Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Slow Death of the American Author

Scott Turow recently penned a very intelligent, albeit distressing, editorial for the New York Times on the sad state of the contemporary authors' lot in life, thanks mainly due to greed, piracy and giant corporations.

Authors practice one of the few professions directly protected in the Constitution, which instructs Congress “to promote the progress of Science and the useful Arts by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” The idea is that a diverse literary culture, created by authors whose livelihoods, and thus independence, can’t be threatened, is essential to democracy.
The pirates would be a limited menace were it not for search engines that point users to these rogue sites with no fear of legal consequence, thanks to a provision inserted into the 1998 copyright laws. A search for “Scott Turow free e-books” brought up 10 pirate sites out of the first 10 results on Yahoo, 8 of 8 on Bing and 6 of 10 on Google, with paid ads decorating the margins of all three pages.

If I stood on a corner telling people who asked where they could buy stolen goods and collected a small fee for it, I’d be on my way to jail. And yet even while search engines sail under mottos like “Don’t be evil,” they do the same thing. Click here to read the entire article.

While those of us in the New Pulp movement struggle to make anything at all on our work, a large faction of our society is striving to ensure our piece of the pie gets smaller still... sad, but true.

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