A whole new level of WTF-ery

28 Dec

Jane at Dear Author posted about some sort of harebrained idea by some novelists to expand the reach of copyright law to the sale of used print books.

NINC on the sale of used books:

Used book sales, particularly sales of used books through the Internet, have a significant negative effect on the income of publishers and, therefore, authors, as there is no remuneration to them for any sales of used books.

Ninc recommends that commercial used-book sellers be required to pay to publishers a “Secondary Sale” fee upon the reselling of any book within two years of its original publication date. A percentage of these fees would then transfer to authors in accordance with contractual agreements between authors and publishers, thereby reinforcing the Founders’ intent, as stated in Article I of the Constitution, to protect authors’ exclusive right to benefit from their work.

Oh really?

Many of the comments over there expressed my bewilderment over such a preposterous idea, but then there was this gem by Misi:

Well, one day there will only be e-books and all you’ll get is a license to read, not ownership, just a lot of software is now. You can’t even resell the disc (legally) under those terms. Well, you can sell the discs, but only if you delete the content.

The current copyright law is outdated. Again, used bookstores aren’t the problem. It’s the online places that have changed the situation. The law should be changed to.

I’m almost speechless here.

I mean, my mind is just a jumble of extrapolations. I guess we could say that at some point only the person who actually paid for the book should be able to read it, and that any other person reading the same physical book should pay royalties to the author for the privilege.

I ask again, what the fuck?

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