I was reading with some interest a prescription for Australia’s slowly growing unemployment problem… To paraphrase: We should have more small to medium size businesses. The law needs to favor them, rather than big corporates, because they generate jobs at a far higher scale than big corporates… who use their size to achieve ‘synergies’ (which I think means sin-energy? The dark delight of having a gold-plated toilet for the CEO to use after he’s made more profits by getting rid of staff?) Yes, I know this has been said so often eyes glaze over at the mention but I wonder how this relates to the unemployment situation in the US… and PIPA and SOPA. In case you hadn’t figured out, the legislative burdens here are near impossible for small companies or individuals, expensive and hard for medium size companies… and a joke for massive media companies, who as we’ve seen, ignore them anyway (publishing books to which they do not have the rights), as if they have a problem they have a tax-deductible team of lawyers to deal with. And they’re so useful for putting up-and-coming smaller rivals out of the running — as the site is shut down on accusation… not on proof.
Pretty soon if we have these ‘protections’, authors will need a ‘PIPA-approval seal’, which the rent collectors in the guise of ‘Publishers’ will provide (with no other tangible benefit) and have to part with not merely 85% of the net (the current offer – and net- having learned their lessons well from Hollywood) but even more for less. As everyone knows by now, the bigger the company the more effective they are at tax avoidance, so you’d really have to wonder why governments and politicians continue to try so hard to smooth their paths for them? Must be to achieve those synergies…
When the law starts to favor (or at least not penalize) creators and small enterprises… you’ll know they finally stopped campaign donations and cushy retirement ‘jobs’ for pollies. It’s a pity, because we could all benefit from this… except the for the manufacturers of gold-plated toilets and their users.
Apples aren’t like eggs. Thus unlike the curate’s egg, this little trap in the Apple EULA is probably not a good thing in itself (it means, de facto that Apple is putting themselves in the same position as the publishers under US Copyright Law, claiming they own the format, you just own the content. The difference is, of course, that publishers provide the formatting on your raw text, adding that value. In this case YOU add the work and they impose de facto monopoly conditions on you.), maybe the whole apple isn’t rotten yet, if you just cut this bit out.
My view is this is they’re sneaking very large chance-take that you really don’t want to let them get away with, in case it is infectious, for their products and for other corporates. They’re setting conditions of contract which you do not have to assent consent to – and which I suspect has all the legal validity of a liability waiver form (you cannot sign permission for someone to break the law in their treatment of you. If you sign a document that says they can keep you in a kennel, feed you dog-turds and beat you with a whip studded with broken glass… the cops are still going to haul them off and put them in jail. And probably you into a mental asylum, or at least author re-hab.). Even less can you not sign away your rights, but have in fine print (which you are not required to show assent to) that usage means it’s fine for them to put in the dog-kennel. However, corporate lawyers are sadly tax-deductible, and therefore they will continue to dream up these rent-seeking schemes.
I know there are lots of pomumophiles out there but it is worth noting that they’re not angels either.
In the meanwhile Smashwords offers a better deal.
The endless gender war bubbles on. I’ll leave you to reach your own conclusions here, but it is worth noting the point both the male and female authors gloss over: If 80% of book buying is being done by females… 1)Commercially speaking you’re missing a chunk of market which could boost your turnover and profits by a lot. It simply isn’t logical that 80% of the market you’ve got is going to go away if you had more products that attracted the rest. Let’s say you are selling 10 million books now… 8 million being bought by women — that means you’re missing another 6 million sales — or in other words a turnover increase of 60%. Gee, who would want that? 2)I’ve always been very iffy about social engineering (not something you can say about our publishing industry, who believe fervently in it, it seems), but there is no doubt that a reading population only occurs in an educated population. If you can’t read for fun, reading for other reasons loses ground. And all the evidence seems to point to literate populations being more tolerant and inclusive… so why anyone who wants to live anywhere that isn’t an 11th century style theocracy would not want as many people as possible (regardless of gender, color, orientation or pink tentacles) reading is beyond me. If you’re happy with a situation where 80% of 50% of your population isn’t reading, you’re a bit sick in the head. If you’re happy with that being the gender that is physical stronger, just as mentally able, and far more aggressive, you have to be REALLY dim-witted too.