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   Help! My idea was stolen.  Do I have any reco
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   Author  Topic: Help! My idea was stolen.  Do I have any reco  (Read 496 times)
Feel Cheated
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Help! My idea was stolen.  Do I have any reco
« on: Apr 7th, 2004, 2:24pm »
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I am hoping that you can help me.  I work as a teacher for a very large company that teaches classes and publishes books to assist students taking standardized exams.  This company has a message board for teachers to help other teachers.  It is not available to the general public.  On one post, I posted a specific method I devised to help these students.  I developed this method from my own research on my own time.    
 
This company now published a book for their course using my method.  Parts of the method are copied word-for-word from this post into their book.  The parts that are not word-for-word are paraphrased.  They never contacted me about using it.  They also never paid me for it.  I certainly did not give them my permission.  However, in the front of the book, they added my name as a person they wanted to thank.  Obviously, this confirms that they took my idea.  
 
I work a couple hours a month for this company and get paid by the hour.  It is not part of my job to develop their curriculum.  They have full-time staff which does this.  They do have people freelance for them.  In these cases, they pay the freelancers.  The freelancers also have to sign a contract allowing for their work to be published.  I never signed such a contract.
 
What are my rights?  My method was not copyrighted.  But can they just steal it like that?  Isn't that plagarism?  Help.  I really need some legal advice.
 
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M. Arthur Auslander
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Re: Help! My idea was stolen.  Do I have any reco
« Reply #1 on: Apr 7th, 2004, 2:37pm »
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Early Legal Advice Is Not Expensive. There may have been little or no protection that you could have gotten. Just posting and idea that is not patentable is probably a legitimate give away.
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M. Arthur Auslander
Auslander & Thomas-Intellectual Property Law
3008 Johnson Ave., New York, NY 10463
7185430266, aus@auslander.com
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