THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
View 481 August 27 - September 2, 2007
Highlights this week:
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This is a Day Book. Pages are in chronological, not blogological order.
August 27, 2007
I brought some kind of summer cold home from Cal Tech. I'm sure I'll recover. With any luck I'll finish Inferno II this week and get it off to our editors.
|This week:||Tuesday, August
Yesterday was devoured by locusts. I hope to get more done today. I do seem to have picked up some kind of vicious bug or virus. At least I hope that's what's wrong.
Mike 'Z' Zawistowski sends this interesting tale:
which I found interesting. Apple has always used small and rather delicate connectors. I can remember a few years ago when checking Mac cable connectors was routine before you did anything else; they often ended up with bent pins or one pin pushed back into the cable shell.
There's mail on windmills and other matters.
I went to bed about 0120. There was a tiny blemish on the full moon. I woke up sleepless just before 4 AM, and went out on my balcony. The full moon was a dark red, enough light to see details. It seemed brighter than I recall in other total eclipses. About 5:30 the moon was back with a blemish. Quite a sight.
http://www.stellarium.org/ has some programs that might be interesting.
I'm trying to get this week's column installment done, but I confess I haven't a lot of energy.
The column and mailbag are up over at Chaos Manor Reviews. Today is the hottest day of the year.
Richard Jewell, RIP. Jewell was the first victim of the rapid deterioration of our federal security forces. The FBI fastened on Jewell as the perpetrator of the Atlanta bombing, and once those "profilers" decide they have found their man, they do not let go. Eventually they had to, albeit reluctantly. http://www.cnn.com/US/9610/26/jewell.update/
I have heard no details of his death. He eventually was compensated by some of the news media who had hounded him and his mother.
Jewell tried to help; the profilers decided this indicated guilt. The lessons to be drawn from that seeped into the slacker culture. As did the lessons to be drawn from the Martha Stewart case.
In a Republic, the government is "us", not them. Jewell grew up in a time when the Republic had not entirely declined; his case was a signal and sign. (See also mail)
Today is the hottest day of the year, and I have a terrible summer cold, with a sore throat, dry cough, and general don't feel good all over. I suppose it is appropriate to put me in the mood to spend the afternoon in Hell.
On the lunar eclipse:
I saw it because I was awake at 4:00 AM due to my head cold.
I mentioned this to my advisors, and Robert Bruce Thompson, who is very much a skilled amateur astronomer (and his books are about the best sources you'll find on how you can do amateur astronomy) commented.
Robert Bruce Thompson explained:
The eclipse was interfered with by sunrise here. The red color you saw
There is a note on folk etymology over in mail. As well as other matters.
August 30, 2007
I am recovering from my summer cold, Deo gratia. We took our 2 mile walk this morning before it got too hot, but today will be another scorcher. I'll retreat to the Monk's Cell and work on Inferno.
Niven is off to Japan and I have the watch; I hope to finish the book today or tomorrow and get copies off to our agent and our editor. It's considerably improved, particularly in the opening scenes.
The media mostly ignored the passing of Richard Jewell, which I suppose is to be expected.
These are the Dog Days of Summer (who knows where that expression originated?), aka the Silly Season. And it's about 100 degrees in here, so I think I will retreat as soon as possible. My office has an air conditioner but it's very expensive to operate, and the state authorities are asking us to conserve power. Which I will do, but if we had sane licensing laws we'd have ample nuclear power and not have to worry about conservation, windmills, ethanol (burning food; astonishing).
We have the technology to have a better life -- Survival with Style as I said 30 years ago in A Step Farther Out (available to Subcribers in the Subscriber area of Chaos Manor Reviews, or use Paypal to send me $4.95 with "Step" in the subject matter for an ebook copy). We can have Survival with Style, but it look as if we'd prefer to burn food.
If you are interested in what XCOR and my son Richard are doing
The notion is to make rockets make money while better ones are being developed.
It is 90 at 0900 here and it's expected to be 105 in Studio City. Down at the beaches it's about 76.
There's considerable mail on many subjects, including wind energy, Richard Jewell, and the Global Warming consensus.
I probably ought to curb my propensity for ironic statements. I do know the origin of the term "dog days". There are several. One, which involves the heliacal rising of Sirius, doesn't seem very reasonable to me. The other, that Sirius is high in the night sky during the hot summers, makes more sense. The question is how old is the expression? Anyway, thanks to those who took the trouble to write.
It doesn't surprise me much. Doctorow doesn't much care for intellectual property; that may or may not be affected by the value of his intellectual properties. Mine are worth enough that I can eke out a baseline living from residuals of works I wrote some year ago. Perhaps Doctorow is a lot more successful than I am in getting people to subscribe to his new works; or perhaps he doesn't need so much to live on as I do at my age.
Either way, he doesn't have a lot of sympathy for writers, but then one does not expect him to.
He also makes some astonishing charges that don't seem to have much to do with reality. That is hardly astonishing either.
Predictably, Doctorow (who either has or recently had a salaried position with Electronic Frontier Foundation) takes his position without much regard for facts or legalities.
I can say this: Scribd.com which Doctorow defends has the complete text of a number of works. One of them is Sheffield and Pournelle, Higher Education. I guarantee you that neither I nor Charlie's widow has given this outfit any permission to do this. They used to have more of my books, and Niven's, and many others. They also had a series of hoops one had to jump through to get those taken down. The procedure was onerous, and they didn't answer my emails.
I with other SFWA members asked SFWA to take action on our behalf. SFWA did. Some of the wrongs were righted. I would take that to be a Good Thing.
Corey Doctorow does not. Doctorow's comment on that is given in his screed above.
Hmm. Boeing Boeing. I note that Arwen Dayton's science fiction works have not been pirated by scribd. I don't know if that's relevant.
SFWA will have an answer to Doctorow. Doctorow does not seem to have done his homework regarding DMCA, but that too is hardly astonishing. DMCA has a number of legal requirements for both those asserting their rights under it and those asserting a right to post copies of works without the permission of the copyright owners. I am no expert on those matters, but SFWA has such experts among its membership and supporters.
The real question is whether there are any rights of authors.
I have already got mail on this. It's interesting. Apparently writers who want some control over who displays their works are despicable, but those who want their works displayed by pirate sites have a legitimate grievance.
The situation was this: there were thousands of stolen works on those sites. These people made it clear they intended to use other people's works to draw a crowd. They have a business model that requires a lot of traffic, and other people's works are part of what they'll use to generate that traffic. They made it difficult for writers to ask that their works be taken off: we had to find them and request one at a time and provide them other materials.
SFWA sent a "take it down" letter. It included, among thousands of stolen works, some works that were posted with permission of the authors. I suppose it comes as no surprise that there are those who think the horrid fault was SFWA's. I point out that if they have permission for certain works, they know they have no obligation to remove them.
The real question is whether authors have rights. SFWA did not remove any rights from those who want their stuff posted on those sites. Everyone knows they have no obligation to remove stuff they have permission for, and that SFWA isn't asking the to remove stuff they have permission for. They also know they themselves made it very difficult to list all the materials they have stolen.
It looks to me as if we have reached a decision point: either authors have some rights to what they create, or they don't. If they don't then we have to start looking at sales models.
The sites in question had thousands of copyrighted works and deliberately made it difficult for the copyright owner even to request that they take them down. SFWA has a couple of volunteers to work on their behalf. Dr. Burt used some software tools to compile a list. The list apparently included some works that the sites had permission to post. When that was called to his attention the objections to those items were removed.
The worst that happened was that for a couple of days some of Corey Doctorow's work was not available for download from those sites; that is presuming that the site actually took them down at all.
On the other side, for weeks thousands of copyrighted works were available for download from a pirate site.
Doctorow says he is the aggrieved party, and the hounds now bay after SFWA and Dr. Burt.
Precisely why this should be so I don't know, but it looks as if "electronic freedom" means that authors have essentially no rights: or that the right of Doctorow to have his work displayed on a site that uses piracy to get net traffic is far more important than mine to have a writers organization try to act in my behalf. Incidentally, make no mistake: the SFWA committee did send polite letters to begin the discussion. Those did not get much attention.
Why haven't you explained why SFWA did no checking of said list. And are some people's copyrights worth more then others? Unless Hurt is stupid which I don't believe he is. There is no way he would have left Doctorow's book on the list if he had bothered to check the list. So how many other peoples copyrights has Hurt and the SFWA infringed upon due to Hurt's carelessness.
PS. I don't believe in breaking anybody's copyright but I also don't believe in hang'em all tactics of protecting said copyrights.
There were thousands of items on that list. The site owners wanted each item listed, one at a time. They had thousands of copyrighted works. I note that Higher Education by Charles Sheffield and Jerry Pournelle is still on that site. Attempts to get them to cooperate were not successful.
Dr. Burt like all SFWA officials is a volunteer. Science fiction writers don't have a high paid union staff. Dr. Burt used software to generate a list of probably pirated works. He would not have had to do that had these people not posted thousands of copyrighted works. The list he generated contained some number -- so far we have received complaints about three -- of items that were legitimately posted because the place had permission to post them.
How can one "bother" to "check" a list of thousands of stolen items? Why should we have to? Given the amount of pirated material on this site that Doctorow is so concerned about, how can one "check" these things item by item?
Why is it assumed that the pirates have some kind of good will credit, while SFWA trying to protect the rights of authors are a bunch of bad guys who don't bother to check their lists and are clearly at fault? But that assumption does seem to be made.
If it is any compensation, the President of SFWA has personally apologized to the three people who were deprived of the right to have their works posted on a pirate site for a few days. Doctorow among them.
I haven't seen any apologies from the site or its supporters for having everything I ever wrote available on that site for free. I don't really expect to.
Meanwhile, Roland had this to say
Dealing with scribd.com.
The problem with Dr. Burt's method is that it was almost assuredly going to produce false positives; it obviously has, and this has given them a moral standing they obviously don't deserve. The basic mistake SFWA made in this case was trying to deal with scribd.com directly - which is ironic, given that SFWA were attempting to be nuanced by attempting to work with the site owners.
A better approach, IMHO, would be to issue a DMCA takedown notice to scribd.com's ISP, softlayer.com (<http://www.softlayer.com/ legal.html>), and to their domain registrar, godaddy.com, in order to
force the entire site offline until they've cleaned up their act.
If Doctorow is outraged because Andrew Burt inadvertently included a couple of his works among those we demanded be taken down (and which they were free to leave up as they well knew) he will probably die of apoplexy if we implement that. I am not sure we would; it's a policy matter and I am not an officer of SFWA.
But make no mistake. There is a lot at stake here. Do authors have rights? I feel for Cory Doctorow who was deprived of a free outlet for his work for a couple of days; but I doubt he has much feeling for the hundreds of authors whose works were available for download for weeks. (continued below)
|This week:||Saturday, September
Well, I never cease to be astonished. I find that many members of the Science Fiction Writers of America are eager to denounce Dr. Burt and the SFWA piracy committee because of the big storm on slashdot and elsewhere. One member is terrified that there will be a boycott of SFWA authors and she will starve to death.
The stakes here are fairly high. For the moment ebook sales are pretty trivial. Some publishers think they'll become significant, and I recently got reasonable advances -- under ten thousand dollars -- for the ebook rights to several of my older works. One can hope.
Whether those rights are worth much if electronic piracy becomes the general practice because no one tries to enforce copyright is another matter. In the present case that so concerns Cory Doctorow, the site in question had thousands of copyrighted books available for free download. That included everything that Niven and I had ever written together or separately. It included Charles Sheffield's works. It included -- indeed still includes -- Higher Education by Sheffield and Pournelle. Because there were thousands and thousands of titles, and the site insisted that each be listed separately -- they rejected a SFWA request to "remove all works by Jerry Pournelle, Larry Niven, Charles Sheffield (etc.)-- a list had to be generated. SFWA is a volunteer organization. Dr. Burt generated a list and attempted to vet it; but because the site was pirating thousands of works, he did include on the takedown list several works that should not have been on it.
The numbers are well under a hundred of those included by mistake; so far we know of three (3) and only three, but perhaps there are more. In every case when the site complained that they had permission for works on the takedown list, the works in question were withdrawn from the takedown list. As a result, the worst that happened to any author whose work was wrongly included on the list was that his work was unavailable on that site for a few days at most.
Doctorow turned that into a major horror. So have some members of SFWA. The hue and cry was raised and the President of SFWA issued an apology to those writers whose works were included. That, of course, is not enough. I have included some of the mail I have received on this matter. There was a lot more very odd mail in the SFWA conference, enough so that I think I'll stop visiting that place; indeed I may simply resign my life membership in SFWA since the one thing it could do for me will no longer be done.
Make no mistakes here: if we must deal with thousands and tens of thousands of blatant violations of copyright, and do so with volunteer officers, some mistakes will be made. So far the proven record of mistakes is 3 items in about 100,000 takedown requests; but I would not be astonished if that rose to as high as 100 in 100,000. Or even higher. The way that place works, you have to open the document and examine it; you can't just generate a list from the titles. This is exacting and mind stultifying work, and SFWA has only volunteers; in this case one volunteer.
In every case, where a work that should not be has been included on the takedown list, any indication from the author that the work ought not be included has resulted in its removal; and of course since SFWA has no right to ask that such works be taken down, the site has no obligation to honor that takedown request in the first place. Everyone knows this, which suggests that there is more to this story than is immediately apparent.
As for me, I don't fear a boycott of my works or those of SFWA members; I suspect that at most the sales lost won't exceed those lost because people got a pirated work and thus didn't buy one. In both cases the numbers will be small. For now.
The question becomes, when everyone in the country carries an iPhone or some other instrument that makes it convenient to read books, will the paperback book business survive? If you can get it electronically and you are already carrying a reader, will you also want a paper copy? It may be that I won't live long enough to see any real effect on paperback sales. We just don't know. But I do predict that within your lifetimes if not mine the paperback book will essentially go away, and what people now read on paperback will instead be read on an electronic reader.
And when that happens, epiracy may be much more serious than it is now.
It may not be. Eric Flint, a Baen editor, argues that giving away free electronic copies of books doesn't harm the sales of the book in paper. My experience with Fallen Angels echoes that. It may be that this is all a tempest in a teapot. Flint argues that piracy doesn't even affect ebook sales, and lists ebook incomes of several thousand dollars for some of his books. Of course several thousand dollars is not a lot of money for something that took a year to write. Lucifer's Hammer took several years to write. It has sold millions of copies. I'd hate to see that reduced to a few thousand sales and a million pirated copies.
That may not happen. As I say, this may be all moot: pirated copies may not affect actual income. But it may.
Whatever the case, I for one want to thank Dr. Burt and SFWA for its actions. I regret that a few works that should not have been on the takedown list were included; but I note that thousands and thousands of copyrighted works that should not have been up on that site were removed, and I for one am glad of it. If that makes me a villain, then so be it; but I do not find my position unreasonable.
Clearly others have another view:
Worse than Vogon poetry: bogus DMCA takedowns stun sci-fi lovers
You might wish to have a look at ars technica's treatment of the scribd takedown. No mention is made of the copyrighted materials on the site, and readers will associate the SFWA with the RIAA. I understand your lack of sympathy, but minor mistakes of this kind are going to get a lot of bad press.
Presumably there are those who would prefer to believe lies than bother to find out the truth. If anyone believes that wrongly including a couple of works on a takedown list equates with bringing lawsuits against the parents of children who download music, then I doubt that person would appreciate anything I write to begin with. I assume a certain level of both intellectual and moral development among my readers.
September 2, 2007
I find it interesting that the Electronic Freedom Foundation seems to be more concerned with the rights of file sharing than of authors; apparently the notion is that other people's work ought to be free as in beer. Authors can, by swearing on penalty of perjury, send a demand that their work be removed: first they have to find it, then they have to go to considerable trouble to generate a properly drafted document; and if, like SFWA which tried (perhaps clumsily, but the motivation was clear) to represent the interests of several authors living and dead, you don't get it all right, the Electronic Freedom Foundation will send a letter of warning on behalf of their clients. Their client is the commercial venture that allows anyone to put up files without regard to the ownership of the documents, and defends its right to leave them there, available, until someone swears on penalty of perjury that they don't have a right to put those up.
I confess I ought to stop thinking about this. And today I found some of Harlan Ellison's works available on that site. This may be interesting.
I confess that what infuriated me was that an author association which was doing no more than trying to help its membership keep their works from being openly and massively pirated has been made to be the bad guys, and EFF has taken the side of the file sharers. It isn't as if SFWA went to DMCA as first choice. SFWA has always tried to send polite letters reminding people that they are posting copyrighted material; in some cases all the authors have asked is that there be a link to the author's own freely posted copy of the work. Many "pirate" web sites are run by fans who respond to those letters, and everyone is happy. In the case of scribd.com there was not a hint of cooperation. Basically their policy is that they will respond to legal demands and nothing else; invoke DMCA or shut up. So if SFWA does invoke DMCA to protect the rights of members, then SFWA is compared to RIAA which actually sues individuals who downloaded music and movies.
The result is I have very little respect for ars technica and many of the self proclaimed defenders of the "rights" of the "internet community". And I really have work to do.
I may write this up as my column for the week, if I can manage to control my anger at SFWA being made the bad guy for trying to help authors keep some control over the publication of their works. And yes: I know that it wasn't as well done as it could be. Several people whose works were legitimately posted at scribd.com were listed and shouldn't have been. So far as I know they've all been restored: SFWA immediately removed them from the list when attention was called to the mistake; and at worst they lost a few hours of free exposure. But SFWA and the authors are the bad guys, and EFF and scribd.com are the good guys?
Apparently there is some effect: I understand that an official of scribd.com is now saying that they are eager to cooperate. This is news, since Dr. Burt attempted to get some cooperation and as he put it, they blew him off. I know that in my case when I sent notes about my works, and Niven's works being up on scribd I got no reply, and several readers report the same experience.
Peter Glaskowsky speculates that scribd will find that venture capitalists are not eager to invest in organizations that have potential problems, either PR or legal, and that being known as a place where it is easy to find pirated works is not likely to be good for their image.
I have sent them a note indicating a dozen or more works that are probably not authorized, although I have no right to speak for the owners. Two of the documents available on scribd are by Harlan Ellison: I would be more than astonished to find that those are there with Harlan's permission. Nearly the entire work of Fred Saberhagen is available there. Some of Poul Anderson's work. In my note to scribd I pointed out that it was unlikely that they would be concerned about the Biblical warnings against doing harm to widows and orphans, but if they had any Masons on their board, or among their potential investors, that might be of concern.
Understand, I have heard nothing directly from them, but I have seen reports that they are commenting on what I have said on this web site. That makes me hopeful that they will read the column I am preparing.
I find that interesting: it certainly does not echo my experience of trying to communicate with them a couple of weeks ago when readers began informing me about scribd, and it does not echo Dr. Andrew Burt's attempts at soliciting their cooperation; but it's very good news. If they want to cooperate in future, that's a good thing.
It is certainly true that several hours after I sent a formal DMCA notice under penalty of perjury informing them that HIGHER EDUCATION was on their web site without my permission, they sent me a notice that it had been removed. Previous informal attempts had failed, but sending a properly drafted legal notice did the job. Here is what I sent:
Cc: Jerry Pournelle
Subject: Higher Education
Dear Mr. Adler,
I am writing to you to avail myself of my rights under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). This letter is a Notice of Infringement as authorized in Title 17, United States Code, Section 512c. I wish to report an instance of what I feel in good faith is an instance of copyright infringement on Scribd.
1. The material which I contend belongs to me, and appears illegally on the Service is the following:
The novel "Higher Education," written by Charles Sheffield and Jerry Pournelle.
2. The material appears at this website address:
3. My contact information is as follows:
12051 Laurel Terrace Dr.
Studio City, CA 91604
4. I have a good faith belief that the use of the material that appears on the service is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or by operation of law.
5. The information in this notice is accurate, and I am either the copyright owner or I am authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner. I declare under the perjury laws of the United States of America that this notification is true and correct.
Further, I request that you take all necessary steps to discourage your users from uploading copyrighted documents without proper authority in the future, and that you implement measures to identify users who upload copyrighted documents without proper authority so that appropriate legal action may be taken against them.
Thank you for your time.
Note that every paragraph of that letter is necessary, and only that letter got any response; perhaps Mr. Bentley does not think that generating a letter like that for each and every instance of unauthorized posting of copyrighted material is "onerous"; people do have different opinions on such things. But I'd think that most authors would find it onerous, and that many writers, and their widows, would find it intimidating as well as onerous to send any such thing. And in some cases tens to hundreds may be required for a single author. And they may need to be sent every day as new copies of their work are posted. I would call that onerous, myself.
At 2:46 AM last night I received:
Subject: Scribd Content Removal
Studio City, CA 91604
Scribd.com provides an online library that permits users from around the world to post and/or read written works and other documents on the Internet.
Scribd.com takes the rights of intellectual property owners very seriously and complies as a service provider with all applicable provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA"). Our policy is to respond to the valid notices of infringement we receive according to the DMCA by expeditiously removing infringing material and terminating users, when appropriate, according to our Repeat Infringer Policy.
On 2 September 2007, Scribd.com disabled access to the document(s) at the following URLs:
Education> pursuant to the notification dated 1 September 2007 we
from Jerry Pournelle. We hope that our prompt action and attention to this matter has satisfied your request. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any additional questions or concerns.
211 Sutter Street, 2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94108
Apparently they acted, finally, a couple of weeks after I sent an informal inquiry to them asking why Higher Education was posted on their site and got no answer, but a few hours after I sent a formal DMCA takedown notice. I presume this is what they mean by courteous and expedient.
Had they acted with courtesy when Dr. Burt attempted to work something out with them, SFWA would not have had to send DMCA takedown notices, and this whole flap would never have happened.
I have also sent, informally, a copy of something I posted on the SFWA discussion forum to scribd:
Keep remembering, these are the good guys whose rights the Electronic Freedom Foundation protects. I am not sure who looks out for the rights of the authors here. Perhaps they have none. Perhaps they don't want any. Anyway I find works by Harlan Ellison, Elizabeth Moon, Susan Schwartz, Poul Anderson, Fred Saberhagen, Norman Spinrad, and others.http://www.scribd.com/doc/133989/Queen-of-Air-Darkness-by-Poul-Anderson I have no idea whether Karen has authorized this; I doubt that she's even aware of it.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/133982/SF-1965-1970 This one is hard to figure. It's probably legitimately up there; but it takes a while to figure out who owns what. Which may be relevant.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/132563/Fred-Saberhagen-Berserker-Base But I doubt they have any right to post this; the question is, who owns the copyright on this collaboration? Who legally can assert any rights here?
http://www.scribd.com/doc/246218/ccdbb Another odd one. It may legitimately be up there. It may not be. I have no idea whether Poul's estate has put some of his songs into public domain or authorized this publication; but of course Poul's song is only one of many here.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/132559/Fred-Saberhagen-Berserker-2-Brother-Assassin I don't suppose anyone is trying to protect Fred's rights now. I don't even know if he wanted them protected. It's not likely that anyone will care now.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/132572/Fred-Saberhagen-Lost-Swords-1-Woundhealers-Story There's plenty more Saberhagen here; I think perhaps his entire works.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/135672/A-Bertram-Chandler-Rim-World-The-Dark-Dimensions Most of Jack Chandler's works, too.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/136460/Harry-Turtledove-The-Best-Alternate-History-Stories-Of-The I don't know if HARRY TURTLEDOVE and SUSAN SCHWARTZ and others have authorized this or not. Sterling is in there too, perhaps with permission. So is Sanders. I am pretty sure Sanders hasn't authorized this since he's on record as agreeing with me. And Poul Anderson. It's not likely that anyone will get this taken off their site. Who would swear to have the right to demand that it be taken down?http://www.scribd.com/doc/2216/Harry-Turtledove-Into-The-Darkness http://www.scribd.com/doc/2217/Harry-Turtledove-Marching-Through-Peachtree
There's considerable Turtledove; again I have no idea whether with or without his permission.
There's not a lot of Spinrad today.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/136365/Harlan-Ellison-Pa I am pretty sure Harlan didn't authorize this
http://www.scribd.com/doc/136360/Harlan-Ellison-Alone-Against-Tomorrow Nor do I think Harlan authorized this, which contains I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream. But perhaps he did?
Of course this is all mixed in with other works that are almost certainly up there with permission and encouragement of the copyright owners. It has taken me about ten minutes to compile the above list, and I haven't any idea which of those works is there by permission of the owners.
The model here is that they can keep it up until someone swears on penalty of perjury that it should come down; and the Electronic Freedom Foundation apparently stands ready to protect the rights of this site to do that. It is an interesting interpretation of freedom.
A day or so ago I didn't find works by Elizabeth Moon. Now there are a lot of them. I am unable to discern from what she has said in this forum whether or not these are posted with her permission.http://www.scribd.com/doc/132353/Elizabeth-Moon-Fools-Gold http://www.scribd.com/doc/132356/Elizabeth-Moon-Paksenarrion-1-The-Sheepfarmers-Daughter (Part 2 is here also) as well as many other Stories by Moon.
I sent this to scribd earlier today; I have received no acknowledgment or reply, but then I haven't expected one. I have not quite dared to call Harlan and tell him that a whole story collection of his is on line and available for anyone to download.
I understand that I must not call scribd.com a pirate site: it's just a place where anyone can put up a copyrighted document without any legal authority and scribd won't do anything until a legal notice by the owner is sent to them. Better be sure the notice is in the proper form. So although there's a lot of other people's work available at scribd without any permission from the copyright owners, it's not a pirate site. Keep that firmly in mind.
Now if I can compile that list in about ten minutes, then I'd say that scribd hasn't made much effort to find and delete works they have no right to publish. I may be uncertain about Elizabeth Moon or Fred Saberhagen's attitude toward this kind of thing, but everyone knows what Harlan Ellison thinks about it. And I would be astonished if Jack Chandler's estate, or Fred Saberhagen's estate, or Poul's widow Karen, had authorized any such posting. I'll ask her when I see her this week.
In any event, I understand that scribd and EFF are supposed to be the good guys here, and SFWA and Dr. Burt and now apparently me are the bad guys. They have the entire work of some authors, and much of the work of many authors, on line and available for download without any permission from the copyright owners; and we're the bad guys. It's an interesting world.
This is a day book. It's not all that well edited. I try to keep this up daily, but sometimes I can't. I'll keep trying. See also the weekly COMPUTING AT CHAOS MANOR column, 8,000 - 12,000 words, depending. (Older columns here.) For more on what this page is about, please go to the VIEW PAGE. If you have never read the explanatory material on that page, please do so. If you got here through a link that didn't take you to the front page of this site, click here for a better explanation of what we're trying to do here. This site is run on the "public radio" model; see below.
If you have no idea what you are doing here, see the What is this place?, which tries to make order of chaos.
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