Topic: Replication of Materials protected by Copyright

by Phil Kaplan

I thank and applaud those of you who have asked permission to reprint my articles and/or sections of my material. If you're a trainer asking to reprint an article to distribute to clients, feel free. If you're anyone who wants to "hand" some of my published articles to a friend of loved one who "needs" the information, I want you to go ahead and hand it to them.

This article was added to my site just to provide clarity for those who consider using my copyrighted works for commercial gain. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and I am flattered by the number of people who ask to use my materials, but I'm offended by those who feel it just to take credit for materials others have created without permission.

To date my attorney has contacted over two dozen individuals who I'd like to believe "borrowed" my material without recognizing they were violating any laws. There have been hundreds of other "accidental replications" that have been reported to my office at personal trainer websites, many that my attorney and I didn't feel deeemed the time and energy it takes to pursue contact, but were clearly in violation of Copyright laws just the same.

I'd like to prevent myself from ever feeling the need to send one of those letters again (although I like my attorney . . . I hate having to retain him professionally), so here are my thoughts regarding materials I've worked tirelessly to create with the intention of helping others to better their lives:

Copyright infringement is a criminal offense and I'd expect those who purchase or peruse my materials for gain to respect both the ethical implications of reproducing my materials without permission as well as the potential legal ramifications.

If you'd like to reprint an article at a website or in a commercial publication, I ask only the following.

Send me an email with your intent to reprint it including the arena or publication you'd like to reprint it in. In the great majority of cases I'll respond with "OK" provided you follow up by sending me a copy of the reprint including a published reference crediting me for the work and providing access to the source (i.e.

Regarding my programs:

Several personal trainers have taken the liberties of recreating my programs and attempting to differentiate their "versions" by changing select words or rephrasing paragraphs or expressed thoughts.

If a work is deemed in violation of Copyright Laws, an actionable violation can be followed by severe penalties.

The safe bet is to reference any "borrowed" materials.

If, for example, a trainer creates a version of my 17-week TRANSFORM! program, I'd ask that any replication is marked with, "excerpted from TRANSFORM! by Phil Kaplan, Great Atlantic Publishing" and the Copyright date of the publication the materials were borrowed from.

"Reprinted with permission" is always the safest way to avoid any question. Please recognize that asking permission may not always be enough. I may not be comfortable if the work is similar in a manner that borders on direct replication and i'll ask that if such is the case, you respect my sentiments.

Note that according to copyright law, any person who infringes a copyright willfully either for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain, or by the reproduction / distribution of [one or more copies of copyrighted materials] which have a total retail value of more than $1,000 shall be punished as provided by law.

I operate my business under the paradigm, "Growth With Integrity" and sincerely hope that my customers and clients do the same.

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