Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Stealing The Future

I was taking a writing break, surfing the net, and came across Steal This Movie 2.

It doesn't directly address copyright infringement, or offer any solutions. But it does a very good job of explaining why copyright infringement exists, and is unstoppable. It's 45 minutes long, and well worth your time if you have any interest in the future of ebooks, concerns about illegal filesharing, and questions about what the future holds.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpXK8mDTiNg

One of the ideas I found to be the most compelling was the concept of fences.

In the past, property (including intellectual property) had owners. If you owned a bicycle, or wrote a book, it existed as a physical object. To protect your property, you could build a fence around it, so it wouldn't be stolen. Then you could decide what to do with your property. Sell it. Give it away. Throw it away.

But there are no fences anymore. Intellectual property can be copied and distributed, and there is no way to protect it. In fact, the internet was created so people can share and copy information.

I've talked before about gatekeepers. In the past, TV studios, movie producers, and publishers have decided what media the masses can see.

The Internet is changing that. Now, everyone can produce media. The way the trend is going, there won't be any gatekeepers. Or at the very least the ones who exist will have more competition and fewer ways to make money.

For a society, that seems to be a good thing.

But is it good for a writer?

While YouTube has shown that a lot of people can produce media--media that can take viewers away from the TV shows and films produced by the gatekeepers--it hasn't shown how those media creators can make money. The money YouTube generates goes to YouTube, not the people uploading their movies.

And the majority of people uploading content to the Internet aren't uploading their original content. They're uploading media paid for by the gatekeepers.

If you're an artist who wants to earn a living, the way to get paid is to work for the gatekeepers.

But how long will these gatekeepers exist in their present form? How long before the media shared by individuals--both original and pirated--reaches more households than the established distribution networks run by the gatekeepers? And what will happen when that tipping point occurs?

In our desire to share and copy media, we're destroying the institutions that create the media.

But here's the thing. We're only destroying the institutions. We're not destroying the artists.

I don't believe the incentive to create is directly tied in to a paycheck. I wrote many books before ever earning a dime. And if the publishing world collapses, I'll still write books.

If people have an interest in reading me, money will somehow follow suit.

After viewing Steal This Film 2, you won't walk away thinking this is the end of media.

In many ways, it's more like a vibrant new beginning.

39 comments:

Stacey Cochran said...

I think it'll be very interesting to see how the whole Google Books litigation shakes out.

I'd be interested to hear folks' perspectives on that... is Google Books an "online library," or is it blatant copyright infringement?


_________________
Stacey Cochran
Author of The Colorado Sequence for $1.00 on Kindle

Christy Pinheiro, EA ABA said...

The thing about YouTube is that it can create stars out of thin air. Look at Susan Boyle. I could not have imagined someone like her 15 years ago having such a meteoric rise, and it was due in large part to YouTube.

There’s other average people that have benefitted from YouTube. This one user, panacea81, does eye make-up and now she gets money consulting and advertising for make-up companies.

I’m always going to make money writing. That’s because I don’t have any moral issues with advertising in my books, or anything else. I’ve met writers that turned down publishing contracts with traditional publishers because they didn’t want to agree to editing changes. So they went back to work in the coffee shop, or Wal-Mart, or whatever awful job they had so they could keep their “artistic integrity”.

I have a great life—lots of time with my kids, I get to take trips, and pretty much my own schedule. I love being a full-time writer, but I also like making money. I don’t think that profit is a dirty word.

Jude Hardin said...

Interesting film, Joe. Thanks for the link!

Levi Montgomery said...

"If people have an interest in reading me, money will somehow follow suit."

I certainly hope this will be true, although I admit I don't see how it can happen. Oddly enough, I posted my thoughts on this same theme yesterday, but my basic point was the pessimistic opposite: I believe that the free distribution of fiction will destroy fiction as we know it, based on the simple economic principle that what the consumer will not buy will not be produced.

It costs a great deal to write. The time and life-blood are just part of it; there are also the opportunity cost (not doing more lucrative things) and the cost of resources (paper, ink, electricity, etc), to name only two.

It is all very well to point to people who make money on the lecture and performance circuits, or by selling tee shirts, or through ancillary services related to non-fiction, but what about novelists?

Fiammetta said...

That's all nice for books, which one person can create, but what about other types of art? What about animation, for example?

Do you seriously believe that people will be willing to put in all the effort required to make a quality animated series or movie if they're doing it for free? Keep in mind that when they're not making money off of their art, they'll have to get another job, which will take up a lot of their time and energy.

And if people want a successful career in a world where art is not profitable, they won't go to art school. Instead, they'll study something that they can make a living off of. So there won't just be no more publishers, there will also be no more high-quality art education. What's the point of paying tens of thousands of dollars a year for four years to learn something that has no chance of ever becoming more than a hobby?

Joe Konrath said...

@Stacey- Any judgement made against Google will be obsolete ten years form now, as laws change.

@Christy- I tell folks that integrity is terrific, but you can't eat it. :)

@Levi- No Google user gives Google money. But they do sell ads. I foresee writers putting ads and product placements in their books.

Do you seriously believe that people will be willing to put in all the effort required to make a quality animated series or movie if they're doing it for free?

No. But I'm sure something else will take its place.

We've have art for thousands of years. We'll continue to have art, even without big business behind it. This may chance what is produced, but things will still be produced.

Do you know how movie theaters make money?

Popcorn.

The box office receipts go to the movie studios. The theaters offer the films, and then make their money selling candy and soda.

What if the movie theaters produced their own films, and made money on receipts as well as concessions?

What if the movie theaters rented films from independent filmmakers instead of the big studios?

If there's an audience, someone will find a way to make money off of it.


What's the point of paying tens of thousands of dollars a year for four years to learn something that has no chance of ever becoming more than a hobby?

Education is a form of entertainment. I love learning new stuff, even if it has no practical application.

That said, as a species, we're driven to create. For the last hundred years, a few select artists have made a lot of money for some very big businesses with their creations. Perhaps in the future, there will be more artists and less money. But art will go on. It's the big businesses that are in trouble when it comes to digital media.

Stacey Cochran said...

Just as a counterpoint:

Jack Black on Piracy: "Don't be a douche."

Joe Konrath said...

@Stacey - That's not a counterpoint. It's him being funny.

When you have the majority of the population break a law, the law changes. That's just how it works.

Mininova, just one torrent site that acocunts for just a fraction of the illegal downloading on the Internet, has had 8,386,571,609 downloads as of May 19th.

That's 8 billion. And that's just a fraction.

Big business wants to protect its interests. But they can't do so any longer.

Art will go on. But the distributors will change.

John said...

I LOVED Napster when it was running at it peak. Sure, the quality wasn't always the best, and there was the occasional virus, but I didn't care. I was in my 20's and broke and it was free. I was willing to sacrifice quality to save a few bucks.

Now, I'm older and I use itunes. It's faster, the quality is better, there are no viruses.

Basically, it's more convienent.

While I think you're right about piracy not going away, unless someone changes the copyright laws (which won't happen), it will always be a basement operation.

My guess is the traditional routes will still exist for years to come, complete with the standard quality control gatekeepers that are in place today. Why? Because old folks like me are willing to pay for convienence.

After a certain age, people don't want to deal with viruses, incomplete copies, and self published drivel just to find a decent book.

Joe Konrath said...

Because old folks like me are willing to pay for convenience.

The way to fight piracy is with cost and convenience.

iTunes has mastered that. Kindle has the convenience downpat, but not the cost.

Jude Hardin said...

Nathan Bransford addressed the subject on his blog today. what he says makes sense to me.

Blue Tyson said...

Convenience, yes.

I've long run out of fingers, toes and other body parts to count the number of books I haven't been able to buy because of various restrictions.

Joe Konrath said...

Nathan's a good guy, but he's drawing conclusions on a phenomenon he doesn't seem to have much experience with.

The best torrent sites are private, monitored, and regulated. No viruses. No adware. Only properly formatted and tagged uploads are allowed, and ratio has to be maintained.

And torrents are NOT only one way to fileshare. Filelockers like Rapidshare, along with Usenet, are virus-free.

Besides, any good pirate knows how to avoid viruses.

Will the layperson looking for ebooks download viruses? No more than they would anyway. You have a much higher chance of getting a virus downloading warez or porn.

But that isn't even the point. I highly doubt one virus will make someone stop filesharing.

Sharing information is why the internet exists. People are never going to stop. It's built into human nature. If you've ever told a friend "You nave to read this" then you understand the impetus to share files.

In my posts about ebooks and piracy, I'm rather surprised no agents or editors have chimed in on the comments, since many of them chime in when I post about other topics.

I'm sure they're reading my posts. But if they don't enter the discussion, it's much easier to ignore the main issues and dismiss my entries as the rantings of a lunatic, or at the very least an alarmist ebook-toting Chicken Little.

You fight piracy with cost and convenience. The publishing industry, like the music industry, is keeping the cost of ebooks artificially high, and proprietary formatting is making it convenient only if you have a specific type of ereader.

Ebooks will be pirated, in greater and greater numbers. And I've yet to see a single agent or editor adequately address the issue.

I have no doubt that piracy is being discussed intently behind closed doors in NY Publishing. I have no doubt that numbers are being crunched, and lots of very smart folks are trying to figure out their place in the coming future.

But the innovation and adaptation I've seen is coming from outside the publishing world, not inside.

Right now I just signed deals to put my books on iTunes, and on Sony. I'm also uploading to Smashwords, which will get my books on B&N. So my ebooks will be available through the four biggest ebook distributors.

Where are the agents? Where are the publishers? Where is their share of this pie?

They're reading my blog. They're just preferring to ignore the elephant in the corner of the room.

Stacey Cochran said...

I have no doubt that piracy is being discussed intently behind closed doors in NY Publishing.

I know of at least one major publisher who is currently pursuing legal action against Google Books. I suspect others are as well, and as such nobody is going to offer up comments on a blog like this.

Hence my first comment at the top of the page. A quick search reveals that the US Justice Department just filed its first ruling late yesterday (Sept. 24) regarding Google Books.

This establishes a legal precedent, which is sorely needed. In time, I believe copyright laws will protect authors... particularly authors at established houses.

Jude Hardin said...

Here's the part of Nathan's post I mostly agree with:

I know there are lots of bitter types out there who would love nothing more than to stomp on the grave of publishers, but if they fall it's going to have a profound effect on the quality of books.

Now... There will always be books. Publishers or no publishers, agents or no agents, paid authors or no paid authors, people are going to write, and some will write very well no matter what. But I think the overall quality of books would suffer tremendously if very few people can make any money doing it. Not only because there wouldn't be publishers to edit and copyedit and market, but the fewer people who can make any money or spend any time writing books because they have no hope of getting paid will result in lesser the competition and lesser the choice and lesser the quality.


A long time ago, before Bloody Mary came out I think, we were discussing the reasons people write. I can't remember exactly what I said, something about nourishing the soul, and you said, "Get real, Jude. We write to make money." Those were your exact words. I agree with you more now than I did then, and by virtue of I don't believe the incentive to create is directly tied in to a paycheck, I can see that you agree with me more now than you did then. So I think Nathan nailed it in the above paragraphs. If there's no way for authors to make money, the quality of literature and literacy will diminish.

And I can't believe advertising is going to be the answer.

Blue Tyson said...

Joe,

Yeah, it is pretty amusing to see the internet clueless pontificate like that.

Stacey,

Publishers spending more money on lawyers and entertaining legal battles is money they don't have to spend on authors, or books.

Copyright laws have about as much chance of protecting people from human nature and being pissed off with asinine media shenanigans as the likelihood of a sudden influx of retrograde porcine aviators.


Jude,

'Lesser the quality'? If that is a publishing professional, the quality is already gone.

There's a squillion books published a year, it appears.

If it was suddenly only 0.1 squillions who would care, in the longer term?

The 'but-but-but if there's no status quo there will be no good stuff' argument is a complete load of twaddle.

Stacey Cochran said...

Copyright laws have about as much chance of protecting people from human nature

That's not what copyright laws are protecting us from. Copyright laws are in place to prevent companies like Google scanning your book without authorization and selling it on their site.

Look, here's the deal, if your book shows up on Google Books and you didn't authorize it and the publisher didn't authorize it, and the only entity making money from it is Google that is against the law.

Publishers will sue. Mobipocket and Amazon will sue. Sony's e-book division will sue. And Google will back down because what they're doing is in direct violation of copyright law.

Sanity, ethics, and law will rule in the long-term. I would put my money in that camp, not the pirate camp.

Jude Hardin said...

If it was suddenly only 0.1 squillions who would care, in the longer term?

I would, if the 0.1 squillion was self-published rubbish.

Blue Tyson said...

I wouldn't be, ethics and logic are most definitely not strong suits of media companies.

Google, of course, is interested in promoting huge numbers of books currently NOT being sold.

e.g. authors that current publishers do not give a rat's arse about - and in fact likely prefer to have repressed, as it is more competition for the current run of the usual stuff

Again, if publishing is such a woe-is-me marginal low return enterprise, how do they afford all this legal action? (Amazon of course is a different story).

Google could also come up with entertaining counteractions - you specific publishers don't want this? Fine, we drop you from our search indexes - same with the authors. They could do the same thing to Amazon, of course - make sure links to their products don't show up - and that library books appear before the commercial variety. That would be pretty entertaining.

Blue Tyson said...

"I would, if the 0.1 squillion was self-published rubbish."

There's no logical reason why that would be the case, though.

If every publisher disappears tonight, Joe is still selling his books tomorrow.

So is Stephen King, and Dan Brown and James Patterson etc.

Then there's the millions of books already published.

For every author that spits the dummy or gives up in this situation, there'll be someone new come along.

Jude Hardin said...

There's no logical reason why that would be the case, though.

Of course there is. If there's no money to be made in publishing, all the best people (agents, editors, cover artists, sales reps, etc.) will earn their livings doing something else. There will still be books, but the quality will take a nose dive.

If every publisher disappears tonight, Joe is still selling his books tomorrow.

So is Stephen King, and Dan Brown and James Patterson etc.


Um, if any of those authors could have done what they did without their publishers, don't you think they would have? Why are they settling for a measly $3 in royalties per hardcover copy when they could be making five times that much by doing it all themselves?

Blue Tyson said...

That's an illogical response, as the previous discussion was 'what if there weren't any', not 'why don't these guys now'?

The reasons they don't are pretty bloody obvious. (And if Stephen King can't get himself more than $3 per hardcover, well, then he sucks at negotiating, or his representatives do).

If publishing is GONE then of course there is no money in it. Duh. It is also wet when it is raining.

What you have to try and argue is why Stephen King wouldn't be selling his next book himself - or set something up to do so.

With some of the competition taking their bat and ball and going home as you suggest, he now has a bigger slice of the market that is left, too.

He subcontracts some freelance editing and printing.

Probably not going to sell as many as he would previously, but going to be getting a much, much bigger slice of the cash.

Think he could shift 5000 $90 special edition hardbacks, and 200,000 DRM free $5 ebooks selling worldwide?

If his expenses are 20% or so, he just made himself over a million dollars. Which might just be worth doing.

Joe Konrath said...

In time, I believe copyright laws will protect authors... particularly authors at established houses.

It's easy to sue Google.

Try suing 40 million people who have downloaded copyrighted content in the last week alone.

Copyright won't protect anything. This isn't about going after a single website, or company. This is about going after everyone who downloads the content.

8 billion downloads on Mininova alone. You can't police that. It's ridiculous to even try.

@Jude - The quality of books will go down, guaranteed.

But if I were an editor, or an agents, I'd learn what I've been preaching, start talking to authors, and help ease them into this market, taking perhaps a 10% fee for editing, formatting, and uploading.

Then we'll have well-written, well edited books.

The incentive to create, and to share, is NOT tied to a paycheck. Look at the users uploading Youtube videos, getting paid nothing.

But I do write to get paid. Absolutely. So I'm trying to figure out how to keep getting paid, because I don't think the current model will be around forever.

Advertising pays for the Internet, TV, and periodicals. It can handle paying for ebooks.

Sanity, ethics, and law will rule in the long-term. I would put my money in that camp, not the pirate camp.

Did you watch the video, Stacey?

It's human nature to share files. It has nothing to do with sanity--we all share and communicate every day. Ethics don't apply, because a growing portion of society doesn't believe file sharing is wrong. And the law is useless when it comes to policing individuals.

ethics and logic are most definitely not strong suits of media companies.

LOL. So true.

I believe the company taking the risk to sell art is entitled to a profit. But I also believe that $15 is too much for a music CD --especially when the artist is making twenty cents for each one sold. And millions of people agree with me.

Guess what? $9.99 is too much for an ebook.

Why are they settling for a measly $3 in royalties per hardcover copy when they could be making five times that much by doing it all themselves?

The ebook market is still growing. I'm better when it takes over, you'll see authors begin leaving publishers and signing contracts directly with Amazon, B&N, and iTunes. Like I'm doing.

Of course, I could be wrong. But looking at the history of music and newspapers, I think I can pretty much follow the trends.

Joe Konrath said...

I'm better when it takes over

Meant to say "I'm betting", but there's probably a Freudian slip in there... ;P

Anonymous said...

The gatekeepers for books right now are primarly the booksellers, and of those the primary gatekeepers are Amazon, BN and Borders. For the paper books sold by these gatekeepers, i.e., physical products, the fences are there. Customers must pay to get the product.

The fences are less ridgid with electronic books, but at least right now in history, they are still there. A consumer must pay to get the electronic book.

There are file sharing sites for ebooks. But they lack the organization, ease, thoroughness, customer review postings, quality and legitimacy of Amazon and BN. Also, the prices at these e-stores are reasonable.

Although the publshing landscape is changing, I don't foresee ebooks becoming a "always free to everyone" market. That means that authors whose works get filted through the gatekeepers will continue to get paid for their creations.

It's not all doom and gloom. For all you future Grishams out there, keep writing.

Joe Konrath said...

The gatekeepers for books right now are primarly the booksellers, and of those the primary gatekeepers are Amazon, BN and Borders.

They're the retailers. The gatekeepers are the publishers. They offer discounts and pay coop to the retailers, which determines how many books you'll sell.

R.J. Jagger said...

They're the retailers. The gatekeepers are the publishers. They offer discounts and pay coop to the retailers, which determines how many books you'll sell.

Wrong. In the context of copyright infringment and illegal copying of books, the gatekeepers are the ones who make the books available to the public in an authorized way.

The problem is that the legitimate gatekeepers (who make the books available to the public with the approval of the publishers) are challenged by OTHERS who make the books available to the public without such approval, namely filesharing sources.

The legitimate gatekeepers (Amazon, BN, Borders, Indies) will always prevail because any big unauthorized source will be shut down through copyright infringement litigation.

The example is Napster. It got big, then it got destroyed through litigation. Now who is thriving? The big supplies who are authorized by the suppliers and are on the right side of the copyright laws.

There will always be infringers. However, if they get too big, they also get known and expose themselves to litigation which will destroy them every time.

The copyright laws are working exactly as they should.

Jude Hardin said...

Think he could shift 5000 $90 special edition hardbacks, and 200,000 DRM free $5 ebooks selling worldwide?

If his expenses are 20% or so, he just made himself over a million dollars. Which might just be worth doing.


His advances are already seven figures (probably eight, but who's counting?), so he can pretty much do anything he wants. I don't see him being motivated to jump into the self-publishing arena anytime soon (as in never), but maybe I'm wrong.

But King and the other mega-sellers aside, the changes in publishing are going to have a larger effect on the 99.9% of writers who don't make the big bucks. If all the publishers disappear, are the midlisters--already strapped for cash--going to be able to pay top freelance editors, cover artists, etc? I don't think so, and the overall quality of books will suffer.

That was my original point. It's not "a bunch of twaddle." It's a fact.

Duh.

Joe Konrath said...

In the context of copyright infringment and illegal copying of books, the gatekeepers are the ones who make the books available to the public in an authorized way.

The publisher is the gatekeeper. They decide who gets published. They decide the price. They offer the book to retailers. They're the one who goes after copyright infringement. Not Amazon. Not Borders.

will always prevail because any big unauthorized source will be shut down through copyright infringement litigation.

Big unauthorized sources aren't the problem. The problem is 100 million individuals, who are impossible to shut down.

The pirates learned from Napster. Napster was centralized. No current torrent sites host illegal files. The files are on millions of computers. This can't be policed. It can't be shut down.

This isn't one entity, distributing files. This is millions and millions of people, sharing.

Copyright is a thing of the past when it comes to digital content.

If all the publishers disappear, are the midlisters--already strapped for cash--going to be able to pay top freelance editors, cover artists, etc? I don't think so, and the overall quality of books will suffer.

I agree. But systems will arise. Review systems, editing systems, recommendation systems.

Yes, there will be more crap. But there will also be a greater opportunity for word of mouth to create hits.

The ebook market is a level playing field. I can't hold my own against bestsellers in print, because I don't have the money behind me.

I'm holding my own on Kindle, because no money is needed. No ads, no coop, no wide distribution.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4.0

"the rantings of a lunatic."

Finally, finally, finally seeing yourself for what you are!!

"The ebook market is a level playing field. I can't hold my own against bestsellers in print, because I don't have the money behind me."

Because you are a douchebag who can't be taken seriously.

And your books are for 12 yr olds.

And if they did put money behind you, how would they market you? The guy spurting blood with his bat puppet? Or the guy dressed up as the wonder twins?

You can show all these stupid videos with the 3rd guy getting up to dance. Yes, wonderful you finally figured out the herd mentality.

And the stealthismovie is also a worthless piece of junk. There are millions of people on youtube with fruity loops/Reason etc... etc... etc.. making unprofessional nonsense. None of which have any artistic ability, espeically the one kid who said he wasn't a musician!! They might get youtube clicks or share through rapidshare but how do you propose they pay for equipment? pay the rent? make a living? Actually have a life? Support a family?

Joe Konrath said...

Because you are a douchebag who can't be taken seriously.

You know I love anonymous cowards like you, but if you keep up with the juvenile name calling I'll have to block you.

I'm not sure you actually tried to make any sort of point, and if you did it was lost underneath your insane ranting. If you don't agree with something, try to build an argument against it rather than knee-jerking yourself off.

But I suppose that's too much to expect from someone too frightened to sign his name to his posts...

And I repeat: if you want to keep posting here, act like an adult.

Ladybird said...

I think this is very different, kind of out there but probably very good...I guess we will see. Interesting, thank you.

Sybir St. John said...

Have you ever visited Zen Habits? (http://zenhabits.net/) - He UNcopyrights his material. And, it seems to be working for him. Albeit, it's non-fiction. Just, an interesting concept.

Here's the thing in writing, music or art, it can be hit or miss. It requires a lot of work on the artist's part. And for those who made it.....there are several more out there better. It's just whether or not the stars aligned, you worked to get your name out....etc.

Follow your art, whatever your art is, to its end point. Love what you do. Do it because you love it. And do it for yourself.

If the rest of the world falls into place. AWESOME. If they don't....weren't you really writing for yourself?

I write because it keeps me sane. It helps be figure things out in life. It entertains others. I write for me. If someone else enjoys it, hot DAMN!

but then, that may be the difference between ME and published authors ;)

~Sybir
www.sybir.com
www.mindbodyspiritworks.com - check out MUSE - get your creative muse in line!

Anonymous said...

And I repeat: if you want to keep posting here, act like an adult.

Anon 4.0 Laughs hard.

This coming from a guy who readily admits he fills his Ipod illegally.

Who readily admits he hijacks his Iphone to steal from Itunes.

Who thinks artistic integrity means nothing.

Why put ads if you were on such a financial roll with Kindle?

Now that Sony has priced theirs at $199 willl this be the new revolution?

Joe Konrath said...

Why put ads if you were on such a financial roll with Kindle?

Do you read my blog posts and comments, or just pick out bits that suit you?

I've sold over 10,000 books so far. I'm pretty happy with that number, but I do think more and more ebooks will be pirated, because people are sharing files in the billions.

How can you make money when everything is free?

The same way Google makes money. Ads.

Now that Sony has priced theirs at $199 will this be the new revolution?

It's a step forward. Next it will be $149, then $99, then you'll be able to buy ereaders at Walgreens just like mp3 players.

More than 3 million people use their iPhones to read books. That's a huge market, and it's only going to get bigger.

As for file sharing, it's human nature, and it isn't going away.

As for integrity, you're anonymous, so you can't really comment on that with any authority, can you?

Joe Konrath said...

If the rest of the world falls into place. AWESOME. If they don't....weren't you really writing for yourself?

That's a balanced way of thinking, and a great way to approach life.

I have said before, though, that this is the Newbie's Guide to Publishing, not the Newbie's Guide to Happiness.

I do write for myself. But I also write to make money. I like making money doing something I love, and I'm lucky to be able to.

I wish I didn't worry about the money, because I'd be happier. But worrying really tends to light a fire under my ass, and I tend to get a lot more done...

GhostFolk.com said...

Joe, Joe, Joe. Dang difficult this. Got me. Should we just give up on controlling any of it?

You have created a character (in particular) people care about. So make the money up-front on the one coming next?

But what about authors whose careers are based on a a number of one-shot titles. Then their own name must get the up-front money for what's coming next?

GhostFolk.com said...

Google. We keep talking about publishers fighting for the copyright entitlements of o.p. books. But wait! In general, publisher relinquishes rights to books they allow to go out of print (usually over the course of a contract-specific time).

It's called rights reversion. And the rights end up with the author (thank you).

When my four o.p. mystery novels appear on googleBooks, I migt be really pissed off. But I haven't the resrouces to do a dang thing about it. And I own the copyright.
I just to get to sit here and watch it be stolen by a huge corp that is, yes, making money off my work that I still ficking own.

Whether or not anyone would want to ever read on of these books is moot. That doesn't mean googleBooks can just take them away from me. Does it?

C. E. Bailey said...

I had a similar feeling about it as well, but then I was torn, and then I wasn't.

I think in the end it levels the playing field in an industry that was top heavy, but I do think that the fruit of our labors shouldn't be openly handed over for exploitation by those skilled in marketing.

That's where I draw the line. I will enjoy (for free) other people's work, but I will refrain from using someone else's work for profit.