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Sponsor proposal advisory on copying


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Talked to a racer last week who noted in passing that he had lent another racer a copy of his sponsor proposal and he had the feeling his buddy had copied it, changing the necessary info, and was sending it out for his own sponsor search.


Actually, I'm surprised that anyone is actually getting sponsor proposals out in mid-season. Aside from that, there are good reasons not to try this shortcut.


One is legality: everything is copyrighted the moment it is written, so cutting and pasting someone else's work is illegal. You can further protect it by putting the little copyright symbol on it, or by including the line, "Copyright 2005" at the bottom of the opening page. That at least gives people pause for thought.


More to the point, it's not smart either to lend a proposal out or to copy one and use it yourself. (I usually will show people copies of various proposals, but not let them have one.)


The lender is giving an advantage to his competition, no matter what good friends they may be. This is racing, and your buddy may well try to steal your sponsor even after you get one. It also leads to the likelihood (as small a society as we really are, and as much as we tend to try to approach the same potential sponsors) that two or more nearly identical proposals will end up on the desk of the same potential sponsor.


That doesn't mean you can't use concepts and ideas from another proposal, or even borrow some neat promotion idea. Just don't send out something that you know is nearly identical to what someone else is sending out. If two or more proposals that are obviously identical end up in front of the same sponsor, everyone is likely to lose out.

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