Wednesday, March 02, 2011

The eBook User’s Bill of Rights | Librarian in Black Blog – Sarah Houghton-Jan

About 70 posts into the discussion, the Librarian's true motivation is revealed.
I will say this for her, she is an excellent self-promoter.

Over the long term, I cannot see that her business model is in the public interest.
As Scott Turow pointed out, authors must have a financial incentive to write.

If publishing e-books does not make financial sense, the quality of e-books will
deteriorate, and the field will be left to the vain and to the advertisers.

The eBook User’s Bill of Rights | Librarian in Black Blog – Sarah Houghton-Jan

My response to Sarah was:
This is telling, Sarah. Thank you for sharing your true motivation.

"Writing, and giving away my writing, helps others–which is why
I got into libraries in the first place. It also even helps me by raising my profile
and exposure, which leads to other paid engagements (like speaking and training).
This blog, which has always been free and CC-licensed, helped me get more paid gigs
than anything I was ever paid to write and that’s a fact."

For you, writing isn't a career. It is an advertisement for your paid services.

That is all very well, but some authors don't share your desire to make their living
as paid speakers and trainers. They want to write books, and be paid a fairly and
freely negotiated fraction of the price for which each copy of those books is legally sold.

Each copy.

Legally sold.

In pursuit of your own paid career as a speaker and trainer, you arrogate to yourself
the right to demand that authors' private contracts are unilaterally renegotiated
without their consent.

Why should anyone pay to be trained by you, or to hear you speak?
Doesn't knowledge want to be free?
Doesn't everyone in the world have the right to benefit from your wisdom
regardless of their ability to pay for the experience?
Do you allow your audiences to make audio and video recordings of your paid speeches
and training sessions, and to then sell or "share" those recordings of your paid work ...
without paying you?

Possibly, you do. You might consider that great publicity, and for a time it could be.

If Sarah truly and honestly "put her money where her mouth is", she would upload videos and audios of her
paid speeches and training sesssion etc. Free.

Of course, in time, everyone who might have wanted to pay to hear her speak could more conveniently
access a free mp3 (or whatever) from the comfort of their internet connection.

Then, Sarah would be walking a mile in the moccasins of the authors whose works she thinks should
be freely shared and resold.

1 comment:

Sarah Houghton-Jan said...

Anyone can get free audio recordings and slides of many of my webinars here (just look for my name - I have 2 on the first page alone): Many other recordings are scattered around the web and I promote them when they go up.

Additionally, anyone can get all my slides from the last several years here: