Sunday, November 14, 2021

Copyright and Wrongness

Can you opt out of being pirated? Perhaps, if you act quickly... at least in one particular instance.
"SFWA's Legal Affairs Committee is issuing an alert to inform members of a situation in which the government of New Zealand has decided to ship more than 400,000 books they are de-listing from their catalogs to the Internet Archive for digitization and inclusion in its Open Library. These are for the most part older books, but many are still in copyright. New Zealand is allowing authors who do not wish their books to be digitized to opt out, but time is running short: the deadline for doing so is December 1." 
The links below are a good starting point.
For more information, check out the starter page.
The Internet Archive is allegedly being sued by four major publishing houses. Apparently, it collects copyrighted works from numerous sources, and even if authors have successfully requested that their works are removed in the past, the works may still be "re-upped". 
They claim to have over 2,300,000 modern  e-books.  The search function is unduly reassuring, by the way.  For instance, if you were J.K. Rowling, you could not find your books by searching under CREATOR, nor yet by searching for the most obvious words in TITLE.

One might think that an internet library is perfectly right and good, but in most countries in the world, there is the Public Lending Right, and authors are compensated every time a book is loaned to a patron.
Even in the USA, where there is no such thing, publishers set limits to how many times a book can be loaned out before a fresh copy has to be licensed (and the author receives royalties on  that.)

For an example of "permissionless innovation" on steroids, look at the Sugar Mountain man, who seems to specialize in finding "workarounds" of the rights of "little people".
Music Tech Policy put out a powerful piece about the meaning of the Metaverse that includes this zinger.

"....We know that Facebook's architecture never contemplated a music or movie licensing process. Zuckerberg built it that way on purpose--the architecture reflected his bias against respecting copyright, user data and really any private property rights not his own. Not only does Zuckerberg take copyright and data for his own purposes, he has convinced billions of people to create free content for him and then to pay him to advertise that content to Facebook users and elsewhere. He takes great care to be sure that there is extraordinarily complex programming to maximize his profit from selling other people's property, but he refuses to do the same when it comes to paying the people who create the content..."

Read all about it here:
The so-called "Happiest Place On Earth" is alleged to be neglecting or refusing to pay royalties to authors of in-copyright literary works that they have acquired from defunct third party publishers.
Find out more:

And if you agree that writers must be paid, please spread the word!
All the best,

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