Feb 172009
 

As a writer, you gotta navigate the copyright minefield when contracting with journals, newspapers, magazines, publishers. Before my injury, when I was trying to get my work published, I discovered some magazines were better than others in working with writers and not trying to take their copyright for free. And one magazine was really bad cause they wanted your moral rights too. Any author who waives their moral rights has gum for brains because then the publisher can totally screw up your work and your name is forever associated with bad work.

But that was easy compared to what’s going on now. First Amazon hogs more of the income from a book, gypping the writer of the already-puny amount they get from the sale of each book. Now Facebook has amended its Terms of Service, in secret, grabbing all copyrights and moral rights in perpetuity. It was on Twitter of all places that Facebookers discovered what FB had done. One benefit of belonging to a zillion social media sites!

Facebookers are outraged. People from all over are weighing in, asking good questions, making excellent points, and giving sound advice. I liked what Kelly Doren wrote about staying with FB in the short term, “to see how your company, its management and legal team respond to this issue. But be sure, if this TOS is not changed to be respectful of users intellectual property, I will leave, and encourage as man y members as I can to do likewise.” I think I will follow his lead and stay in the short term, until I see their response and thus understand their intent better.

Meanwhile, why can’t people just be allowed to enjoy the great opportunities the web offers without having to memorize copyright law to navigate the shenanigans of some big brother corporation trying to steal and possibly misuse your intellectual property, family pictures, and off-the-cuff musings?

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