I received the following email today. I'm tempted to give permission. How do I know if this is legitimate?
Our dear Catholic School piano teacher has passed away after 50 years of service. I happened upon your poem, "Little Fingers of Love". I would like to use an excerpt or the whole poem on the back of her funeral program, because it fits her 'ministry to our children" so perfectly.
Would this be possible? If so, what 'reference' would you like me to use as 'copyright'?
Thank you, Nancy Veronesi Director of Worship St. Joseph's Church - Penfield, NY www.sjcpenfield.com @SJCWorship
Firstly, don't click on the link they included. Type it into google. If it comes up as a legitimate website for a church, I think you are safe enough emailing them back and granting permission. If still in doubt, call the phone number for that specific church as shown through google, and speak to someone.
Audrey, someones else posted something just like this not too long ago, with almost the same wording. That raises a huge flag with me. I would not give permission. In fact, you may want to do some investigating.
I think you should let them. I have had people ask me if I cared whether they used my articles. I also had a church use a poem and then adapt it to their use. I was a little irked with them that they changed the poem but I understood why they did it and made peace with the situation. I have had much more positives than negatives with allowing people to use my stuff. I would let them.
I just checked out the link and think it would be fine. Unless scammers are faking an entire church website with Google map and even a church with that name at their address. Just ask why they would do that? More importantly how would they be able to get Google to put the church there?
There is no logical explanation other than someone in the congregation has seen and liked your poem. This appears to me to be a genuine request. Do what your heart feels is right, and ask that they credit you at the service maybe give out your url too so that people can look up your other work.
I'd be flattered if that was sent to me! Just the fact that someone is asking your permission to USE your poem and asking how they can credit you indicates clearly that this person is respectful and understanding of a writer's work. The "dear" almost threw me until I read the rest of the email. I'm always suspect of the use of "dear", but in context this makes perfect sense. This is a lovely tribute to your writing, I'd say
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