Desperate U.K. Newspapers Get Stupid

January 8, 2010

The Right to Link: the right to create, forward and follow links.

Why do we need a campaign to protect the right to link? Well moves are afoot in the marketplace that could lose us internet freedoms that we have taken for granted till now. Most of us aren’t even aware it’s happening.

This is absolutely stupid.

If UK newspapers think I’m going to land on their cloggy front pages when all I want to do is read one of their articles, they’ve got their heads stuffed up their bums.

As they withdraw from the Internet, I’ll see fewer and fewer of their items. Is that really what they want — fewer readers?

Jack Kirby Heirs Fight For Copyright Reversion

January 8, 2010

1987 San Diego Comic Con – Jack Kirby, originally uploaded by zilberhere.

Marvel Sues Over Copyright Claims by Artist’s Heirs (Update2)

The heirs in September filed dozens of termination notices with the U.S. Copyright Office in a bid to revert Marvel’s rights to them beginning in 2014, Marvel claims. The notices were sent under a law allowing authors and their heirs to terminate copyright deals after a long delay.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

Get this:

The comic book publisher and movie producer claims Kirby’s contributions to the comic book superheroes and stories were made-for-hire works, making Marvel the sole owner of the copyrights, according to the complaint.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

Go to hell Disney-Marvel.

I hope they win!


Reclaiming Your Copyright After Thirty-Five Years

At Mike Cane 2008:

Writer 2.0: Realize Your Investment
Quote: Matt Fraction
Suit Bastard Print Publishers NAILED!
MammothMedia Loses Another Pair Of Balls
Tonight’s TV: Monopoly!
You CAN Fight And WIN!
Writers: Laugh Last, Laugh Best

Previously here:

You Won’t Be Published, You’ll Only Be Robbed
One Simple Question For All Book Publishers
In 2010 Give Some Back
Quote: Writer M.J. Rose
The Authors Guild Leadership: 21st Century Chamberlains
Writer Ursula K. Le Guin Nails Authors Guild
Edgar Allan Poe Knew The Score In The 1800s!
Writing Quote Of The Year: Paul Witcover
YOUR Creation, YOUR Work, YOUR Art
For Writers Only
Quote Of The Day: Guy LeCharles Gonzalez
TV’s Bonanza: With Charles Dickens
He Did Not Back Down
God Bless Marybeth Peters Of The Copyright Office!

Google, The Vampire

January 8, 2010

Ah, the true colors are emerging. And they are not the happy hues of their logo!

Google open-source boss comes clean on Android

This is going to sound really cynical, but the only thing that really matters is how many of these we ship – how many Android phones.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.


Google to mobile industry: ‘F*ck you very much!’

Today, some of the biggest tech companies in the world, who thought they were Google’s closest partners, will begin to understand how, say, copyright holders have felt for some time now. For the first time, I suspect, they’ll be enjoying that recurring tingle of amazement and disbelief that (as Chris Castle explained here), Google would even try and pull off such a stunt. It took EMI Publishing six months to realise that Google had claimed digital rights to its songs, for example. But even if the decision to shaft its closest Android partners and biggest customers is an aberration, a one-off, a fling that Google will later regret – then the size of the parties involved means it’s going to have lasting repercussions.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

If you’re scratching your head wondering what the big deal is, then I suggest you do a quick news search on the number of stories containing the phrase ‘Google superphone’. Imagine how this looks to a punter. There are over a dozen Google phones. Only one is a real Google phone. Only one is a Google superphone. And you can only get that from Google. Won’t Sony Ericsson, Motorola, Acer and Samsung be feeling pleased today? Sony Ericsson’s X10 has a fairly identical spec (plus Sony branding) or better – but it’s not a ‘superphone’. And not the ‘real thing’.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

Thanks to Scoble, I saw the Google Nexus One launch via UStream.

That “superphone” appellation was calculated for maximum PR and positioning effect.

It wasn’t a shot against Apple — it was a shot to the head of all of Google’s sucker partners.

And you still want to trust Google with all of our books?

This company is quickly making the greed and hubris of Microsoft in its heyday look like cheap hucksterism.

Google has been very, very clever not to have one person — a Gates, a Jobs — as a face, as a single and recurring public spokesman. By not having one point of evil to focus our wrath on, we can’t get a handle on who is doing any of this. In that respect, they have learned well from every human bureaucracy in history. Anonymity disperses accountability.

Perhaps this is why there hasn’t been the expected flood of Android mini-tablets at CES. Word has been spreading around the alleyways of tech that partnering with Google is not a contract — it’s a suicide pact.

Previously here:

Now Google Can’t Be Trusted To Be Google!

I Don’t Like The Future Apple And Google Are Creating
The Authors Guild Leadership: 21st Century Chamberlains
Writer Ursula K. Le Guin Nails Authors Guild
And You Will Trust Google With All Of Our Books?
This Is Print Publishing’s Final Warning
Mark The Words Of Dave Winer
Sergey Brin: Also Absolutely Inexcusably Clueless
Google Thinks It Owns Our Books!
The First Step Towards A Google Book Search Solution
Google Always Had POD Planned
God Bless Marybeth Peters Of The Copyright Office!
Google Books Settlement Notes #2
Tomorrow: Google Books Settlement Deadline For Writers
Cooler Adds Google’s One Million ePubs Of Crap!
Google Books Settlement Notes #1
Google’s Great Writer Rip-Off
Google’s One Million eBooks Of Crap!
The Capitulation Of Print Publishing
Reject The Google Book Search Settlement!

Every Writer Wants A Bud Wright

January 8, 2010

On Twitter, @Bookworm recommended a post by Roger Ebert.

The post was very affecting.

But what really gripped me was one of the Comments.

It’s been my experience that the Internet tends to lose things. I don’t want to lose this, so I’m stealing all the words to put here and they can damned well sue me if they wish. Copy and paste and save it so they can’t ever make it disappear forever.

By Bud Wright on January 7, 2010 3:26 AM

I have enjoyed your writing since the days when you and Gene first cranked up the original show. It’s how I came to “know” you. I live in NC, so I did not have access to the Chicago papers – and, of course, there was no internet. A Friend of mine who once lived in Illinois accommodated me by cutting out your reviews and columns and sending them to me. His work was patchy, at best. The son-of-a-bitch then had the temerity to move. I found you again, but it took the machinations of the Albemarle Regional Library to restore you to me. I kept watching the show, of course, but it was your writing that really moved me. It took weeks, sometimes months for your works to reach me, but that made the reading of them all the more rewarding. I feasted on your words in the same way that I had once feasted on The short stories that Jean Shepherd had written for Playboy, back in the sixties. To an extent, I didn’t give a rotten-apple damn WHAT you were talking about, as long as you were talking about something. I read no self-pity within your post, so I won’t address your infirmity, except to say that all of my most positive thoughts and very good wishes go with you. And while I cannot begin to empathize with your experience (hell, can anyone who is not you?) I hope it gives you some solace to know that there are untold numbers of people, out in the ether, who value your writings on the level of Hemingway. Good writing is immortal. Please do your damnedest be likewise. I should not like to live in a world in which Roger Ebert no longer illuminates the dark corners. Take care of yourself. Please. Bud Wright

God bless Bud Wright.

Every writer should have a reader like him.

At least one.