The essay “Trade In Wanted” aka “If My Body Were A Car” aka “If My Body Was A Car” was written in 2003, by me (Linda S Amstutz) and published in Ozark Senior Living (1st Rights Only). Two years later, it came to my attention that my essay was circulating the internet. After unsuccessfully trying to stop the illegal use of my essay, I sought advice from a respected copyright attorney, then  hired a Literary Agent, Mary Taylor Smith, to contact companies, organizations, car clubs, jokes websites, etc, to seek payment to me for the unauthorized and illegal use of my essay. The price for using my essay on a website or newsletter is $750. We have worked with attorneys and insurance companies and club presidents and CEO’s to settle my claim.

                                                    "What if I refuse to pay?” some people have asked.

                        Well, that certainly is an option. However, if someone refuses to pay for use of my essay, I am setting aside the folder, and when I have accumulated enough folders (very soon), I will take them to my copyright attorney and let him pursue action. At that time, all offers to settle for $750 are rescinded.

                                                                                 What should you know about copyrights?

        Publishing someone else's writing without their permission is called Copyright Infringement and it is a Federal Offense. (We writers consider it stealing.) You should know that all works are copyrighted as soon as the writer writes the words and that means that no one else can use someone else's work without the writer's permission. Preferably in writing. But if the writer, or publisher, goes one step further and protects themselves by officially registering the work and obtaining a Registered Copyright with the Library of Congress, not only is the work protected against use without the author's permission, but the author is now able to ask for  his/her legal fees and damages in a federal court of law. For more information about copyrights, visit
Here is the link to the my copyright registration at the Library of Congress: You will need to Click on Title and then search for the name IF MY BODY WERE A CAR.
            If you want to see my copy of the copyright,
click here.
            If you wish to see the original publication of “If My Body Were a Car”, click here.

                                            What every editor and webmaster needs to know!

            Here's the thing: an editor, or webmaster's, job doesn't end with Spell Check. It is the duty of the editor, or webmaster, to ensure that all words (and music and photographs and artwork) published are original, created either by yourself, or someone who has granted you permission to use their work. If someone shows you something they received in an email, or from a magazine, or they read it on the Internet, then you should not be publishing that work. Do not publish any work that you do not have written permission from the author to use.   It is the only way you can be safe from the offense of Copyright Infringement. 

                        Meanwhile, if you are thinking of using my essay, don’t. And if you have already used my essay, contact me or my agent to discuss the matter. If you haven’t already received our letter and invoice, you will soon. You may contact me  or my agent, Mary Taylor Smith to discuss this matter.


Thank you. Linda S Amstutz


SEEING RED now available at Amazon, Borders and through my blog.