Am quite desperately behind in this particular blog -- I have a huge backlog of topics to discuss, but lately appear to have run out of time to discuss them. Will try to remedy over the next little while.
In the meantime, today I finally decided to opt out of the Google settlement.
What is the Google Book Settlement, you ask?
HERE is a pretty good, failry recent summary of both sides of the issue.
Is it sour grapes to opt out of the noble cause of digitizing all books?
In my own case, sizeable chunks of several of my books were printed verbatim on-line, without any discussion by said printer [Google Books] with the author [me].
It was a very odd situation, when I first discovered it a couple of years ago. It continues to rankle.
And then a mass lawsuit was struck, on behalf of all the authors and publishers in the same boat as myself. What to do, what to do????
This thing has been eating at me for a long time -- opt in and get paid for the work they took of mine and put on-line without asking? Opt out because of insultingly small settlement for said work?
And what about the basic ideals behind Creative Commons? Do we not all grow when we share our work? Does not other, better art grow from the art we make and share?
Tough, tough call. I know many writers who have been struggling with it.
In the end, I opted out for the reason above, plus the general queasiness I feel with handing my work over to a giant megacorp to do with what it will. I am not opposed to sharing of work on-line and in new media, but I like to be able to have some say which bits of my stuff I share, when and with whom.
So I opted out with the proviso that they contact me, please, to discuss the works they have already displayed.
We are surfing a new, weird wave in publishing. With so much of our work now readily available on-line, will writers lose their only source of income -- storytelling -- to this brave new world which is demanding all content be available for free? Does sharing of work help spread the word, and make the storytelling stronger (and the author able to earn a living?)
I'd like to believe the latter. But for now, I want to choose what to share, where and with whom.
If you want to learn more on the opt-out, go HERE.
And by the way, the deadline has been extended...[from the Google site]: