PAGE # 68
Right Now!

Dear Reader,

I recently updated my blog only to take down my latest post.  Some people have tried to click a link to it, only to find the new post is gone.  Moreover, I haven't updated further because I am stuck pondering an ethical issue (and a potentially legal one).

I had initially published one of "Kendra's" emails to me.  It didn't feel right, however, sharing her exact words; moreover, I'm not sure it's even legally okay to reproduce someone's personal email message on a blog.  So--I took the post down.

But...now I am struggling with how to proceed.  Obviously, I could simply paraphrase Kendra's emails in future posts.  On the other hand, there are parts of those emails where her wording is important to the story.  So, I am unsure how to go on.

Any advice?  Feedback on legal/ethical issues?  Please feel free to offer suggestions/knowledge.

Thanks for reading,


Anonymous said...

Legally, the e-mail is technically copyrighted, and you're not supposed to reproduce anywhere without the writer's permission. It would probably never be prosecuted, but you could be told to take it down if she finds this blog.

That's as much as I know. :/

Lucia and Jack said...

Best to paraphrase the content of the emails as to avoid any risk of litigation. As a regular reader, I am comfortable that you are representing the situation accurately and I do not need the actual email content in order to believe or follow the story.

Jennifer said...


Anonymous said...

Copyright is an interest of mine. I'm an odd duck. I found this page to be useful in answering the question, "Are email messages copyrighted?"

Obliviously Mommy said...

If you record a 2 party conversation and at least one party knows it's being recorded it's supposed to me admissible in court so since this would have been a conversation between you and her wouldn't similar rules apply? Either way I think it will be ok but it seems odd to me that legally it would be a problem. Now ethically I could see it as a grey area though. Maybe paraphrase the majority but use the parts that you think need specifically said? Good luck whatever you decide

Victoria Gallegos said...

I agree that paraphrasing would be best. At least ethically. I hope the other answers helped you. And I will anxiously await the next post.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jen
I read your blog all of the time. I trust that if you paraphrase it will be extremely accurate. You have already changed all the names.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to add to my comment from earlier. This is ethical not so much civil law since names were changed etc...... You can go either way ethically. But I don't think that she will ever find it. But I don't think people should know what you went through so that hopefully I'm the future this helps prevent a similar situation from happening to another family.

Anonymous said...

Jennifer, I check back here almost every day, your story about Lily is so heart wrenching!