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Old 11-20-2007, 03:49 PM   #46
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Can you explain what you mean by "reliable"? I'm not sure that I understand what you're asking. MobiPocket format is by far the market leader, and might well be considered to be a de facto industry standard.
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Old 11-21-2007, 07:17 AM   #47
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I checked out book crescent and noticed they're selling Charles Stross's Accelerando for $21.21. A book that's free[Creative Commons] on the manybooks and feedbooks sites. I know this is a common enough occurance ebook retailers selling free books, the out of copywright and the ones on Creative Commons licence, but still $ 21.21! How do they justify this?
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Old 11-21-2007, 07:55 AM   #48
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Is it even legal to sell a book that is free under Creative Commons license ?
(just asking : I don't know, but I thought that with the CC licenses, you could only distribute it for free ???)
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Old 11-22-2007, 07:16 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by FixB View Post
Is it even legal to sell a book that is free under Creative Commons license ?
(just asking : I don't know, but I thought that with the CC licenses, you could only distribute it for free ???)
Very good point. I'm afraid I don't know the answer to that. Maybe someone else does?
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Old 11-22-2007, 07:35 AM   #50
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I just sent an email to the author as the license seems to be non commercial. I'll let you know if I get an answer
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Old 11-22-2007, 12:57 PM   #51
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Everything is fine : it's an official edition from the authors publishers

(sorry if the last posts were a bit off-topic)
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Old 11-22-2007, 01:23 PM   #52
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It may be an official authorised copy but if I spent that kind of money on a book and found out i could get it for free - legally - elsewhere, I'd be pretty sick.
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Old 11-22-2007, 05:18 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FixB View Post
Is it even legal to sell a book that is free under Creative Commons license ?
(just asking : I don't know, but I thought that with the CC licenses, you could only distribute it for free ???)

Yes, it's legal for them to sell it. Your understanding of the Creative Commons license is wrong.

Here's the situation with Accelerando:

In the beginning, I wrote a book. And my literary agent sold the right to publish the book -- in dead tree and electronic form, in North America, in English language, to Ace (a division of Berkley Publishing Group, aka a tentacle of Penguin Putnam). (Actually it happened the other way round -- Ace bought the book before I bolted it together out of spare parts and applied the zappers to its torso -- but let's keep this simple.)

Around the same time, my agent sold the English language rights to Orbit, then a division of Time Warner, in the UK.

No, you didn't misread that: she sold the rights twice. There's a tradition in the publishing biz, going back to when the USA was basically piratesville (and refused to acknowledge anybody else's copyrights), of selling rights in North America separately from UK plus Rest Of World. So rights are sold on a territorial and linguistic basis.

As to the how of publication ... sorry, but for some years the publishers have been demanding electronic rights. No electronic rights? No contract, no royalty cheques, and one hungry author. So yes, I sold them the electronic publication rights.

Then I went back to Ace and Orbit and explained in words of one syllable, with a business plan in hand, why doing a Creative Commons giveaway on the text -- under a restrictive, no derivative rights, no commercial reuse license -- would enhance sales of the dead tree edition, bring about world peace, etcetera. And, Cthulhu save me, both publishers agreed to sublicense to me a non-exclusive limited right to republish my own novel on a non-commercial basis for promotional purposes only.

(And boy did it take a lot of beating about the bush to get them to say "yes"!)

Anyway. The DRM'd commercial ebook edition of "Accelerando" is one of two legal commercial ebook editions, put out by the legal rights holding publishers in their respective territories. And there's also the Creative Commons edition -- which hasn't been withdrawn because the cat's out of the bag, even though some of the more idiotic corporate types would blow a gasket if they realized it had escaped -- which you are still free to download and pass around.

But if anything, it's the CC release that's tap-dancing on the questionable legal territory -- after all, it only exists by kind permission of Ace and Orbit.

Clear?
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Old 11-23-2007, 12:34 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cstross View Post
Yes, it's legal for them to sell it. Your understanding of the Creative Commons license is wrong.
(...)
Clear?
Yes, pretty clear !
My first post is completely irrelevant as soon as it's an edition from you or your publishers.
(I'm really sorry for the - truly unintended - inconvenience that may have been caused by this first post.)
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Old 11-23-2007, 05:55 AM   #55
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Naah, that's okay. This stuff needs clarifying.

You'll notice commercial ebook editions of Cory Doctorow's "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom" (and for all I know, his other novels) too. Same general reason: publisher had the right to produce it, so they did.

If you're wondering why my other books are not available as CC licensed free downloads, it comes down to the fact that unlike Cory (who sells world English language rights to Tor, and there's an end of it) I'm dealing with multiple publishers with different publication schedules and different ebook strategies, and getting all of them to agree to something at the same time is difficult. So my overall policy is to (a) nudge them towards DRM-free editions whenever possible, and (b) look to the long term.

As and when my books go out of print and the rights revert to me, my current plan is to make them available on dead tree via a print-on-demand outlet, and release the text under a CC license; but that's a long way away right now.
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Old 11-23-2007, 06:04 AM   #56
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Creative Commons licenses

A secondary point I want to clarify:

A Creative Commons license doesn't reduce or repudiate their copyright over their own work.

All it does is promise the reader that the author will refrain from suing them for breach of copyright if they make certain uses of the material.

The no-commercial-derivs license, for example -- if you download a book and merrily start selling it, your violation of the license means the author can sue your ass, just as if you did the same with a cracked DRM-d edition from a major publisher.

Nor does a CC-licensed release preclude the author from selling their own work under a different license, and treating derivatives of that sold work differently from an earlier CC release.

A Creative Commons license does not mean "this work is in the public domain and I can do what I like with it". CC was a compromise, designed to allow authors and creators to benefit commercially from their work while at the same time making copies freely available. It's a compromise -- necessitated by some brain-dead internal contradictions in copyright law as it currently exists -- and some of the edge cases are potentially very messy indeed, although on balance I think we're a lot better off for having it available as a framework.

The point I'm trying to make is, it is possible that you will occasionally see a pirate commercial edition of a work that's licensed under Creative Commons -- and equally likely that you'll see a legitimate commercial edition, too. In all cases, the first thing to do is check the publisher (if they also publish a Dead Tree edition, then it's 99% likely to be legitimate), and only if something smells funny, contact the author.
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Old 11-23-2007, 06:30 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cstross View Post
In all cases, the first thing to do is check the publisher (if they also publish a Dead Tree edition, then it's 99% likely to be legitimate), and only if something smells funny, contact the author.
Yes, I'll definitively try to do things in a better order next time (if) I want to check something like this
Thanks !
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Old 11-23-2007, 06:45 AM   #58
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For my personal favourite spiritual alternative, Witchvox has links to lots of Pagan sites that offer free eBooks. http://www.witchvox.com/lx/lx_ebooks.html

I may, however, be the only pagan on this forum for all I know, but all things considered I thought I'd share.
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Old 11-23-2007, 06:56 AM   #59
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Hey my post dissappeared.

Ooops nevermind, there it is. My darn computer playing tricks on me.

Last edited by strangeseraph; 11-23-2007 at 08:04 AM. Reason: oopsie
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Old 11-29-2007, 03:57 PM   #60
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The point I'm trying to make is, it is possible that you will occasionally see a pirate commercial edition of a work that's licensed under Creative Commons -- and equally likely that you'll see a legitimate commercial edition, too. In all cases, the first thing to do is check the publisher (if they also publish a Dead Tree edition, then it's 99% likely to be legitimate), and only if something smells funny, contact the author.
Thanks Charles. Your clarification is highly appreciated by everyone here.
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