Speaking as an editor, if I ever reject a submission by means of a spluttering fulmination about the depravity of the Belgians, the imminent need to combat fluoridation, and my belief that ancient astronauts built the Pyramids, I will not be amazed if my letter winds up being shared with other writers. Or, even, reproduced on somebody’s blog.
Yes, despite the fact that the contents of such a letter would be covered by my copyright. The plain fact is that rejection letters are business communications, and there are many valid reasons for people to discuss and compare notes on communications from enterprises with whom they may wind up doing business. Without a commonsensical recognition of this fact, worthwhile consumer-rights activism such as that practiced by, for instance, this blog would be impossible. Yes, occasionally, enterprises attempt to use copyright law as a stick with which to suppress discussion of their actions. We tend to refer to such enterprises as “thugs.” It’s startling to see that for some senior people in the SF field, explaining that a letter-writer holds copyright in their missive takes priority over noting that a belief that ancient astronauts built the pyramids is crazy. And depraved. And stupid.