Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Week In Copyright

Romance and Science Fiction authors may like (or not like) to keep abreast with developments that may affect their rights and their income.

Follow the money:  What happens when a plagiarist self-publishes someone else's work on Amazon?

If you haven't noticed this story, you might find it interesting. There's more of it going on than one might suppose.

The Authors Guild is also following the money.

I think I've blogged before about how Google Books doesn't work the way Google said it worked in court. Roxana Robinson gives an excellent example in the above mentioned post.  She also explains how Amazon guts author income.

Roxana reports that Google, in the Court case, claimed that it would be prohibitively expensive if they were to pay authors, so they don't. Much the same arguments are made by You-Tube, Spotify, Pandora, Sirius about paying musicians... or at least, paying musicians fairly.



One must also be concerned when politicians consider that ebooks should be treated exactly like print books for library lending purposes.

The obvious difference is that a physical book can only survive a certain number of readings before it suffers wear and tear, and has to be replaced. Moreover, there are certain logistics with physical books to keep the lendings local. With an ebook, one purchased copy can be loaned to successive borrowers anywhere in the world for ever. Moreover, anyone anywhere can call themselves a subscription library and exploit digital works without paying the authors.

When a politician promises to make it easier for "orphan works" to be made available, I fear that this is code for enriching Google and Amazon at the expense of obscure authors and their estates. It seems to me to threaten a sort of eminent domain for intellectual property.

Remember the Authors Guild action when a number of easily located, website owning, living authors were declared to be undiscoverable, and their works were in imminent danger of being declared "orphaned" and appropriated?

Read more:

The trouble for authors, musicians, photographers, movie-makers and other creators is that lawmakers, courts, and businesses with the deepest pockets appear all to be in favor of entertaining the populace for as little cost as possible, which means the creators are being hammered.

On a more uplifting note, the Copyright Alliance is inviting intellectual property owners and creators (who are OneVoice members.... membership is free) to send them a photograph of themselves in a creative setting (deadline July 28th, 2016).

All the best,
Rowena Cherry

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