One particular airline ran an offer for a free coach class plane ticket from New York to London. The small print said you had to buy two, full price first class tickets on that same route before you could get the free on ? at a cost of around $8,000 per ticket. Before you jump, make sure you get all of the details. Freebie offers that actually require you to shell out some money are very tricky. Sometimes they are legitimate ? after all, if you are accustomed to paying full price first class airfare, a free coach class ticket can be a real score. But many times, when you have to pay to get something for free, that is a red flag that a scammer is at work. You should never send money, even for postage, to a company that you don?t know. Also, keep an eye on the costs for things like postage even if you do know the company name. If they?re asking for $50 postage to send you a free magazine, then you know something is up. Lastly, beware giving out too much personal information. There?s no reason a company giving away free shampoo needs your bank account details. Protect your private info and if you?re unsure, move on to the next freebie offer.

Music Copyright Law Are You Violating Music Copyright Law? With the popularity of the Internet, many people are violating music copyright law and do not even know it. Music copyright law can be very tricky. There are multiple music copyrights that you must keep in mind ? lyrics, composition and the recording of the music by an artist. Using someone?s music may involve you acquiring many different licenses such as mechanical, synchronization, performance and publishing licenses. Music copyright law has separate copyrights for the vocal or instrumental recordings of a composition or performance and the copyright of the written lyrics and music. Standard music copyrighting practices usually entail that the writer of the song retains the rights to the right to the music composition which the studio that did the recording of the music holds the rights of the recording. Music copyright law can get very complicated. It can involve negotiations with the writers, producers, agents, heirs and more. Many artists and studios are upset with the decline in music sales. They are attributing this decline to people who are violating music copyright law by downloading music on the Internet. Music files are under the same copyright law as music recordings and the owners of these copyrights are entitled to royalties or compensation for the music that people are illegally downloading on the Internet. The simple fact is you are stealing if you make copies of copyrighted music recordings without authorization to do so. If people were sued for the music they have downloaded illegally, it could result in thousands of dollars. Music copyright law states that it is illegal to duplicate and distribute creative work. If you send someone an email with a song that you have illegally downloaded on the Internet, you could be in for some serious trouble. To put it bluntly and plainly, if you download (or upload) music that is copyrighted without permission to do so, you are breaking the law. Many people violate music copyright law and do not even understand how their actions are criminal. If you purchase a music CD you can make a copy of it for yourself on your MP3. However, if you then use that recording and put it on your website or blog and make it available for everyone to download, you are performing an illegal act. Even if you join a site and pay a fee to download music you are in violation of music copyright law. This may sound like something that would never come back to haunt you. After all, if you were caught, it would be a first time offense, right? Well, you should know that there have been first time offenders who have been fined up to $250,000 and up to five years in jail for violating music copyright law. It is so much easier to go out and pay 20 bucks for a CD. Whether you are uploading music or downloading music, educate yourself on music copyright law. No one wants to ruin their financial future and face jail time. Enjoy music, just do it the right way!

Software company patent A Software Company Patent is the Door to a World of Confusion There is no universal understanding of exactly what a software company patent is. In general, owning a patent allows a company certain rights (or exclusivity) for a prescribed amount of time. Individuals or corporations seeking a patent must apply for a patent in each and every country in which they wish to have one. Unlike copyrights, patents are not automatically granted to applicants and can take quite a while in order to be approved. Another thing to remember, particularly with a software company patent, is that a patent may issue in one or more of the countries in which you've applied but not all of them. The real problem lies in the fact that there really is no central agreement about what a software company patent actually grants among any of the nations so those who are awarded patents may not be getting exactly what they think they are getting in the process. With no universal agreement there really can't be universal enforcement about the laws and the rights surrounding a software company patent. The growth of Internet business and e-commerce in general has led to many patent applications for software, particularly software that was designed for specific business applications. The problem is that while the cases are granted and successfully tried and defended in some countries, other countries offer no enforcement or legal recourse for those who do not honor the software company patent even if the patents were granted in those countries. The fine line between nations about what is and isn't patentable is another challenge when it comes to establishing and honoring patents. In other words, the issue of a software company patent is a rather confusing process at best. Patents differ greatly from copyrights, which are issued automatically and recognized and enforced internationally. Copyrights protect the source code of software from being copied and registration is generally not required in order for your work to be protected. Lately there is a new term, copyleft, which is an obvious play on words and represents the rights to not only redistribute the works that are covered by this but also to modify and freely distribute those modifications. This term is very much in the spirit of many open source types of software and music. The catch for copyleft protection is that the newly created work be distributed in the same manner and spirit in which it was received. In other words if you were freely given the software, then you must freely provide the improvements and modifications you made to that software. Of course this is a long way from the idea of a software company patent. It is also important that you are sure you understand exactly what you are applying for as far as your patent goes. Different countries will grant patents for different things and those are closely regulated and carefully regarded when it comes to software-know what you are applying for and understand what you are being granted. A software company patent means different things to different people in different places and it nearly impossible to get other countries to honor a patent that they would not have granted at the same time they shouldn't expect other countries to honor patents based on their decision to do so either. One unfortunate circumstance surrounding patents is that there seems to be an unequal and obvious disparity between the haves and the have not's. Patent enforcement for software, unlike literature and music is largely subjective. In literature and music, it is rather obvious that the copyright has been abused or that the work has been copied, this isn't as simple with software which is one other reason that software company patent is such a hotly debated subject in the software industry.

Business writing: What it is and Tips to Help You (business writing) Business writing is much more precise and less detail oriented than other styles of writing. In writing for a business there are a few elements you must know. Your knowledge or lack there of these elements can make or break your business writing career. Your goal for business writing is to strive for clarity and precision, yet not be too vague or elaborate. Examples of business writing would be emails, business plans, brochures, and many more. Virtually anything writings that pertain to a business are classified as business writing. When people read business writings they are not only looking for what happened and why, but how you are handling the situation at hand. A person reading a business writing that has an organized and concise style with an active tone is going to heed a much better result and give confidence that any matters will be taken care of. Organize your thoughts. The more organized you are the quicker and easier it will be for you to put your words in a decisive and orderly style. Your writing should be grammatically correct along with the proper usage of capitalization and punctuation. These errors can cause misinterpretations amongst the readers of your business writings. An example of correct and incorrect punctuations would be ?We are missing the actress Jane.? Or ?We are missing the actress, Jane.? While both are correct, they mean two entirely different things. Business writing is backwards or upside down from other writings. You start with the ending and then give a brief synopsis on how you got to that point. You may include other avenues that were considered and why they were not chosen. Have a positive attitude. Even if you are conveying a message that has on outcome other than optimal a positive tone will bring a much better response. Tell your readers what good came about from the outcome. Tell them what you can do with these results. For example a non-profit agency held a fundraiser. They were hoping to bring in $25,000 for building repairs and play ground equipment. Unfortunately, they only got $15,000. Positive tone writing would be ?Our fundraiser was successful. We can now begin building repairs.? Or ?The new playground equipment will be delivered tomorrow due to our successful fundraiser.? Even though it was not as much of a success as you would have liked, by keeping a positive attitude and showing people what can be done will promote a positive attitude in the future. A negative tone might be something like ?Since our fundraiser was not as successful as we had hoped, we will have to choose between playground equipment and builder repairs.? This approach could be unfavorable to future fundraisers because it seems as though you are unthankful for what you did get. Being positive shows your appreciation for the hard work or donations that you have received. Don?t play the blame game. Even if you know whose fault it is a deal fell through there is no need to start a mud-flinging contest. Surely, the person responsible is already aware of the situation and chances are so is everyone else. Down the line they are not going to remember whose fault it was, but they will remember who was naming names. This is not only very unprofessional, it is malicious and that is not how you would like to be talked about. Finally using an active voice will promote a better reception to your business writing than a passive one. An active voice shows that you are in control and are aware of how or why things are going to happen.