Saturday, April 8, 2023

My Problem is Not Piracy

My Book was Pirated on Amazon
Writing with Jenna Moreci, 5 April 2023

It so happens, my problem is the opposite.

I am providing free access to my blogs, and offering the opportunity to market them (specifically in non-internet or non-text-on-internet ways), without prior appointment with me (I have given the general licence) and for voluntary royalties - I am very far from needing protection against pirates, the only pirates I suffer from are the guys who "protect me" - so far at least.

What I gave is a kind of seventh type of creative commons:
  • attribution - required (it was not explicitly wavered in my licence)
  • modification of what the text says - forbidden
  • commercial use - allowed, but one cannot get exclusive copyright for my texts, only for other aspects of the edition
  • contributions to the author - allowed and encouraged.

0:37 I am frankly not surprised.

Amazon has a self publishing offer, which for reasons of honesty and consistency with my offer I cannot use.

On it, you provide a text, you state it has not previously been published, you click a button and the deal is done.

Given the amount of texts which authors want to self-publish, it is impossible for Amazon to manually check each one it isn't pirated.

The late Pope Michael used this function, when he reissued a book from before Vatican II stating the nine bans on Heliocentrism by previous popes, including obviously the 1633 judgement against Galileo. Arguably the book was already in the public domain, certainly the constitutive texts were, the main ones, so it's absolutely not as if he was stealing someone else's work. But if someone else had the good idea to republish it, theoretically the rights holders of him (whoever that might be) could go after him, because Amazon did register a copyright for Pope Michael (aka David Bawden) ... whereas there really is no copyright on them (not as much as creative commons).

Self publishing should cease to be push-button, so that those publishing can discuss the individually sometimes varying terms - in Pope Michael's case, the fact he was using a work in the public domain, in my case, that I am not providing full exclusive copyright over anything I worded (if a publisher feels they really need exclusive copyrights on sth for it to be worth it for them, they should - in the cases of an already professional publisher and with my permission - provide facing pages translations, and that way, they could have exclusive copyright on the translation, I could provide the kind of creative commons type agreement - for which my specifics are not identic to each and all other types of creative commons!) ...

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