Archive for April 22nd, 2015

Dear Danielle: May I Use Your Content?

Dear Danielle: May I Use Your Content?

Dear Danielle: 

As I don’t want to infringe and knowing that your ACA Success Store materials are copyrighted (e.g., the business plan template), am I on the right path of thinking that I cannot utilizes your sentences, that my freedom is to understand the essence and create my unique words and format? —BF

You are exactly correct. My words are there for your eyes only, to instruct and provide examples to help get your own creative juices going. They can’t be used on your website, marketing collateral, etc.

Doing your own work is part of the learning process. It’s what helps you gain that deeper understanding about the concepts and ideas I teach and try to impart.

That said, there’s a certain sensibility that has to be applied individually to each product.

For example, you don’t have to rewrite the contracts. They are provided for you to enter your own info and details in the blanks and adapt/adjust as you see fit for use with your own clients.

However, they may not be shared or provided publicly in any format on your website or anywhere else because that violates my terms of use and interferes with my business expectency. (I once had someone do that and had to tell her to take them down.)

With regard to the business plan (as an example), no one else is likely to see your business plan except you. Which is the most important thing because its first and foremost value is that the exercise of completing a business plan gets you to think through everything more thoroughly and gain clarity and direction in all aspects of your business.

So as you read through it, you might have changes you want to make to it for your own personal path in your business. And if not, that’s okay, too. Because really, the only person it’s for and who is ever going to see it is you. Rarely do people ever use it to try to secure funding (these aren’t the type of businesses that get “funded”).

However, if you wanted to use it to try to do that (with your own details and adaptations, of course), you could do that because it would just be between you and the bank/funding source. (Business plans should also always be marked “Confidential & Proprietary” and come with a non-disclosure clause.)

What would NOT be okay is if you shared the business plan with colleagues and others.

For instance, say someone asked on a forum if anyone had a business plan they would mind sharing as an example. It would be illegal for you to send them the business plan you purchased from me (or any of my products), adapted or not, because it violates copyright law, is against my terms of use and would interfere with my business expectancy. They would need to purchase their own copy.

That’s when you’d say, I got an AWESOME business plan from the ACA that’s helped me so much, and you can get your own copy at the ACA Success Store.  😉