Friday, November 5, 2010

Copyright Wrongs Round Up

Friday's round-up, courtesy of Laura:

I want to share something I learned recently, friends and foes. It turns out: everything written on the Internet isn't proprietary, and can be lifted and reprinted elsewhere for free! That's what the editor of Cooks Source told a writer she stole from, at any rate. And it seems like she's been stealing for a while—there's a whole list of jacked material. On a slightly larger scale, Alaa al-Aswany found out that, even though he had not sold Hebrew rights to his famous novel The Yacoubian Building (which is faboosh, FYI), someone translated and distributed it anyway. And people are mad that he's mad, because clearly this is a political issue, not a copyright issue (before anyone says anything, yes, we're all aware that the reasons al-Aswany wouldn't sell Hebrew rights are politically motivated. But that doesn't excuse or justify straight up theft of copyrighted property). Insult to injury: Harry Potter is causing an owl shortage, because people keep stealing owls. Oh, the humanity!

If only we could go back to a simpler age, where Walkmen roam through novels and a 23-year-old Oscar Wilde wants to be famous, or at least notorious. Thank goodness for a love of all things retro, bringing us the PacMan Moleskine (with a super cute video at the link).

Alas, readers, we have to live in the now. The now that brings zooborns to print (oh em gee, baby elephant! baby elephant!) and Vooks to the Kindle. A now in which Gabriel Garcia Marquez is starting a new novel, the damn successful Janet Evanovich is looking for Patterson-esque co-writers, and Cash Money Records is starting up Cash Money Books. It's a time of progress, in which you can sign an e-book or win an award for writing good gay literature for young readers, a time when kids actually are reading, just maybe not in the narrow "only a book" sense.

So buck up, kiddos, and have a nice weekend, curled up with some of the best books of 2010 or a book-based horror movie. Until next week!


  1. I was having a melancholy day yesterday, but watching the dog pile on the Cook Source facebook page really cheered me up. Yay for comeuppance!

  2. I'm flabberghasted at the Cooks Source response. "We could have not even credited you, and by the way, your writing wasn't very good, and other people do it all the time anyway, so you should be flattered and shut up!" How can someone who claims to know copyright law give those justifications with a straight face? Seriously.

    Regarding the al-Aswany issue: copyright laws are not dependent on political viewpoints. You still have to honor them.

    You have no idea how hard I laughed at "Harry Potter is causing an owl shortage"!

  3. You missed one of the biggest pieces of news in the publishing-realted blogosphere!
    Nathan Bransford is no longer an agent.
    He helped Eric start this blog and it was awesome. And I'm sure both PMN and Nathan's blog will continue to be awesome.

  4. @Reesha Nathan made that announcement after this was posted. I don't think that counts as missing and Eric has always been appreciative of what Nathan has done for PMN.