Automotive Hand Tools Are Essentially Important

Because the automotive industry is so big, there are different kinds of automotive hand tools used.

These tools are all used for fixing different issues and broken parts on automobiles like cars, motorbikes and scooters, buses, trucks even trains and locomotives.

As long as we have cars on the road there will be a need for mechanics and automotive tools to fix cars.

There is also the industry of using the tools, spanners and sockets to assemble customized replacement parts, to repair and assemble different automotive parts when restoring older cars or refurbish them. Automotive enthusiasts buy top quality spanners and socket sets and have a vast inventory in their workshop.

Here is a basic list of tools an automotive workshop might have:

* -Socket sets
* -Spanner sets
* -Air tools
* -Air fasteners
* -Jacks
* -Air compressors
* -Screwdrivers
* -Impact guns
* -Lubrication equipment
* -Hammers
* -Punches and Drifts.

Large Automotive Hand applications

Automotive hand tools include a very wide range of wrenches, spanners and sockets. These vary from small sizes for scooters and some cars to large sized wrenches and hammers for use on such vehicles as trains and trucks. Because these vehicles are so much bigger, heavier equipment is needed and these tools are described as heavy duty and are twice the size or ordinary implements. Power and hydraulic equipment is commonly used when hand power is not sufficient.

Constant Maintenance

Most people know that unfortunately vehicles are in constant need of servicing, repairs and maintenance. Its the fuel systems, petrol and diesel engines, complex electrical system, independent suspension systems, steering and brake systems that present problems to fix and repair on a periodic basis. Mechanics schedule this maintenance on your cars and utilise their tool kits to fix all the common problems that arise.

Hand Tools are extremely important and have a very large market to cater for. They are commonplace in any auto outlet and home hardware shop. The hand tools are becoming lighter and easier with every design. Be sure though -The quality is directly related to price and you really get what you pay for.

Where to Shop for Automotive Parts and Equipment

A complete range of automotive tools and equipment can be found online. Consumers do have the advantage when shopping on the Internet, as they are not only provided quality merchandise, but merchandise at a discount. Top providers on the Internet will stock a wide range of automotive tools and equipment from recognized brands in the industry. Many consumers are turning to the Internet due to its affordability. Automotive tools and equipment, are expensive, and if you are in search of parts that are hard to find, the Internet is often the best source there is. When you begin to shop and compare the various online sites, you will notice that the greater reputability a company has, the more automotive tools and equipment they will offer. Automotive tools and equipment are necessary at some point in time for every driver that performs repairs on their vehicle. Workshops require automotive equipment that is specific to repairs so that they can safely and efficiently perform the repairs.

What types of automotive tools & equipment will you find online?

Automotive equipment will include all the automotive equipment that is found in the marketplace today such as:

* Tire changers

* Suspension and brake testing systems

* Brake lathes

* Short and mid-rise lifts

* Pit lifts

* Post lifts

* Mobile column lifts

* Auto lift equipment

* Wheel alignment and wheel balancers

* And, more

Other types of automotive equipment and automotive tools that you will find from the online vendors that are used by both the automotive shops and the home mechanics will include:

Lubrication Equipment: Each vehicle on the market has so many moving parts that comprise the operation of the vehicle and each of these moving parts need lubrication. Grease valves, oil meters and oil pumps are just some of the lubrication equipment that you will find online.

Air compressors: Air compressors are used to inflate a tire or tires. They may also be used to operate other pneumatic tools, as it is a source of compressed air. Air compressors come in many different makes and designs such as the electric powered, gas powered or diesel powered.

Other Automotive Tools: Other automotive tools that are used in both the industry and by the at home mechanic are hammers, dollies, screwdrivers, jacks, and monitors. These are specific for automotive repairs and automotive tools that the online vendor should have a variety to offer.

Service and Exhaust Equipment: For the shop or mechanic that is servicing vehicles, the proper service and exhaust equipment is necessary. This equipment includes brake fluid exchangers, booster cables, paint, battery chargers and so on.

When you do find an online store that seems to provide you with exactly what you need, make certain that they are reputable. The online site should have everything in tact on their site from their terms and policies to their customer service. Also, a description of each product that they offer to the consumer should be detailed. Dealing online is one of the greatest advantages to the consumer, and in the auto industry, the advantage is even greater.

Types of Automotive Jobs

Numerous people have an ambition of getting an automotive school degree, but are confused about what type of jobs the automobile companies offer. If you also think the same way, no need to worry, as there are various types of automobile jobs available.

Since the car usage and ownership industries have tremendously grown in the past few years and continue to grow, anyone with an automobile school degree has an assured job.

Types of Jobs Available:

Below mentioned are some types of jobs, which a person having an automotive school degree may opt for:

1. Lube and oil technician: Cars need maintenance on a regular basis. Oil change is one-step involved in maintenance of cars. For maintenance of cars, many oil and lube store, garages, and workshops have come up. They provide jobs to persons, who have experience and knowledge to perform these maintenance tasks quickly. Graduates from such schools will easily get these types of jobs, since they are more knowledgeable and experienced in all these tasks.

2. Automotive Technicians: These people perform numerous tasks rather than just oil changing. Automobile technicians perform tasks such as air filter replacement and other such maintenance related tasks. They may also be hired for balancing wheels, mounting and dismounting wheels, changing brake pads and for performing tune-ups.

3. Mechanics: Mechanics require more education and experience compared to technicians. Mechanics perform more difficult repair works and may do the tasks of technicians too. A mechanic performs replacement tasks such as replacement of shocks and struts, alternators, drive shaft, and starters. Any person with an automobile school degree may apply for this job. Mechanics are given all the necessary hands-on training for this job.

4. Master Mechanics: A graduate from an automobile school will be proud of this particular job. This is a kind of job available at high quality automobile shop, garage or dealership maintenance workshop. The pay package of a master mechanic is higher than a technician or mechanic.

5. Auto Body and Paint Specialists: Persons who repair the damages on the vehicle are called auto body and paint specialists. These people are in great demand in recent times due to the high incidents of accidents. An auto body technician replaces exterior body parts and repairs damage. Paint technicians apply paint to the vehicle after repairing the damage.

6. Automobile Design and Engineering: This is the most esteemed job in the auto world. These auto expert persons design the look of a car. This job has very high demand because of the ever-changing technology and competition in the automobile industry. A person with a good understanding of auto theory as well as engineering practices may apply for this job.

These are some of the jobs available for automotive school graduates. Auto industries often require people for various jobs in diverse sectors of automobiles. The job may be for the creation or sales of new vehicles or it may be for repairs and maintenance of automobiles. To end, the auto world always has jobs for auto graduates.

Cordless Impact Wrench Designs and Information

What is a Cordless Impact Wrench?

A cordless impact wrench is most usually a battery powered tool designed to tighten a nut or other fixing, although other varieties do exist. An impact wrench works by using a motor to spin a mass inside the tool called a hammer. The hammer stores energy which is rapidly transferred to the drive shaft of the tool, which is called the anvil. The power transfer occurs very fast and is deliberately intermittent. Peak torque can be very high, but as this transfer process only occurs for a short period of time very little of the energy makes its way back to the tools operator.

What Designs are Available?

The usual design for a light industrial cordless impact wrench is very similar to that used in automotive designs. That is to say that it is a small torque gun style of product. The difference between a battery powered tool and one powered by compressed air comes from the fact that the power comes from a batter inserted into the base of the handle, rather than a compressed air line.

These pistol style impact wrenches are the more powerful of the cordless designs available, but for jobs where access is limited they can be too bulky to use and so another format is required.

Angle head cordless impact wrenches are used where there is a desire for mobility and increased flexibility of use. A typical tool in this class can offer a number of head positions, not just 90 degrees and so can be used in a variety of positions as demanded by the work environment.

What are the Advantages of a Cordless Impact Wrench?

Cordless power tools are generally less powerful that their corded cousins, there is no denying it, but the gain in flexibility of use is great. If work is to occur at a distance from a power source then a cordless tool is a huge help as all that is required is a few batteries and work can continue with minimal disruption.

Cordless impact wrenches are also safer in the workplace as they leave no dangling cables to trip over.

Angle head tools are designed for ease of use in tight working environments and generally come with their own LED lights as natural light is often restricted in these cramped environments. While these tools lack the power of more conventional pistol grip designs they do have exception reach due to their elongated design and narrow heads. The can be excellent additions to an automotive workshop for this reason alone.

While cordless impact wrenches will never replace heavier industrial units in terms of power there is no doubt that they do offer increased flexibility of working. Surely any workplace that values safety of the workforce should consider replacing old cabled tools with a safer alternative that is a cordless impact wrench?

Imagine a factory run on sunlight? Wind energy is another possibility, but since all energy ultimately comes from the sun let’s focus on renewable solar energy for now. As you know most renewable energy applications are designed to save money, but wouldn’t it be nice to make money with the help of boundless, free radiant energy from that light in the sky?

Saving Energy while Saving Money could save the environment and commercially installed Five Kilowatt PV systems pay for themselves in 10 years and 20 million BTU/yr solar hot water systems pay for themselves in 9 years, but how much income will these applications generate? The total long term yield; taking into account depreciation factors, maintenance fees, and insurance considerations would hover around 5% and the net yield on CD investment hovers around 1% so an investment in sunlight makes more sense than a bank investment and if you’re content with watching a power meter spin backwards OR if you like the idea of spending less on number 2 fuel oil commercially installed renewable energy applications may be right for you… BUT if you are like me you’ll want a greater return on your capital investment.

Making Money with sunlight may sound like something out of a far-fetched, futuristic, space odyssey BUT the technology for a low cost solar heated workshop is now available. Energy must be used to have value. This energy may be used to grow plants, dry fruit, dry wood, cure cement, harden paints and produce compost, methane and ethanol. Farmers earn a living from sunlight and so can you. It’s just a matter of building a suitable renewable energy factory and using stored solar heat as a resource.

Sustainability is an important part of energy independence, but in the real world sustainability is insufficient. The nature of Capitalism and Socialism requires an interdependent exchange of services. A sense of contentment in life is also achieved when we strike a balance betweenthe services we depend on and the services we provide.If we depend on cars and gasoline and roads and bridges and automotive maintenance and automotive insurance we must offset our dependence with services that involve driving. The more we can do for ourselves the less we’ll need to provide for living expenses and if we’re able to provide a sustainable environment for ourselves while also providing valuable services for others we’ll have the best of both worlds.

Going Beyond Sustainability by providing a useful service that augments the value of our life-sustaining environment may not be for everyone, but there is a growing need for change. Old jobs that increase the affluence of the few while also increasing the poverty of the many have no net value. We live on a small planet with limited resources that are rapidly disappearing. We need new decentralized jobs that are less dependent on the ordeal of transportation. We need more small localized business involved with the processes of recycling and energy conservation. We need to encourage the values of Basic Human Needs and place less importance on the Gross National Product. A brave new world is possible, but it will only be possible if we make it so.

The Roof of a solar heated workshop does not depend on the roof of an existing dwelling so it may be built as an independent structure to optimize heat collection and heat storage opportunities.

An Insulated Storage Shed built into the exterior, North wall of the workshop forms an ideal vault for storing heat. Heat regulation is facilitated by this arrangement since the heated water is isolated from, but adjacent to the work area.

Vertical South Facing Glazing allows the penetration of oblique winter radiation while blocking the direct rays of summer. This well lit, heated area of the workshop is used to germinate and sustain seedlings.

A Low Cost Flush Mounted Array of collectors harvest the sun’s heat. When the right kind of DIY collectors are installed pressure relief valves, glycol antifreeze and copper pipes are not required and the installation of a large solar heating system is simplified.

Energy from our sun is diffuse and intermittent so a large heat collection area and a large heat storage area are needed to make a worthwhile investment. The workshop must be used to have value so if you build an MTD solar heated workshop please use it.

Top Brand Professional Automotive Tools Reviewed – Know Your Budget

The tool market is well serviced in terms of brands, design, quality and price. The key consideration is to evaluate your needs. For example, it is pointless buying a laptop capable driving sophisticated 3G games when really all that is required from the unit is basic desktop and internet work. This kind of example also applies to buying tools. For instance, why waste one’s budget on buying the most expensive tools when their application is for occasional hobby type tasks.

Lets start with an overview comparison. It is widely agreed that the best quality and designed tools are manufactured by the Snap-on company. This brand of tools is designed for the professional market. No tool brand is perfect and infallible to failure. However, the Snap-on lifetime warranty means that when a tool breaks, it is replaced or repaired by the service representatives. Snap-on tools can be bought from their distribution trucks and vans that visit automotive workshops. Alternatively, their online catalog allows purchasing via the internet. Second-hand and recycled Snap-on tools are also eagerly traded through websites like eBay and eBay Partner sites.

As noted above, Snap-on automotive tools are at the upper price range. However, there is no shortage of professional grade tool brands at price points below that of the Snap-on brand. For example the brands: Matco, MAC and Cornwell are equally respected in the professional automotive sector. Matco, MAC and Cornwell off a range of professional tools that deliver quality and reliability while carrying sound lifetime warranties and professional after sales service. And are less expensive than the Snap-on brand for the budget minded professional automotive technician. The availability of these brands for sale is similar to Snap-on tools. Trucks visit and distribute tools at automotive workshops. Also, online catalogs and auction type websites offer buy opportunities.

For those budget sensitive buyers, the next set of tool brands is SK and Craftsman. The manufacturing quality of these brands meet USA standards and carry similar lifetime warranties like those brands mentioned above. So, for the semi-professional or hobbyist application these tool brands are an ideal choice. Some may argue that the SK brand, although not as popular, is a little superior to the Craftsman brand. But this opinion is subjective. Craftsmanship and SK brand tools are a more accessible to the buying market. For example, Craftsmanship brand tools are stocked at Sears stores, while the SK brand is found in automotive parts stores and outlets.

In summary, if price is no restraint, then tools from the Snap-on range are considered to be the best quality. Where quality and service is still a priority, then brands such as: matco, MAC and Cornwell offer offer quality profession lines of tools as less expensive price points. Finally, the brands SK and Craftsmanship serve the semi-professional market with tools that are not subject to the high demands of daily professional usage. The advice for any buyer is assess the task application of the tool, and allocate your budget to buy the right tool for the right job.

Elearning – Communication and Relevant Content

Just like in any traditional learning experience, students in elearning need effective communication and relevant, attention-grabbing content in order to learn successfully. Instructional designers are faced with the challenge of designing courses that would satisfy these requirements. Clear communication is incredibly important in the designing an electronic learning course because the content presented is not always received by students the way the designer intended it. If a learner does not get what he is intended to receive, then it is highly possible that learning objectives would not be met.

There are a lot of reasons why learners can perceive information in various ways. Levels in experience, expertise and knowledge contribute greatly. Sometimes cultural and even environmental differences affect learning experiences. However, a big factor in the equation is the learner’s commitment to the course. A designer must first understand that he cannot control the perception of students. However, there are ways to ease some of the confusion, and they’re usually based on the communication process and relevant content.

Effective Communication

Compared to the established communication process, the one involved in elearning is a little bit different because there is no way to alter the course content to enable better communication for it-it is a closed loop process. In an environment such as this, the learner’s processing is dependent on the content delivered. Unfortunately, in a technology-enhanced learning setup, it is likely that the learner has no way of expressing his confusion and whether or not he or she understands what is being presented. It is for this reason that designers must find a way to build something that assesses understanding and at the same time provide feedback.

To do this, one must first determine how the material will be prepared so that learners can make sense of it. Remember that it has to be expressed in a way that they can understand. Second is to determine the obstacles that may hinder proper comprehension. Knowing the profile of the learners is a useful way to avoid problems. And third is to find the best ways to engage them. Relevant content is the key to a learning experience. The course content must provide motivation, ensure effectiveness and hold interest.

Relevant Content

In elearning, impact is critical. And the only way a course can make an impact is if its content has value to the learner. There are three ways to make course content relevant.

First is to get to know the learners in their environment. Spending time with them is a great way to identify what their needs and preferences are. This way, the course can be modified according to those needs and preferences to ensure quality content. Second is to be the liaison between the learner and the content owner. Sometimes, organizations build the course around their needs and objectives, and not their learners or trainees. The role of an instructional designer is to merge both the organization’s and learner’s needs in order to come up with a course content that satisfies both parties. And third is to put the content into context. Creating scenarios where learners can be challenged to analyze problems or scenarios is a great way to apply this.

The author is fascinated by things that are simple and minimal. He likes minimalist art, lives a simple lifestyle and writes things that are light and easy to read.

Automotive Tools for Your Home Garage

You can save hundreds of dollars on garage fees every year by carrying out minor servicing and maintenance jobs on your car yourself. Armed with a selection of widely available automotive tools, a garage manual for your car, and enough time and patience to get a job done properly, pretty much anyone can carry out the routine tasks needed to keep your car on the road and running smoothly.

One of the most satisfying aspects of carrying out maintenance tasks on your vehicle – aside from saving money on expensive garage bills – is that you are able to get an understanding of how the car works, and the more you understand about the vehicle, the easier it is to put things right in the event of a breakdown.

Any home garage requires a good selection of automotive tools to carry out work on a car. Some vehicles from certain manufacturers have non standard machining and sizes used throughout their construction, and you will need to get automotive specialty tools designed for the purpose of working on that particular car from a motor store. No home workshop is complete without a trolley jack and axle stands to allow you to get under the car and do things like oil changes and exhaust checks.

For most small jobs, such as changing the oil or replacing filters, changing the spark plugs and brake pads on your vehicle, general tools such as a wrench and a screwdriver are all that is required, and these are widely available in most hardware stores. It is a good idea to keep your automotive tools separate from other tools you may have, because if you begin a job and then discover that the tool you want to use is missing, it can cause major headaches.

Twenty years ago, cars were much simpler to maintain and understand than they are today. Computerised engine management systems and adjustable fuel injectors are now commonplace, and special automotive diagnostic tools are required in order to make adjustments to the engine timing and fuel air mix, whereas in the past, these jobs could be done quite simply.

Areas of the car that almost anyone can handle the regular maintenance of are the interior and exterior panels. Simple scratches and dents to the bodywork are easy to repair using a soft mallet for panel beating and abrasive paper, spray paint and filler for paintwork repairs.

If your car is well used, the interior is likely to start to look tired and dated and in need of a little tender loving care. Thankfully, there are many automotive upholstery tools available to help you to tidy up the interior of the car and bring it back to its sparkling best. You can repair small tears and burns on the seats by darning them or applying a repair patch over the affected area. The trim of the car can be brought back to life with a good buffing using a polisher, while using specialist tools it is possible to repair the carpets or even replace them.

Of course there is much more to owning and maintaining a car than just tightening nuts and sewing up split seams, and you may find that you want to add non-stock parts such as a more efficient air filter or new exhaust to improve performance, and once you understand the basics of automotive maintenance, upgrades and tuning will become more accessible, saving you even more money in the long term.

Doing small jobs yourself can save you plenty of money on garage bills, and having the right automotive tools to get the jobs done is an excellent idea that will save you time and effort in the long run. However, one of the most important things for any mechanic to know is when to pass over a job to an expert, and rather than potentially do more damage than good, to get a qualified mechanic to carry out work on a car.

Employees May Have Privacy Rights In Their Personal Emails Sent On Company Computers

Most employees just accept the fact that their employer can access any content that is on a company computer, including employees’ personal emails and other personal information. But, is that the law? A growing number of courts are recognizing that employees have some expectation of privacy with respect to their personal content on company computers. Some recent decisions have held that employers do not own and cannot access their employees’ personal emails not even when those emails were sent on a company computer.

Marina Stengart v. Loving Care Agency, Inc. is a workplace privacy case that was decided on June 26, 2009. Marina Stengart worked as an Executive Director of Nursing at Loving Care Agency, Inc. Loving Care provided Stengart with a company computer and an email address to accomplish her work duties. Loving Care had an electronic communications policy which stated that emails, internet use and computer files are considered the company’s property and “are not to be considered private or personal to any individual employee.” The policy also stated that the company had “the right to review, audit, intercept, access, and disclose all matters on the company’s media systems and services at any time, with or without notice.”

Stengart used her company computer to email her attorneys about filing a discrimination lawsuit against Loving Care. But, Stengart did not use her company email address. She emailed her attorneys with her personal, password protected Yahoo email account while using her company computer. Stengart resigned from her employment and sued Loving Care for discrimination. Loving Care then searched Stengart’s company computer and, pursuant to its electronic communications policy, read the emails Stengart exchanged with her attorneys. Stengart angered by Loving Care’s reading of her personal emails, asked the Court to decide if Loving Care had the right under its electronic communications policy to read emails she sent to her attorneys through her personal email account on her company computer.

The Stengart Court rejected the notion that an employee’s personal emails become company property simply because the company owns the computer, claiming that a company computer in this setting is little more than a file cabinet: “Property rights are no less offended when an employer examines documents stored on a computer as when an employer rifles through a folder containing an employee’s private papers or reaches in and examines the contents of an employee’s pockets; indeed, even when a legitimate business purpose could support such a search, we can envision no valid precept of property law that would convert the employer’s interest in determining what is in those locations with a right to own the contents of the employee’s folder of private papers or the contents of his pocket.” The Court ruled against Loving Care, concluding that an employer cannot “transform all private communications into company property — merely because the company owned the computer used to make the private communications or used to access such private information during work hours.”

Marina Stengart asked the Court if her employer had the right to view her personal emails. Bonnie Van Alstyne took the workplace privacy notion a step further when she sued her former employer for accessing her personal emails. Bonnie Van Alstyne worked as a Vice President at Electronic Scriptorium Limited, a small data conversion company owned and operated by Edward Leonard. Van Alstyne had a company email account, but she occasionally used her personal AOL email account to conduct business. Van Alstyne’s employment was terminated and she filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the company. During the discovery process, Van Alstyne learned that Edward Leonard accessed her personal email account both during and after her employment. Leonard produced 258 emails he had printed from Van Alstyne’s personal email account.

Van Alstyne filed a separate lawsuit against Leonard, Bonnie Van Alstyne v. Electronic Scriptorium Limited, et al. Her lawsuit alleged that Leonard violated the Stored Communications Act when he accessed her personal email account and viewed her emails. The Stored Communications Act creates criminal and civil liability for any individual who “intentionally accesses without authorization a facility through which an electronic communication service is provided” or “intentionally exceeds an authorization to access that facility” and “obtains, alters, or prevents authorized access to a wire or electronic communication while it is in electronic storage in such system.” In other words, the Stored Communication Act prohibits an individual from, among other things, intentionally accessing other people’s stored emails, voicemails, text messages, etc. without permission. A jury found that Leonard violated the Stored Communications Act and awarded Van Alstyne $250,000 in compensatory and punitive damages and more than $136,000 in attorneys fees and costs.

The law is changing. Courts are recognizing that employees have a right to privacy in their personal emails even when those emails are sent on company computers and even when company policy says otherwise. But, both Marina Stengart’s and Bonnie Van Alstyne’s employers read their personal emails which gave their employers valuable defensive information and severely prejudiced Stengart and Van Alstyne in their pending lawsuits. A lawsuit cannot unring that bell. And, Stengart and Van Alstyne were forced into lengthy, costly legal battles to enforce their privacy rights. It is encouraging that courts are recognizing employee privacy rights and giving employees remedies when those rights are violated. However, the best course of action is to keep your personal email and your company computer separate thereby eliminating any possibility that your employer will view your personal emails.

Publishing And Digital And Electronic Rights

The following publishing industry article addresses some of the legal issues arising for publishing lawyers, entertainment attorneys, authors, and others as a result of the prevalence of e-mail, the Internet, and so-called “digital” and “electronic publishing”. As usual, publishing law generally and the law of the digital right and electronic right specifically, governing these commercial activities, has been slow to catch up to the activity itself. Yet most of the publishing industry “gray areas” can be resolved by imposing old common-sense interpretations upon new publishing lawyer and entertainment lawyer industry constructs, including the digital right and electronic right, and others. And if after reviewing this article you believe you have a non-jargonized handle on the distinction between “digital right” and “electronic right” in the publishing context, then I look forward to hearing from you and reading your article, too.

1. “Electronic Right[s]” And “Digital Right[s]” Are Not Self-Defining.

All publishing lawyers, entertainment attorneys, authors, and others must be very careful about the use of jargon – publishing industry jargon, or otherwise. Electronic and digital publishing is a recent phenomenon. Although as a publishing lawyer and entertainment attorney and unlike some others, I tend to use the phrase “electronic right” or even “digital right” in the singular number, there probably tends to be no single consensus as to what constitutes and collectively comprises the singular “electronic right” or “digital right”. There has not been sufficient time for the publishing, media, or entertainment industries to fully crystallize accurate and complete definitions of phrases like “electronic publishing”, “web publishing”, “electronic right[s]”, “e-rights”, “digital rights”, or “first electronic rights”.

These phrases are therefore usually just assumed or, worse yet, just plain fudged. Anyone who suggests that these phrases alone are already self-defining, would be wrong.

Accordingly, anyone, including a publishing lawyer or paralegal representing a book publisher or entertainment lawyer representing a studio or producer, who says that an author should do – or not do – something in the realm of the “electronic right” or “digital right” because it is “industry-standard”, should automatically be treated with suspicion and skepticism.

The fact of the matter is, this is a great era for authors as well as author-side publishing lawyers and entertainment attorneys, and they should seize the moment. The fact that “industry-standard” definitions of the electronic right and digital right have yet to fully crystallize, (if indeed they ever do), means that authors and author-side publishing lawyers and entertainment attorneys can take advantage of this moment in history.

Of course, authors can also be taken advantage of, too – particularly those not represented by a publishing lawyer or entertainment attorney. There is a long and unfortunate history of that happening, well prior to the advent of the electronic right and digital right. It has probably happened since the days of the Gutenberg Press.

Every author should be represented by a publishing lawyer, entertainment attorney, or other counsel before signing any publishing or other agreement, provided that their own economic resources will allow it. (But I am admittedly biased in that regard). Part of the publishing lawyer and entertainment attorney’s function in representing the author, is to tease apart the different strands that collectively comprise the electronic right or digital right. This must be done with updated reference to current technology. If your advisor on this point is instead a family member with a Smith-Corona cartridge typewriter or a Commodore PET, rather than an entertainment attorney or publishing lawyer, then it may be time to seek a new advisor.

Even authors who cannot afford publishing lawyer or entertainment attorney counsel, however, should avoid agreeing in writing to give broad contractual grants to publishers of “electronic publishing” – or the “electronic right”, or “electronic rights” or “digital rights”, or the “digital right”. Rather, in the words of “Tears For Fears”, the author and author counsel had “better break it down again”. Before agreeing to grant anyone the author’s “digital right: or “electronic right”, or any elements thereof, the author and his or her publishing lawyer and entertainment attorney need to make a list of all the possible and manifold electronic ways that the written work could be disseminated, exploited, or digitally or electronically otherwise used. Notice that the author’s list will likely vary, month to month, given the fast pace of technological advancements. For example, these kinds of questions can be considered by the author and publishing lawyer and entertainment attorney alike:

Electronic Digital Right Question #1, Asked By The Publishing Lawyer/Entertainment Attorney To The Author: Can the work be published in whole or in part on the Internet? In the context of an “e-zine”? Otherwise? If so, how? For what purpose? Free to the reader? For a charge to the reader?

Electronic Digital Right Question #2, Asked By The Publishing Lawyer/Entertainment Attorney To The Author: Can the work be disseminated through private e-mail lists or “listservs”? Free to the reader? For a charge to the reader?

Electronic Digital Right Question #3, Asked By The Publishing Lawyer/Entertainment Attorney To The Author: Can the work be distributed on CD-Rom? By whom? In what manner and context?

Electronic Digital Right Question #4, Asked By The Publishing Lawyer/Entertainment Attorney To The Author: To what extent does the author, himself or herself, wish to self-publish this work, either before or after granting any electronic right or any individual “electronic publishing” rights therein to someone else? Will such self-publication occur on or through the author’s website? Otherwise?

Electronic Digital Right Question #5, Asked By The Publishing Lawyer/Entertainment Attorney To The Author: Even if the author does not self-publish, to what extent does the author wish to be able to use and disseminate this writing for his or her own portfolio, publicity, or self-marketing purposes, and perhaps disseminate that same writing (or excerpts thereof) electronically? Should that be deemed invasive of, or competitive with, the electronic right as otherwise contractually and collectively constituted?

The above list is illustrative but not exhaustive. Any author and any publishing lawyer and entertainment attorney will likely think of other elements of the electronic and digital right and other uses as well. The number of possible uses and complexities of the electronic right[s] and digital right[s] definitions will increase as technology advances. In addition, different authors will have different responses to the publishing lawyer and entertainment attorney, to each of the carefully-itemized questions. Moreover, the same author may be concerned with the electronic right in the context of one of his/her works, but may not care so much in the context of a second and different work not as susceptible to digital right exploitation. Therefore, the author must self-examine on these types of electronic and digital right questions before responding to the author’s publishing lawyer or entertainment attorney and then entering into each individual deal. Only by doing so can the author avoid the pitfalls and perils of relying upon lingo, and relying upon someone else to dictate to them what is the electronic right or digital right “industry standard”. As the publishing lawyer and entertainment attorney should opine, “There is no such thing as ‘industry standard’ in the context of a bilaterally-negotiated contract. The only standard that you the author should be worried about is the motivational ‘standard’ known as: ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get'”.

Finally, the author should be aware that while the electronic right, digital right, and components thereof can be expressly granted, they can also be expressly reserved to the author, by a mere stroke of the pen or keystroke made by the publishing lawyer or entertainment attorney. For example, if an author wants to expressly reserve the “portfolio uses” mentioned in Electronic Digital Right Question #5 above, then the author should ask his or her publishing lawyer or entertainment attorney to clearly recite this reservation of the author portfolio electronic/digital right in the contract, and leave nothing to chance. In addition, if the author has some negotiating leverage, the author, through the publishing lawyer or entertainment attorney, may be able to negotiate the “safety net” of a “savings clause” which provides words to the effect that: “all rights not expressly granted to publisher, be it an electronic right or digital right or otherwise, are specifically reserved to author for his/her sole use and benefit”. That way, the “default provision” of the contract may automatically capture un-granted rights including any electronic or digital right for the author’s later use. This publishing lawyer and entertainment attorney drafting technique has likely saved empires in the past.

2. Publishers and Entertainment Companies Are Revising Their Boilerplate Agreements, As We Speak, In An Effort To Secure The Electronic Right[s].

It is well-known and should come as no surprise that right now, as we speak, publishers and their in-house and outside counsel publishing lawyers and entertainment attorneys are furiously re-drafting their boilerplate contracts to more thoroughly capture the digital and electronic right – that is, all of an author’s digital and electronic rights. The typical publishing agreement drafted by a company-side publishing lawyer or entertainment attorney will recite a broad grant of rights, then followed by a whole laundry-list of “including but not limited to” examples. If the author receives such an onerous-looking rights passage from a publisher or the publisher’s publishing lawyer or entertainment attorney, the author should not be intimidated. Rather, the author should look at it as an opportunity to make some money and have some fun. The author can first compare the list suggested in Electronic Digital Right Questions #1 through #5 above, to the publisher’s own laundry-list and the author’s own imagination. Then, the author can decide which if any of the separate digital or electronic rights the author wants to fight to keep for himself or herself.

If the publisher tells the author to blindly subscribe to their entire digital or electronic right[s] clause (or clauses), then the author still has the ultimate leverage, which is to walk away from the proposed deal prior to signature. Of course, this strategic approach wouldn’t be advisable in most cases – unless perhaps if the author has other written offers from other publishers already on the table. However, an author shouldn’t be forced by any publisher or any company-side publishing lawyer or entertainment attorney to sign away the electronic right, digital right, or any other rights that the author would rather keep – particularly rights which the author never specifically intended to shop to the publisher in the first instance.

The author should keep in mind the psychology and motivations of the publishers and their publishing lawyer and entertainment attorney counsel when doing all of this. A Vice-President (or above) at the publishing company probably woke up one recent morning, and realized that his/her company lost a great deal of money on a particular project by not taking a prospective license or assignment of an electronic right or digital right from another author. The VP probably then blamed the company’s in-house legal department publishing lawyers or entertainment attorneys, who in turn started frantically re-drafting the company boilerplate to assuage the angry publishing executive and thereby keep their jobs. When in-house publishing lawyers, entertainment attorneys, or others engage in this type of practice (some may call it “drafting from fear”), they tend to go overboard.

Accordingly, what you will probably see is a proverbial “kitchen sink” electronic right clause which has been newly-drafted and perhaps even insufficiently reviewed by the company-side publishing lawyers and entertainment attorneys, internally and themselves – wherein the publisher will ask the author for every possible electronic and digital right and every other thing, including (without limitation) the kitchen sink. The only response to such a broad-band electronic right or digital right clause is a careful, deliberate, and methodical reply.

Using the approach outlined in Section #1 above, the author and the author’s publishing lawyer or entertainment attorney counsel must separately tease apart each use and component of the electronic right and digital right that the publisher’s broad-band clause might otherwise capture, and then opine to the publisher a “yes” or a “no” on each line-item. In other words, the author, through his or her publishing lawyer or entertainment attorney, should exercise his or her line-item veto. It’s the author’s writing that we are talking about, after all. The author should be the one to convert the singular “electronic right” or “digital right” into the laundry-list of electronic rights. That’s why I use the singular number when referring to “electronic right” or “digital right” – I like to let the technologically-advanced author have all the fun making the list. That way, too, the author can tell me what he or she thinks the phrases actually mean, and what the difference between the two meanings really is, if anything.

Next, a few words in defense of the publishers and the publishing lawyers that work for them!

Up to now, this article discussed how phrases like the “digital right” or “electronic right” should not be assumed to be self-defining, even by and between publishing lawyers and entertainment attorneys, and how it is incumbent upon authors to reserve needed rights like the digital right or the electronic right to themselves in the context of a publishing deal. Next up, let’s examine concepts such as the digital right or electronic right from the perspective of the publishing lawyer and entertainment attorney, and the standpoint of fairness – who between author and publisher should in fact hold on to the digital right and electronic right, once and assuming that they are first properly defined?

3. Yes, Digital Right And Electronic Right Uses Do Compete With Traditional Book Publishing Uses.

A publishing lawyer or entertainment attorney may be called upon to handle an author-side deal. A publishing lawyer or entertainment attorney may also be called upon to handle, under different factual circumstances, a publisher-side deal. So, now, a few words in defense of publishers, I suppose.

There is a perception in the author and Internet communities that publishers should not be taking broad grants of the digital right or electronic right from authors, since “digital rights and electronic rights do not compete or interfere with traditional book publishing and other media rights”.

Not true. Not anymore. For proof of that fact, ask a few veteran news desk editors whether or not they followed, or were otherwise concerned about, what appeared on the Drudge Report during the Clinton administration. Ask the CFO’s or in-house publishing lawyers of a few traditional encyclopedia companies how they feel about Wikipedia.

Incidentally, although as a publishing lawyer and entertainment attorney and unlike some others, I tend to use the phrase “electronic right” or even “digital right” in the singular number, there probably tends to be no single consensus as to what constitutes and collectively comprises the singular “electronic right” or “digital right”. There has not been sufficient time for the publishing, media, or entertainment industries to fully crystallize accurate and complete definitions of phrases like “electronic publishing”, “web publishing”, “electronic right[s]”, “e-rights”, “digital right[s]”, or “first electronic rights”.

Nevertheless, electronic media and specifically the digital right and electronic right, have already changed our history. You can be sure that they will have some effect, at a minimum, on most author’s individual publishing deals henceforth, and will be the fodder of publishing lawyer and entertainment attorney discussion for years to come. The fact is, electronic uses inherent in the digital right and the electronic right already do compete with older, more traditional uses – particularly because digital and electronic uses are cheaper and faster to deploy, and can potentially reach millions of users in less than, as Jackson Browne might say, the blink of an eye.

Commerce is increasingly relying upon the Internet and other electronic phenomena, and the linchpin of this reliance is the digital right and electronic right. After all, you are reading this article, and ostensibly gleaning some information or material from it. The Web, for example, has already put a sizable dent in dictionary and encyclopedia sales, and anyone who tells you otherwise is probably an employee in a dictionary or encyclopedia publishing company or publishing lawyer in-houser in denial of the digital and electronic right, trying to protect his/her stock options. As the recent and well-known Stephen King pilot program will attest, fiction is the next subject matter area to be affected. Many of us book lovers including publishing lawyers and entertainment attorneys don’t like to think about it, but bound hard-copy books may soon become the sole province of book collectors and publishing lawyer vanity bookcases alone. The vast majority of book readers, however, may so wholly embrace the digital right and electronic right that they soon even lose the patience to wait for their “amazon.com” mailed shipment.

Very few people who work in the publishing, media, and entertainment industries, including as amongst fair-minded publishing lawyers and entertainment attorneys, should dispute that electronic uses inherent in the digital right and electronic right can easily cannibalize the older and more traditional forms and formats. This cannibalization will only increase, not decrease, as time goes on. Again, the author should put himself/herself in the mind-set of the publisher or its in-house publishing lawyer, when having this digital right/electronic right argument with the publisher or publishing lawyer. The publisher otherwise may want to invest marketing and personnel support in the author’s work, and perhaps even pay the author an advance for the writing. In their view, though, the publisher’s publishing lawyer or entertainment attorney argues, why should they do so, and not also capture the author’s digital right or electronic right?

The last thing that the publisher or its publishing lawyer or entertainment attorney wants to do is to pay the author – and then discover that the author has “scooped” the publication with the author-reserved digital right or electronic right, stolen the publisher’s proverbial fire, and undermined the publisher’s investment in the author and the writing. The concern of the publisher and the book company’s in-house publishing lawyer or outside entertainment attorney is rational and valid. If the publisher allows the author to potentially undercut the book by exploiting author’s reserved digital right or electronic right, then the publisher is threatening the publisher’s own investment in the author and in the written work. (And on some subliminal level at least, the company’s in-house publishing lawyer also knows that this could come out of his or her future comp).

Compromises are available. One traditional compromise effected between publishing lawyers or entertainment attorneys is a so-called “hold-back” on the digital right or electronic right, whereby the author promises not to use or license-out any author-reserved digital right or electronic right for a certain period of time following publication. The author will need some leverage to get a publisher to agree to such a compromise, though. And a publishing lawyer or entertainment attorney should draft the clause – the author’s publishing lawyer or entertainment attorney, not the publisher’s counsel!

An author may think that small “portfolio” uses (e.g., tucked inside greeting cards, on an author’s personal web site, etc.) are so minor, that they will never compete with publishing rights granted for the same work, and may tell the publisher or the company’s publishing lawyer or entertainment attorney as much. The greeting card example does seem innocuous enough, but the publisher and its entertainment or publishing lawyer will likely not agree with the author regarding the author’s personal web site. It is the electronic right or the digital right that really scares publishers and their publishing lawyers and entertainment attorneys, and is perceived as threatening to their long-term investment in the author and his or her work.

The distinction to be made here is between hard-copy portfolio uses, and digital right or electronic right “portfolio uses”. The fact is that computer-uploaded text is so easy and quick to transmit, receive, and read. The posted content’s popularity could also spread like digital wildfire, so quickly – for example, if a company hyper-links to the author’s site, or if “Yahoo” bumps the author’s site up in their search-engine pecking-order. Many successes have already been made by virtue of digital right and electronic right self-publishing, and more will follow. Traditional (book) publishers and their publishing lawyers and entertainment attorneys already realize this fact. Accordingly, traditional book publishers and their counsel also realize that once they acknowledge an author’s reservation of a “self-promotion” digital right or electronic right, they risk losing control of a potential wildfire dissemination method. Again, this would put the publisher’s investment at risk – but smart business people and companies and the publishing lawyers and entertainment attorneys that represent them, don’t put their own investments at risk.

4. The Party To The Contract That Has The Better And More Immediate Means and Resources To Exploit The Electronic Rights, Should Be The One Who Takes The Electronic Rights.

Here is the final point. If a contracting party has no means and resources to exploit a digital right or electronic right or a given bundle of them, then that same party has no business taking (or reserving to themselves) those same digital or electronic rights by contract or even negotiating such a position by and between publishing lawyers or entertainment attorneys. To analogize, if I am a screenwriter who options or sells my script to the Acme Production Company, LLC, through an entertainment lawyer, how should I react if Acme asks me to specifically and contractually grant them “theme park rights” in my literary property in the negotiation between the entertainment attorneys? (Don’t laugh – this practice is now very prevalent in film and entertainment deals).

Well, if Acme doesn’t have its own theme park, I (or my entertainment attorney) now have a powerful argument for reserving the theme park rights to myself instead. “Hey, Acme”, I (or my entertainment attorney) say, “… how do you have the unmitigated gall to ask me for my theme park rights, when you don’t even have the ability to exploit or use them yourself? You don’t even have a theme park!” I (or my entertainment attorney) then make it clear to Acme that I don’t intend to be giving them any trophies that they can put on a shelf to collect proverbial dust.

The same argument can work in the publishing context, particularly as argued between publishing lawyers and entertainment attorneys, regarding the digital right or the electronic right. The author can proverbially cross-examine the publisher (or try to cross-examine the company’s publishing lawyer or entertainment attorney) as to what successful past uses they have made of other author’s digital rights or electronic rights across multiple books. The company President may fudge the answer, but the publishing lawyer or entertainment attorney representing the publisher must answer truthfully. (One good reason to negotiate through counsel).

If the true answer to the question is “none”, then the author can use the “trophy” argument stated above. If the true answer is, alternatively, “some”, then the author has a negotiating opportunity to compel the publisher and its publishing lawyer and entertainment attorney to contractually commit to digitally and electronically publish the author’s work, too. The author can argue: “I won’t grant you the digital right or electronic right unless you, publisher, contractually commit in advance as to how specifically you will exploit them, and how much money you will spend in their development and marketing”. The author or the author’s publishing lawyer or entertainment attorney can then carve those electronic right and digital right commitments right directly into the contract, if the author has the leverage to do so. Again, one should not try this at home – but instead use a publishing lawyer or entertainment attorney.

Needless to say, once the author makes the publisher commit, presumably through publishing lawyer or entertainment attorney counsel, to a development budget or other marketing or “release” commitment for the digital right or the electronic right, then both the author and the publisher might thereby also have some basis for numerical valuation of the rights themselves. And, it is an entirely reasonable argument for an author or author’s publishing lawyer or entertainment attorney to say to a publisher that: “I will license/sell you the following listed digital right[s] or electronic right[s] if you pay me the following additional amounts for them:_____________________. And in the blank space, the rights can be listed like menu options as they have been broken out in Item #1 above, each to which separate dollar values – that is, price-tags – are now assigned.