Copycats

Who Would Know?

So how would a publisher ever find out if your business photocopies its articles? They're already a step ahead of you. Many publishers and software developers offer hefty rewards for information about illegal photocopying. For instance, Washington Business Information Inc., which publishes the industry newsletters Product Safety Letter, Regulatory Watchdog Report, The Food and Drug Letter and more, includes a reward statement with its copyright notice, offering a $2,000 reward for information about illegal photocopying. SIMBA Information Inc., publisher of Educational Marketer, Book Publishing Report and other industry newsletters, offers a reward of "up to $1,000 for actionable evidence of illegal copying or faxing" and assures informants of confidentiality.

"Nobody thinks someone is going to come inside and find out," Gillen says. But suppose you need to discipline an employee who happens to know about your photocopying practices. Tattling on the boss could be a satisfying way for a disgruntled employee to get even--and collect a nice reward in the bargain.

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This article was originally published in the January 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Copycats.

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