Today’s Writer Post is a Rainy Day Edition. We’ve had a lot of rain in the last couple of days (which is good, Texas has been in severe drought for almost a year now), but it does mess with productivity. It’s hard to be awesomely creative when all you want to do is curl up with a book while it rains.
I could debate SOPA/PIPA (and the International equivalent nasty, ACTA). But there are a couple of hot button topics that we could all debate until we’re blue in the face, but we’re going to have to agree to disagree. I’m someone who can see both sides of a coin. It’s a gift or a curse…however you want to look at it. Ebook pricing is one – and I’ve talked about it before, and will again. The 99¢ Ebook will be something I argue. Content has value no matter WHAT argument someone puts up. MY EFFORT to write the thing has value, and at some point I want to prove Big Bang Theory‘s Sheldon Cooper wrong when he says: “There are Indonesian children in a sneaker factory who out earn you.”
I want to see piracy stopped – or at least heavily curtailed. There are those – people I love and respect – who believe and can argue that piracy of books and movies is a help not an illegal hindrance. That people who illegally download stuff aren’t going to buy “X” thing anyway and it can only help with future sales. That it doesn’t really affect people in a negative financial matter.
But that argument isn’t holding a lot of water with me. If I choose to give something away, that’s one thing. To have someone take something I’ve created and post it for free or for sale without going through proper “channels” or seeking permission – that’s theft regardless of intention. “Oh, I was just trying to get the word out for you so you can have more readers.” “It’s publicity for YOU!” Yeah… no. Let me and my publishers decide what’s right for our marketing campaign.
If you can’t afford books, music, etc – or don’t want to -there are ways of legally dealing with that: libraries, legal file shares (Baen has a free electronic library. Tor has free downloads of stories and such, many authors now have cheap or free stories and books on their sites.) I’m a fan of used bookstores – but, Rhonda, isn’t that hypocritical? Probably, except for a couple of factors – there’s a limited number of times the book is going to be passed around (like with libraries). It’s not being scanned and sold/shared in unlimited quantities. And it saves some remainedered books from being destroyed. That DOES get material into the hand of people who will buy later.
Statistical arguments are just that. Statistical arguments where the numbers can be played in any way you want. There are those who will support the 99¢ ebook until the cows come home, just like there are those who say the current rounds of piracy are good things.
Is the current system flawed? Yes. Does it need fixing? Yes. Do there need to be more outlets for books, music, and movies? Yes. Is allowing SOPA/PIPA/ACTA to “protect” us the answer? No. Is allowing a completely unfettered system of scanning, copying, or otherwise bootlegging creative endeavors for fun and profit the answer? No. We need some kind of middle ground. Do I know what that is? No. I don’t, but I’m watching the options.
What is ONE OPTION? Support the creators of the content. Buy or download their books, movies, or music through legal (and identifiable) means. Those sales numbers (including legal, free downloads) tell the accountants/numbers guys that the content creator is worth the investment in future content creation – especially those of us dealing with small and independent presses where EVERY SINGLE SALE counts (that that those don’t count to Big Guys, they do).
You can argue with me – and my points – all you want as long as it encourages discussion and doesn’t devolve into mudslinging.
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