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Old 12-24-2009, 06:51 AM   #1
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Le Guin accuses Authors Guild of 'deal with the devil'

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009...ors-guild-deal
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Old 12-24-2009, 06:53 AM   #2
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Good for her! I Definitely see her point. I don't know the right answer, but I do think it's a step or slip down the slippery slope.
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Old 12-24-2009, 09:01 AM   #3
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The saddest thing about this is, if copyright had not been stretched beyond belief, this would not be happening....
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Old 12-24-2009, 09:02 AM   #4
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Ebooks currently sold by LeGuin's publishers? Bugger all, as far as I can see.
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Old 12-24-2009, 09:04 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Sir Edward View Post
The saddest thing about this is, if copyright had not been stretched beyond belief, this would not be happening....
Exactly, and currently barring the few well known books, the rest of hers would fade into unavailability along with the rest of the 20th century author types.
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Old 12-24-2009, 09:10 AM   #6
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Exactly, and currently barring the few well known books, the rest of hers would fade into unavailability along with the rest of the 20th century author types.
Same at the 19th century books, the 18th century books, and older, if it weren't for Project Gutenberg.....

Last edited by Ralph Sir Edward; 12-24-2009 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 12-24-2009, 09:29 AM   #7
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On one hand, I agree with her. I think copyright laws should apply to Google just like they do to everyone else.

On the other hand, I wish Congress would do something to address the orphaned copyrights, so that a lot of books no longer in print could become available again, and in electronic versions.

Lastly, I noticed Earthsea is not available in an ebook edition. Actually only one of Le Guin's books is available in the Kindle store, and a bunch of short stories are available (I'm guessing that these are old stories (pre-1964) where the copyright expired and wasn't renewed -- or have been illegally uploaded.) I get the feeling that Le Guin is in the luddite camp of J.K. Rowling, et. al.
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Old 12-24-2009, 09:37 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Daithi View Post
On one hand, I agree with her. I think copyright laws should apply to Google just like they do to everyone else.

On the other hand, I wish Congress would do something to address the orphaned copyrights, so that a lot of books no longer in print could become available again, and in electronic versions.

Lastly, I noticed Earthsea is not available in an ebook edition. Actually only one of Le Guin's books is available in the Kindle store, and a bunch of short stories are available (I'm guessing that these are old stories (pre-1964) where the copyright expired and wasn't renewed -- or have been illegally uploaded.) I get the feeling that Le Guin is in the luddite camp of J.K. Rowling, et. al.

I'm just pointing out, if copyright hadn't been stretched out ridiculously, there would be no problem with "orphan" works, and no real economic window for Google to be trying to exploit. If we had been back at the pre 1976 "joining" of the Berne treaty, all works from 1952 (1953 two weeks from now) on back, would be in the public domain.
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Old 12-24-2009, 10:10 AM   #9
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I completely agree with you Ralph Sir Edward. All these orphaned works just scream that there is something wrong with our copyright system. I wish you had to renew your copyright every 10 years, and that you paid a sliding fee on renewal, so that at the start your copyright was free, but if you wanted to renew a 100 year old copyright on Steam Boat Willie then it would cost you a hundred grand or more.
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Old 12-24-2009, 11:32 AM   #10
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... I get the feeling that Le Guin is in the luddite camp of J.K. Rowling, et. al.
I think it is inappropriate to make the assumption that she or any other author not currently offering electronic books is a Luddite. There are many valid reasons for holding this position, and accusing a science fiction author of a fear of technology does not add value to the debate.

As to her position on the settlement, it seems very reasonable. I have first-hand knowledge of a writer who has several of his works available in electronic editions, and who decided to opt-out of the Google/WGA settlement when he learned of one of his books being on the "orphaned works" list. He, like many authors, finds the terms of the settlement unconscionable, regardless of other ebook publication status. I am sure that if he had Ms. Le Guin's clout (or if he were a WGA member), he would have made a similar public statement.
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Old 12-24-2009, 12:27 PM   #11
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I think it is inappropriate to make the assumption that she or any other author not currently offering electronic books is a Luddite. There are many valid reasons for holding this position, and accusing a science fiction author of a fear of technology does not add value to the debate.

As to her position on the settlement, it seems very reasonable. I have first-hand knowledge of a writer who has several of his works available in electronic editions, and who decided to opt-out of the Google/WGA settlement when he learned of one of his books being on the "orphaned works" list. He, like many authors, finds the terms of the settlement unconscionable, regardless of other ebook publication status. I am sure that if he had Ms. Le Guin's clout (or if he were a WGA member), he would have made a similar public statement.
I stand by my position.
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Old 12-24-2009, 12:51 PM   #12
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One of the problems is that, in its current incarnation, the agreement allows works to be assumed to be orphaned without putting much effort into finding out otherwise. Also, it requires authors to opt out, rather than asking them to opt in.

Victoria Strauss has an excellent compilation of reactions to the revised settlement:
http://www.sfwa.org/2009/11/revised-...tlement-filed/
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Old 12-24-2009, 01:15 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by jasonkchapman View Post
One of the problems is that, in its current incarnation, the agreement allows works to be assumed to be orphaned without putting much effort into finding out otherwise. Also, it requires authors to opt out, rather than asking them to opt in.

Victoria Strauss has an excellent compilation of reactions to the revised settlement:
http://www.sfwa.org/2009/11/revised-...tlement-filed/
I tend to agree with this position. I don't see how the Authors Guild can decide for others, whether they belong to the Authors Guild or not, to give up certain protections provided by copyright law. I don't believe a judge should have the power to do this either (although in practice they do seem to have this power). Personally, I believe this is something that needs to be addressed by Congress -- unfortunately they don't seem willing to address it.

Pragmatically, I'll live with whatever I can get. Therefore, I'm hoping the Google settlement stands.
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Old 12-24-2009, 02:06 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Daithi View Post
I tend to agree with this position. I don't see how the Authors Guild can decide for others, whether they belong to the Authors Guild or not, to give up certain protections provided by copyright law. I don't believe a judge should have the power to do this either (although in practice they do seem to have this power). Personally, I believe this is something that needs to be addressed by Congress -- unfortunately they don't seem willing to address it.

Pragmatically, I'll live with whatever I can get. Therefore, I'm hoping the Google settlement stands.

After the Kelo decision of 2005, I don't make any bets about the security of property....
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:50 PM   #15
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Le Guin is maybe the author I've most adored and I've looked everywhere to collect the books she's written. And somewhat shamefully I have to say, I have obtained a few of those in a illegal fashion. Others I've bought from old book store and 2 I've bought in regular bookstores. I really don't think she stands against Google in particular but more against the ebook form as is.
I am sure that it'll be not more than 2 years for most of the authors to understand that keeping the books paper won't be of any benefit for them. But for the time being, we'll read such letters and wait.
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