Tuesday, September 1, 2009

honor among thieves

First off, I have to admit I'm not the most strict observer of copyright. (Mostly I tend to work around the laws for movies I don't think will be worth my money. I'm usually right. And I sometimes buy downloaded music on CD after the fact.) But, as I think is the case with most people, I have my limits. Like my allergy to sharing other writers's work. I don't normally do it. I think the few times I have done it, it was with books that were spread so far and wide over the internet, my participation in the sharing with one or two friends didn't make a dent. Or so I believed. But there is a limit to what I'll do.

Some people don't have that whole boundaries thing to deal with. I recently discovered one of my friends on myspace selling copies of Stephenie Meyers's unreleased Twilight book. Not the biggest Twilight fan (I still say she's going to reveal one day that they are all parodies and the last movie is going to be the greatest spoof movie ever. Of course I thought The Governator winning California could be part of some elaborate reality show.), but I sort of understand the appeal of a perfect, beautiful stalker boyfriend and the average girl who lands him in spite of her best efforts. What I don't understand is another writer openly selling stolen goods.

I mean, aren't we all in the same boat? Trying to make ends meet, get a name for ourselves, get people to respect our work - which includes only buying legal copies. It's one thing to give away a copy to one friend, it's another to post an ad on myspace telling over 9,000 friends you're willing to sell someone's work. Especially since Meyers has already made it clear how pissed she was that the book had been leaked to begin with. It's kind of disgusting. You'd think, as writers, we'd at least respect each other enough not to do that. There are so many places where people can legally obtain e-books (even free), why should a writer contribute to the ease with which e-books are shared? Looking over his page, I see that he is clearly against domestic violence and child abuse. Well, at least he has some limits.

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