Tuesday, June 19, 2007

More Publisher Drama

Got this message from Mago regarding my publisher crap:
The opinion of a non-business-man.
If the issue can not be cleared and nobody reacts when asked about this particular text - print it and bam: There's a book.
When somebody afterwards claims a violation of his copy-rights, so be it: Document the actual situation and what has been done and the reactions for your protection - it can not be that the non-reaction of somebody prevents a work of art from being published. There is always the possibility of a later agreement.

Publishing is publishing, no matter whether the result is printed professionally and in hardcover or via web and printed on my shruddle-ink-pissing-machine.
End of unreflected brabbling.
63mago | Homepage | 06.19.07 - 11:42 am | #

And I responded thus:

I agree with everything you say. The need to have a professional looking book in hand is simply a personal desire. The book is no less a book if it's delivered in electronic form. But---waaaah! I want a BOOK that people can later pry from my cold dead hands--something where I can wave it around and say "I did this!"
I'm one of those authors that believes publicity is good, and as long as someone properly attributes my work to me, we're good. I wouldn't even take them to court for insulting me because there's no such thing as bad publicity, although I probably would rip them a new asshole.
By the very anal interpretation of the rules this publisher is using, I couldn't write a historical novel in which I quoted "Mein Kampf" to show what a nut case Hitler was and what drove him to his crimes against humanity because it was published in 1925. By their interpretation of the rule, the book would have to have been published before 1923. But nobody holds the copyright to this material, and unless Hitler discovered the fountain of youth and didn't actually commit suicide in his bunker but instead was beamed up by aliens from Sirius, he's dead.
Clark Ashton Smith has been dead for 46 years. I haven't been able to find any heirs nor any copyright holders. The material was used under fair use rules by Chaosium Publishing. I've never heard of anything this insane in my life! There is such a thing as too literal of an interpretation of a rule in most cases.
Cheesemeister | 06.19.07 - 6:06 pm | #

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