seawasp (seawasp) wrote,

My Position on publishing, payments, and readers' rights.

As once more the Ebook versus "realbook" kerfluffle has emerged (this time at Writer Beware), I wanted to clarify my stance on IP, books, etc., for any who are interested.

NOTE: The "you" in the following paragraphs is a generic "you" to all readers or potential readers, not any individual reader. If any of the comments don't apply to you personally, ignore them entirely.

If you purchase my book in ANY form, you have the inviolable right to read that book. You have the right to read it anywhere you like. If you have the ability to convert my book into electronic form, you have every right to do so for your own personal use. You have the right to not only re-read the book, but to give it away or sell it.

You don't have the right (though I cannot stop you) to make ADDITIONAL COPIES of the book and sell or distribute them.

If my publisher makes it difficult-to-impossible to obtain an electronic version and you've already bought a hardcover, it's illegal -- but, I think, perfectly reasonable -- for you to find a pirate copy and use that for reading my book on a portable e-reader. Though I hope to Gods that the pirate didn't just trust OCR scanner software.

You have the absolute right to like, or dislike, the book on any grounds whatsoever.

You have the right to create pictures inspired by the work, to write fanfiction based on the work, to make music videos based on the work, etc., so long as you're not making money on them (with the exception, I think, of pictures -- individual pictures/paintings of characters I think are perfectly fair game for sales).

You don't get to claim any part of the IP no matter what fanfic you write, even if I come out with a book that seems to have lots of elements from your fic in it. I have lots of ideas about my worlds, I'm a fanfic writer myself, and the odds are good that if I like an idea enough to use it that I've already thought of SOMETHING like it; in any case, my world, my playground, my option to use. So if you think you have a fanfic or other fanac material that's SO COOL that you fear it being stolen, don't let it out of your sight and don't let the world -- and especially me -- see it. It is POSSIBLE that I'll see something in someone's fan universe or other suggestions that's just amazingly cool, and I will acknowledge this in any way *I* see appropriate, ranging from a Tuckerization to an acknowledgement at the front of the book to even, if I feel so inclined and the contribution warrants it, payment in one form or another, But that's purely MY choice.

NOTE: The above paragraph addresses certain common concerns of authors, and some rather well-known debacles involving fans and authors. I don't want a repetition of the MZB affair.

I'm tickled pink to see any fan-made material, speculations, and so on. If you want to go beyond that level and start doing something serious -- a film, a video game, an RPG adaptation -- I'm very much open to deals on the matter, but at that point you DO need to talk to me about it so nothing illegal comes up.

Basically, anything that gets in the way of my readers buying my work, and thus paying me for my efforts -- and assuring me of CONTINUED chances of publishing my work -- is wrong. Anything that HELPS me make more money as an author -- looking LONG TERM -- is good.  The "long term" is important; many activities such as those of the MPAA/RIAA using the DMCA, etc., I see as extremely shortsighted actions which will damage them in the long term.

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