Selling swipe files ...

by Big Al
18 replies
There are lots of people selling swipe files from famous copywriters.

I was just wondering if there are any infringements there since it's other peoples work? Although I appreciate that it's not too dissimilar to selling your Star Wars collection and it saves people the time to collect everything themselves.

How would it work if I (for example) built a swipe file on email marketing and just signed up to your list and kept every email and sold it as a resource on how to write emails and get them opened.

Just an example ... I promise!! Your list is safe!

Al
#files #selling #swipe
  • Profile picture of the author Iconik
    Hi Al,

    I would ask the person who wrote the newsletter or content for his permission.

    2 Reasons They Will Likely Agree

    1. Most people respond well to flattery -- Tell 'em that you think the work represents great email copy and that you would love to use it as part of your product.

    2. Free advertising for their newsletter and products -- Even though your customers will be using the product for ideas and inspiration, some will undoubtedly purchase the products or services being offered in the emails.

    Don't Risk It

    It's in your best interest to ask before using any type of copyrighted content, which emails can be considered especially when part of a newsletter.

    If you make sure to stress the point that you will leave the links intact (hyperlinked) and that it will enable their message to reach a larger audience, I'm sure you will find a number of writers who will be more than happy to grant you the use of their material.

    Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    If you don't own it you have no right to sell it in any way, shape or form. You can ask for permission but I'm not sure that people are going to be all that excited to see you selling bits and pieces of their work while they just get to be 'flattered.'

    With that said, it doesn't hurt to ask. Good luck
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  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    Hi Big AL,

    Interesting question.


    Let's just say you would be f***** if you did that with me.

    I'm not famous but I am good. And my Partners and Clients protect me and my work like Fort Knox. Cease and desist letters go out every week on our collective behalf.

    So be careful. Nobody likes their work commandeered without their explicit permission.

    - Rick Duris


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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    I know of products that sell ACCESS to swipe files. They tell you how
    to research and find these files for yourself. I don't know about the
    legality of collecting these and selling them yourself.

    In a way, a sales letter is of no use to someone that's not
    selling the product that the sales letter promotes. So some
    copywriters may not mind selling their letters if you ask
    them, while others would.

    -Ray Edwards
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    The most powerful and concentrated copywriting training online today bar none! Autoresponder Writing Email SECRETS
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  • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
    There are people selling swipe files of old ads. In my book, if they can do it, so can others.

    I've selling plenty of people doing this.

    And, although I don't sell them, I have quite a large swipe file of maybe 2000 - 3000 ads.

    I think you just have to be careful about contemporary ads, especially where there is actually a copyright on them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zentech
    I'm not famous but I am good.
    I'd say give that just a little time, Rick. As far as I'm concerned, your name stands our already in terms of what I've seen since I started to read this forum. I think you'll eventually be joining the "household names" in the copywriting world.

    Personally, I'd pay to be mentored by you if I could afford it. Can't just yet, though.
    Signature
    * Stupid Offer: Killer Sales Letters ***$897*** Just For Warriors. Ethical Clients & Legit Products Only. *
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    • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
      Originally Posted by Zentech View Post

      I'd say give that just a little time, Rick. As far as I'm concerned, your name stands our already in terms of what I've seen since I started to read this forum. I think you'll eventually be joining the "household names" in the copywriting world.

      Personally, I'd pay to be mentored by you if I could afford it. Can't just yet, though.

      That's very kind and generous of you to say, Zentech.

      Thank you,

      - Rick Duris
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  • Profile picture of the author Zentech
    It was meant. From the heart, and the wallet - both of which I think you can address.
    Signature
    * Stupid Offer: Killer Sales Letters ***$897*** Just For Warriors. Ethical Clients & Legit Products Only. *
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    • Profile picture of the author Matt James
      I'd say give that just a little time, Rick. As far as I'm concerned, your name stands our already in terms of what I've seen since I started to read this forum. I think you'll eventually be joining the "household names" in the copywriting world.
      The only reason Rick isn't a "household name" is because he hasn't released a copywriting course.

      In any case, I think he quite likes being a secret weapon
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      • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
        Originally Posted by Matt James View Post

        The only reason Rick isn't a "household name" is because he hasn't released a copywriting course.


        In any case, I think he quite likes being a secret weapon
        Thank you for the warm compliments.

        I would much prefer writing for others. I get inspired by others' entrepreneurialism. I hear all the time how Clients are a pain in the a**. I rarely seem to have that problem.

        - Rick Duris

        PS: I may not have a copywriting course, but I just discovered someone was nice enough to name a game after me: Duris MUD. I'll see you in battle.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ronald Nzimora
    Hey guys, we just veered off the question and everyone began to 'worship' Rick. Please people, get back on track!

    Now to the question...

    As far as I'm concerned, you can sell swipe files of anything. Jason Fladlien sold very successfully here as a WSO of Gary Halbert's Swipe File.

    I've seen many people doing the same and as far as I know, they haven't been asked to cease and desist. Maybe Rick would do that if you sell his...many others won't mind.

    The best thing is if they're dead like Gary Halbert, Robert Collier, Eugene Schwartz, John Caples and the other classic copywriting gurus are, go on ahead and sell.

    If they're alive, it'll be great if you ask them first.

    Cheers.

    P.S. Rick, no offense meant mate. I believe you're good at what you do. The accolades here confirm it.
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    • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
      Originally Posted by john55 View Post

      Hey guys, we just veered off the question and everyone began to 'worship' Rick. Please people, get back on track!

      Now to the question...

      As far as I'm concerned, you can sell swipe files of anything. Jason Fladlien sold very successfully here as a WSO of Gary Halbert's Swipe File.

      I've seen many people doing the same and as far as I know, they haven't been asked to cease and desist. Maybe Rick would do that if you sell his...many others won't mind.

      The best thing is if they're dead like Gary Halbert, Robert Collier, Eugene Schwartz, John Caples and the other classic copywriting gurus are, go on ahead and sell.

      If they're alive, it'll be great if you ask them first.

      Cheers.

      P.S. Rick, no offense meant mate. I believe you're good at what you do. The accolades here confirm it.
      Hi john55,

      1. I understand. There is no 'worshiping' going on here. People here are acknowledging and appreciating. That's it. End of story. I have absolutely no desire to be famous or revered or God forbid, 'worshipped'.


      But most folks here know how to get the best out of me. They thank me. It's pretty simple.

      2. As for others selling other copywriter's work as content? [RING!]
      [RING!] [RING!] Clue phone--it's for you!

      You go ahead and sell swipe files "of anything." Have at it. And if the owner that intellectual property discovers, you will have h*** to pay. That's intellectual property.

      Bond Halbert, for instance. You don't think he deserves compensation for his Father's life's work?

      Of course. Of course he does. Bond is maintaining his father's legacy and legend. Anybody else is just a quick buck opportunist and should be chastised severely.


      *YOU* sir, are a symbol for the EXACT reason I do not, I can not, share my work. And it's so unfortunate, my heart breaks as I write. Because others can learn so much.


      - Rick Duris

      PS: Yes, I am pretty upset about this thread. Why?

      Years ago, I was a VP of programming in a small software company.

      A guy talked his way in and said he some great accounting software. He loaded his disk packs. I took a look.

      Guess what I saw?

      My own software which I wrote myself. Two years of labor. And this man wanted to sell my own software back to me.

      That man ran out with my shoe up his a**.

      I have tremendous respect for people's intellectual property.



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      • Profile picture of the author Jag82
        Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post


        Years ago, I was a VP of programming in a small software company.
        What's a copywriter doing as a VP of programming? :confused:

        But seriously...Rick...you deserve a medal for your selfless sharing.

        If there is ever a WF awards...I think you are will be in with
        a major shout.

        - Jag

        P.S There goes the same for many copywriters who frequently participate here too.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
      Originally Posted by john55 View Post

      Hey guys, we just veered off the question and everyone began to 'worship' Rick. Please people, get back on track!

      Now to the question...

      As far as I'm concerned, you can sell swipe files of anything. Jason Fladlien sold very successfully here as a WSO of Gary Halbert's Swipe File.

      I've seen many people doing the same and as far as I know, they haven't been asked to cease and desist. Maybe Rick would do that if you sell his...many others won't mind.

      The best thing is if they're dead like Gary Halbert, Robert Collier, Eugene Schwartz, John Caples and the other classic copywriting gurus are, go on ahead and sell.

      If they're alive, it'll be great if you ask them first.

      Cheers.

      P.S. Rick, no offense meant mate. I believe you're good at what you do. The accolades here confirm it.
      Wow!

      I really hope my post never read like that.

      You are dead wrong about being able to sell anything. In fact, you don;t even know the background about Jason Fladlien's product.

      How do you know he never actually got permission?

      I know for a fact the Halbert guys are a very giving lot and wouldn't be surprised if they were okay with Jason's work.
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  • Profile picture of the author Big Al
    Hi Rezbi

    To be honest that was one of the products I was thinking of when I posted and I didn't want to name individual cases.

    So thanks John55 for bringing it up.

    And you're right we don't know what terms that (or any other swipe file) have been released on but please don't jump down his throat for mentioning it.

    People get 'scared' to contribute then and before you know it - no one says anything.

    After all if I was curious and John55 thought it ... then I'm sure there are gazillions of others wondering the same and that's the reason for asking and participating in this thread.

    To learn - and to stop people going about 'things' like this in the wrong or unethical ways (simply because they just 'didn't think' or perhaps didn't care).

    Which it's why it's also a good thing to hear from Rick and get a professional's point of view. And of course your own ... to see what the reactions of others are.

    Thanks again to everyone who's joined in to help out.

    Al
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  • Profile picture of the author Omar Khafagy
    Alright, so you guys are saying that we shouldn't sell swipe files. Cool. So what about giving them away as an incentive to those who purchase another product?

    Or heck, just giving them away for free in general? You're making no profit off of it... so are you still running into intellectual property issues?

    The problem with a thread like this is that no one here is, to the best of my knowledge, a lawyer. If you ask a question like this, what you'll get are opinions. You won't get any kind of legal direction, so what's the point?

    I'm not saying the question isn't a valid one, I'm just saying that you may have chosen a poor place to ask it because there are way too many unknowns that can only be addressed by a lawyer.

    What's the rule to selling a bunch of ads that you've collected? If you go to your mailbox, take out all the junk mail, wrap it up with an elastic band and sell it to some guy on the street for double the cost of mailing it... are you violating the IP of the person who wrote the ad?

    Who owns the IP anyway? The person who contracted the work to be written? The writer? How long do they get to hang onto the rights over it?

    Is the reproduction of ads and redistribution of them illegal? Are the rights over ads the same or similar to the rights over books? If the author of a book is in the practice of distributing that book for free EVERYWHERE, with the hopes that you'll call the number on the back of it to buy something... would I be going against IP laws to sell that book for profit?

    Let's say that the ads themselves cannot be sold as is. Okay, what if I select 50 ads and cut 'em up to hell, analyzed each of them, and then gave full credit to whoever wrote it? And then sold all these critiques, ALONG with a copy of the ad itself.

    Is selling the issue here? Or is it reproduction? Or is it distribution?

    Anyway, I hope you understand what I meant here... we all have opinions, but fundamentally what you want to know is if it can be done. I honestly don't know, and with an issue as complex as this one, go take it to a lawyer.

    As I'm sure you know, you gotta expect to lay out some cash somewhere along the line in a business. It's part of the process. So go find out... and hey, when you do, share with us what you've learned. I'm sure others here would agree that they'd love to know the verdict on that.
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    Administrator of www.CopywritingBoard.com

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