Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Le Guin, Ellison, and Doctorow on e-book piracy

A little digital jousting in today's issue of the New York Times. Wouldn't it be something to see these three (or Cory and Harlan!) square off? WFC, anyone?


Neither Ms. Le Guin nor her publisher had authorized the electronic editions. To Ms. Le Guin, it was a rude introduction to the quietly proliferating problem of digital piracy in the literary world. “I thought, who do these people think they are?” Ms. Le Guin said. “Why do they think they can violate my copyright and get away with it?”

Harlan Ellison, who has sued over the issue, said he continues to pursue people who post his work illegally. "If you put your hand in my pocket," he said, "you'll drag back six inches of bloody stump."

At the other, less gruesome end of the spectrum, Cory Doctorow offers free e-versions of his books when they're published, believing that "free versions, even unauthorized ones, entice new readers." He explained: "I really feel like my problem isn't piracy. It's obscurity."


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