22 November 2010

Book Depository Link Sausages

If you don't understand the title today, look at the damned date.

  • James Frey doesn't know when to quit; he's added the million-and-second little lie (and several others) when defending his indefensible, unlawful exploitation of desperate wannabe authors. Bluntly, his assertions as reported in the article are at best untrue... and otherwise betray a disturbing combination of woeful ignorance and appalling arrogance. All quotations are from Mr Pilkington's piece (hopefully, he's never had a farm on which the animals revolted against his rule...).

    • Frey asserts that he's running something modeled after the art studios of Damien Hirst and Jeffrey Koons. Of course, he forgets that those art studios have an employer-employee relationship... which matters, a lot, for copyright purposes (and, indeed, everything else).
    • Frey asserts that "the contract is no more nor less 'brutal' than standard contracts you would find in the law or film world. 'I'm running a business in a highly litigious society. The contract is simply designed to protect Full Fathom Five and our partners like DreamWorks.'" Hogwash. The contract does not comply with WGA standards on just about anything, so the comparison to the film world is right out. The improper imposition of work-for-hire status and bogus claim of idea ownership are also well outside "standard contracts" (which don't exist, but we'll let that one slide for the moment) in publishing.
    • Thirty or forty percent of net, in a contract in which net is only partially defined, is well below the standard for a work of fiction... even a ghosted-for-a-celebrity work of fiction. So is a $250 advance for a book-length work.

    And that's just what I'm willing to go into based on a second-hand account.

  • Professor Pasquale makes some disturbing inferences about "reality" TV and racism/classism/bigotry based on the economics of content production and control.
  • Where does 'net-based copyright infringement occur? And, more particularly, which court has jurisdiction over claims of 'net-based copyright infringement? The 1709 Blog notes another data point, this one a UK decision holding that infringement "occurs" where the site is hosted, not where it is viewed. I suppose that's all well and good, but what about torrent technology that divides hosting up among multiple servers that may be in multiple jurisdictions? More to the point, what about a three-point system in which a viewer accesses a mirror in jurisdiction A, but that mirror is merely a static copy of a source in jurisdiction B?

    Yes, I'm a civil procedure geek. Get over it: Procedure matters.

  • If I had detachable body parts, I wouldn't enjoy TSA screening, either.
  • Here's why you shouldn't even think about using the web to get legal advice (at least not directly): You'll (probably) forfeit attorney-client privilege. This is yet another "well, duuuuuuh" decision, but it's one that would come as a surprise to too many people. It's why I maintain that disclaimer in the upper-right-hand-corner of this blawg... and it's also one of the many reasons that there are no comments on this blawg.