Slow Death of the American Author

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Slow Death of the American Author

Postby Proofrdr » 10 Apr 2013, 03:38

Scott Turow wrote:LAST month, the Supreme Court decided to allow the importation and resale of foreign editions of American works, which are often cheaper than domestic editions. Until now, courts have forbidden such activity as a violation of copyright. Not only does this ruling open the gates to a surge in cheap imports, but since they will be sold in a secondary market, authors won’t get royalties.

This may sound like a minor problem; authors already contend with an enormous domestic market for secondhand books. But it is the latest example of how the global electronic marketplace is rapidly depleting authors’ income streams. It seems almost every player — publishers, search engines, libraries, pirates and even some scholars — is vying for position at authors’ expense.


In the rest of the article on The New York Times Opinion Page found here, Turow describes the processes in play that could lead to the inevitable destruction of our rich literary culture. Scary stuff.
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Re: Slow Death of the American Author

Postby FranW » 10 Apr 2013, 07:22

Yup, I just read that article and was coming here to post the link. Depressing stuff.
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Re: Slow Death of the American Author

Postby Baker » 10 Apr 2013, 07:27

Yeah, that's another way people are making money from the product except the creator. Not just America, Proof. This is global.

It's yet another case of financial parasitism. Globalisation means it's terribly easy for people to lose any legal control of what they produce, and national legal systems can't or won't try to cope with it. The biggest problem, though, is the devaluing of labour. There are so many ways people other than the person who worked to produce a product make money from it, and we live in a society where this is increasingly seen as okay. But, as you intimate, Proof, it's going to reach the point where people who are uncompensated are going to stop producing. Then what? Sure, with books we're always going to get self-published stuff--because for now, plenty of people see "I have written a book" as compensation.
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities ~ Voltaire
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Re: Slow Death of the American Author

Postby Proofrdr » 10 Apr 2013, 09:30

Baker wrote:Not just America, Proof. This is global.

Oh, I know! And it's digital so it's instantaneous. It's seems there is no longer such a thing as intellectual property unless you keep it to yourself.
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Re: Slow Death of the American Author

Postby ElaineB » 11 Apr 2013, 00:11

I have to get to work, so don't have time to read all this right now, but On the Media recently did an interesting piece that might be relevant.

Barely Any U.S. Culture will Enter the Public Domain this Year
You'll have to listen, there doesn't seem to be a transcript.
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Re: Slow Death of the American Author

Postby Proofrdr » 11 Apr 2013, 10:47

That's amazing...and it shows how Congress can really mess things up.
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