A reader — and subject of a recent story — informed the newspaper late last week that she had received a couple of phone solicitations trying to sell her a plaque with a copy of the article featuring her.
It isn’t the first time I’ve heard of such a sales pitch — we’ve received a few e-mails at the newspaper making similar offers — but this is the first time I’ve heard of phone calls with the sales pitch. With third parties now using more aggressive methods to push their plaques, I want to clear the air: Hoch Publishing Company and this newspaper have not given permission to any company to sell plaques with our articles on them. No company has even asked for permission.
Selling plaques featuring our articles without permission is a clear violation of the newspaper’s copyright. I can’t speak for others, but I would be wary of buying from a company whose business model is based on breaking the law. Where else might they cut corners?
It’s conceivable that the newspaper could give permission to use its articles on plaques, if a trustworthy company, preferably a local one, asked before selling them. But until that happens, buyer beware.
— ADAM STEWART