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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Discussions About Orson Scott Card » OSC, you are being ripped off!!

   
Author Topic: OSC, you are being ripped off!!
johnsonweed
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I was browsing the torrents and saw several of your audiobooks out there for downloading. There are places on the page that the torrents are listed where you can request that the torrent file be discontinued. I think it would most likely be done if it were you doing the request.

And before you all ask, yes I used to do this stuff, too. However, I have changed my wicked ways, but I still poke around just to see what kind of stuff is posted. I guess it is sort of my way of testing my resolve. I have proven much stronger than I expected I am proud to say.

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Oliver Dale
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I'm pretty sure OSC doesn't mind too much. Chances are, someone otherwise not exposed to his work might hear one of those audiobooks, decide he/she likes it, and decide to go out and buy the dead-tree version because ultimately people like to hold a book in their hands. If not, that person probably wouldn't have been a customer of his anyway and this way, at least, they might tell a friend of theirs who could be.

Or maybe I'm just being too the-glass-is-half-full.

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Stephan
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Check this out, written versions are actually catching on with some authors:

http://www.baen.com/library/

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Omega M.
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You may be interested in these columns of OSC's:

http://www.ornery.org/essays/warwatch/2003-09-07-1.html
http://www.ornery.org/essays/warwatch/2003-09-14-1.html

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neo-dragon
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Nobody likes a tattletale... [No No]
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James Tiberius Kirk
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This post should help too.

--j_k

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Tresopax
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I was browsing the library and noticed you can read almost all of OSC's books there without paying him a cent! I'm not sure how OSC feels about it, but I don't think it's hurting him too bad - it might even be helping him in the long run. [Wink]
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Althai
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If someone is interested in getting audiobooks of OSC legally, I highly recommend Audible.com. Most of his books are in the 20-30 dollar range, but you can spend $24 to get any two books by signing up for a 1-month subscription to audible, which means you can get audiobooks for 12$ each, and you can download them immediately to listen to on your computer or mobile device.

Those posts about OSCs views on copyright were very interesting. It's surprising to hear someone who makes his living from copyright speak in favor of (limited) copyright infringement, but I see the merits in his argument. Personally, I just wish downloaded audiobooks were cheaper, since they cost only pennies in bandwidth to distribute. I remember OSC advocating something similar (but for e-books, rather than audiobooks) in an episode of Hour 25.

David

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imogen
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quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
I was browsing the library and noticed you can read almost all of OSC's books there without paying him a cent! I'm not sure how OSC feels about it, but I don't think it's hurting him too bad - it might even be helping him in the long run. [Wink]

If American laws are anything like Australian laws in this regard, authors are actually paid a small amount for the lending rights of their books in libraries.
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rivka
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Nope. Well, I believe such a notion was being floated in a couple states (Florida comes to mind) at some point, but AFAIK it never came to pass.

Other than the royalties on the sale of one (or more) book(s) to the library, authors make no money from library books directly. But indirectly, in the form of readers who are introduced to the author and become buyers of future books . . .

Priceless! [Big Grin]

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imogen
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[/mastercard] [Smile]

Huh. So I guess authors here do have it better in that regard.

(It can be quite a substantial income, depending on the amount of books in libraries. Although apparently it used to be more generous, and has been scaled down drastically.)

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rivka
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Are libraries (or at least this author stipend) supported by the central Australian government? Because that would definitely be the sort of thing individual states (or even municipalities) control here.

Unless someone decided it affected interstate commerce, I guess.

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rivka
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Also, if this article is correct, the payments only apply to certain libraries.
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imogen
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There are two payments - PLR (Public Lending Rights) apply to all public libraries.

ELR (Educational Lending Rights) apply to educational (duh! [Wink] ) private libraries - for most authors, the biggest financial importance is school libraries.

This scheme is a federal scheme, run through the Department of the Arts. But the libraries themselves are state-run (actually, municpally run in my city). The scheme is independant of library administration (as evinced by its extension to private educational libraries).

Aha! Official Linkies.

I think it's a great idea. (Not that I have a vested interest or anything. [Smile] )

[ March 27, 2006, 03:58 AM: Message edited by: imogen ]

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rivka
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I do too; I just don't see it happening at a federal level here.
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imogen
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Oh well, rumour is it won't be happening here in 10 years or so either.

(But we do have a much less marked state/federal demarcation than the US. I guess because we're too small to operate otherwise!)

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rivka
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*nod* And for historical reasons as well.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
I do too; I just don't see it happening at a federal level here.

Yes this would be unconstitutional. Library systems here in the U.S. are mostly municipal or local. The federal government can't tax state or local institutions, and I believe they also can't pass laws regarding the payment of royalties when it comes to public insitutions, all that is probably determined by state law. If not then there may be a federal law requiring the payment of royalties, but the payments would be tax-free for public libraries.
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lisha_rose
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Orson Scott Card
quote:

- posted March 11, 2005 08:05 AM Look, don't worry about this. I make enough money for any rational person and it's obvious that downloading is not hurting my income OR my publisher's. I am not granting permission for anyone to upload and distribute my work, but I am also not condemning anybody who downloads it. My personal standard would be the one that you are already following: If you download a book, read it, and like it, then you'll eventually buy an edition of the book - at least the paperback. And if you read it (or start to read it) and dislike it, then you don't owe the author anything.

As far as I'm concerned, that keeps you honest and hurts nobody. At least that's the standard I use. People have occasionally given me ripped cds. i listen, and if I like it, I buy a legitimate copy; if i don't, then ... I won't be listening to the ripped copy anyway, will I?


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Orson Scott Card
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Civilization depends on tattletales. We call them "witnesses" and we try not to convict criminals without at least a couple of them.

We all have our own lists of rules that "aren't very important," and people who report on the violators of those rules are "tattletales" or "stool pigeons." But those rules might be VERY important to someone else, and when you knowingly break a rule, it's stupid (but also human nature) to call the person who reports you names.

In my opinion, the entertainment industry is foolish to go to paranoid extremes to fight piracy. The difference between kids making cds of their favorite tracks and sharing them with friends, and shops in Hong Kong or Houston churning out large quantities for sale in order to make money from somebody else's labor, should be clear, but to the entertainment industry, they apparently seem identical.

This only creates ill will. The shops in Hong Kong must be dealt with through international diplomacy and in Houston through effective law enforcement. Websites that systematically violate copyright are also a legitimate target. But to go after kids who use their parents' computer to make a copy of this or that is just silly and petty and it makes us all despise the entertainment industry.

And yet ... one of the ways that you prove that your work is still under copyright is that you vigorously pursue copyright violators in order to stop them. So when I find someone providing free copies of my copyrighted work, if I ignore it I risk losing copyright protection. And since I make my living from copyright, I have no choice but to try to shut down websites that offer to other people what they did not create and have not paid for.

So am I a hypocrite? Hardly. I'm just conflicted - but determined also to preserve my livelihood.

And there is a bit of public self-interest involved here, too. Audiobooks are expensive to produce. When you download them for free, in an unauthorized setting, are you "spreading the word" or stealing? If you only do it a little, then the harm is less; but if EVERYONE did it, soon there would be few professional-quality recorded books available because there would be no financial way for the producers of these books to continue.

In other words, a little rule-breaking actually helps the entertainment industry; widespread, systematic rule-breaking hurts it; and a complete scoff-law attitude would ultimately kill it.

It's that way with a lot of laws. We can stand lawbreaking on the fringes, as a tiny minority activity; but when it becomes widespread, then the law becomes meaningless, and whatever benefit that law provided is lost.

The benefit of copyright law is that creators and disseminators of artistic work are able to gain enough financial benefit from the sale of popular works to finance the creation and dissemination of a lot of work that turns out not to be terribly popular - and because nobody knows in advance which is going to be which, today's hits finance next year's hits (and misses).

So when you make illegal copies of hits, you might tell yourself, "He makes plenty of money, this isn't hurting anybody." But it is out of the "obscene" profits from the hits that the record company can then afford to release a record by a group nobody's heard of and give them their shot at success. Cut down on those profits, and you cut down on the number of unknowns who can get their shot. You are, in fact, hurting the little guy.

And the rich fat cats? It's our system, that in some fields, people are compensated far beyond the worth of their contribution to society. It's a lousy system - but all the alternatives people have tried so far suck even worse.

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Orincoro
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How do you feel about the dissemination of material by authors who are long dead? Free access online to literature and music with expired copyrights will eventually (in the forseable future) undercut the amount of money publishers and cd makers can glean from the works of say, Bach or Chopin. Once the public libraries begin to provide online access to their entire collections (this project is already underway in a few major libraries), then how will the pulbishing industry survive?

I already download urtext sheet music from many websites, perfectly legally since all the stuff is centuries old and public domain. Doubtless this will make it difficult for the publishing companies to finance new works, when all their tried and true publications will be free to download. On the other hand, publishing will be and is cheaper all the time, so less money (theoretically) needs to be spent on publishing.

Both my parents make their living in publishing, my Dad in the legal dep. for the company that makes the Myers Briggs TI test, and my Mom in Thomson learning group (schirmer, brooks, wadsworth, etc), So for me the question is not merely academic.

I wonder OSC if you have heard of "wikibooks" yet, I have discovered a few, but haven't been awed by them. I wonder why talented writers or researchers would want to provide for free what they need to sell in order to live. Not only that, but they provide access to a free alternative, based on the work of people who now have a competing volume out there on the net, with a price of $0. Now the people who researched all the information in the first place are scooped, and left with nothing. Its their right to do it, but I wonder why they do.

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Orson Scott Card
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When copyright has expired, works enter the public domain. At that point, it is not just a privilege, but a duty to disseminate the works of dead authors as widely and cheaply as possible.
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