Very good point. According to Wikipedia, they have around 9,000 members, so I don't think they've been inundated with new authors. However, clicking through to their actual website, I can see that they do accept freelance and self-published authors although they state a minimum income of $5,000 over the last 18 months.
My impression from that is that they probably have a number of members who have seen their revenues fall and have joined the guild hoping to leverage their promised legal and copyright advice to increase their income. Since they're not demanding that new members actually make a living above poverty level when they join, these people most likely skew the results. They wasted their membership fee in my opinion, but there's that.
That's of course assuming that they attract new members on a regular basis. The other possibility is that their membership has stagnated, and they're currently only representing luddites who demand that they turn back the clock to the "good old days" and the guild will either die or join the modern reality when those people die off or retire.
I would ask the other questions they're not supplying answers to as well, such as:
- How has the income level changed for these authors over time? (i.e. what were they making before eBooks were popular) - How many new works have they created (i.e. are they still writing, or are they just whining that a book they wrote in 1972 isn't paying their new mortgage) - Are all their books in print? (physically and in electronic form)
If their membership has seen a comfortable living evaporate beneath them quicker than they can write new books and nobody's buying the copies that give them higher royalties, I can generate a little sympathy. I think the "solutions" offered are idiotic, but at least I can agree that something needs to be done.
If (as I suspect is more likely) they either didn't make a lot of money to begin with, haven't bothered writing new material or don't have their full catalogue available to buy, I have zero sympathy.
The piracy angle is laughable either way. When I can quite legally buy second hand physical copies of most of the books I want to read for less than a dollar, but these morons are still trying to charge me $15 for the less valuable eBook copy, the problem isn't that I can also choose to get it for free.
""Them, they, us, good guys, bad guys". A large part of the problem with the debate is that it's not sufficiently personal for those directly involved with it."
Actually, the problem is that these people think they're in some sort of Hollywood movie but haven't yet graduated to the likes of spaghetti westerns and Dirty Harry which thrived on how grey the real world is. They're still acting out the kind of black hat/white hat fantasy that the generation before mine (at least) rejected as childish.
I think what he's going for is that, if you read it a certain way, Karl's comment seems to propose 2 outcomes (pirate or don't pirate), when of course there's several other options that aren't considered(don't pirate but still buy/stream/whatever).
That's missing the point (that whether the labels like it or not, simply not consuming their content is a valid option for which they still get nothing). But, it's easier for the ACs to argue semantics in other peoples' comments than address the nuance of reality.
Re: Re: Out of the frying pan, into the fire(but now with self-righteous satisfaction as you roast)
"Piracy is just another word for stealing when used in the framework of economics"
Would it kill you guys not to make idiotic arguments that depend on the redefinition of words and basic concepts? It's possible to argue against piracy without constructing a parallel reality from which to do it. The words and definitions in the real world work just fine.
You know what's funny? Despite your whining, lying and personal attacks, you're yet to defend the actual focus of the article. Even if we were to get rid of piracy tomorrow, your heroes would still be ripping off the artists you and they claim to defend. But, you're happy for those people to be robbed blind because they were fooled into signing a contract.
If you want pathetic, look at someone who feels he has to white knight a bunch of cartel criminals because he thinks he's spotted someone worse. Yet, when faced with a site that discusses how to get rid of pirates and corporate scam artists alike, all he can do is lie about them in order to defend his preferred set of con artists. Now, that's pathetic.
No, it makes perfect sense *(especially if you're honest enough to read the linked studies. Alas...).
Despite your whining, this is not a zero sum game. Your entire industry was predicated for decades on giving away free access in return for higher revenue sales. "Lost" sales on low margin song sales can also translate into higher margin merchandise, concert or other revenue. People also buy music after listening to pirated copies, meaning that although they make no revenue on the free copy, they get revenue on the sale that would never have existed beforehand. And so on...
You should know this by now, yet you play the ignorant fool. I say "play" because nobody's actually this stupid.
"Of course it was voted insightful. It's Techdirt."
Of course. This is a site generally populated by people who have reading comprehension, nuanced thought processes and the ability to consider more than one factor of a situation at once. I apologise if you lack any of these qualities.
Well, you know, apart from all the articles that do talk about it. Especially those that point out how much piracy tends to go down when services like Spotify are allowed to service the demand, and the multitude of ways of doing business that either make such losses irrelevant or actively leverage them for higher profits than simply selling/streaming a copy of the music can provide.
But, you know what you won't get from an AC around here? Honesty for one, but a simple admission that the major labels they tirelessly defend are part of the problem. Somehow, accepting that both pirates and the labels are causing problems is beyond their simple capacity for thought, so they have to take sides and attack those discussing reality and solutions that don't attack paying customers.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ford Motors fails to provide me with Crown Vic for $1, therefore I'm justified in stealing one. Those bastards. Not even end of year models at convenient price.
"Almost all of them are exactly what they would be for a print book."
...which would be the fixed costs, which I don't dent exist. What I do deny is that the huge savings made on the marginal costs are passed on to the consumer in any way. In fact, half the eBooks I look at are MORE expensive than physical copies, yet I don't ever hear a reason why this should be so.
Thanks for supplying some figures, but you're still not addressing what I said.
"Don't be so contemptuous."
You, too. You've ignored my central points and attacked me for not considering costs I actually agreed are still there. Since you're apparently so familiar with publishing, reading the arguments in front of you shouldn't be so hard, surely?
"-- It does no publisher, author, or reader any good for Amazon to become a monopsony, as has already almost happened. If publishers make ebooks too inexpensive, they are in danger of killing off the competition for Amazon. "
Rubbish. Amazon's dominance has come largely because the publishing industry have been intent on making the same mistakes as the music industry and not learning from their mistakes.
The great example here is DRM. The music industry demanded DRM on recordings, and the result was that the market leader at the time could block their customers from using both competing stores and competing devices. It wasn't until they dropped the requirement for DRM that customers had a real choice, and other services entered the market to challenge Apple's dominance. But, that dominance didn't just come because they had a better store or better device - it was because iPod owners couldn't use any other store due to DRM, while customers of other stores bought less because of major compatibility problems.
So, it's happened here. Kindle owners can't use other stores as easily as they can Amazon, and while more devices can use Amazon than could use iTunes (though the various apps on offer), it's far more difficult for others to cross-pollinate in the same way.
Removing DRM means that people can use whichever store they favour to buy whichever book they favour to read on whichever device they favour. I don't see how that can reduce readership. Yeah, yeah, piracy, but that's happening with the DRM.
"-- If readers become accustomed to expecting prices that **can** be done if print editions carry most of the cost of preparing that edition, then when/if print dies, everyone in publishing and writing will have a hard time covering costs. "
I already buy far less new release eBooks than I did paperback, because the prices are much higher for a new release paperback equivalent (no supermarkets using them as loss leaders) and they're a less valuable product (I can't trade in at a second hand store when I've finished). I'm just asking for a price that *can* be done by a physical product with much higher marginal costs to get the product in my hand. I don't think that's too much to ask, but publishers insist on trying to make me pay more for less... so I don't pay at all in many cases.
"Because I just love to get yelled at and told I'm an idiot, I'll put forth the opposing argument"
My experience on this site is that if you put forward an opposing argument that's backed with some kind of logic and/or evidence then you'll be dealt with in a polite debate, and even change some minds if your argument is convincing. The ones who get shouted down are regular trolls or people who come in here calling people names and/or blatantly lying. I think you'll be fine.
"I know there have been some Canadian cases that have held that an accidental disclosure of documents does not waive privilege over those documents"
Were those private or government documents? It varies between nations, but government documents often tend to be considered classified even after everyone in the world has read them, unless their public release was due to declassification.
But, the argument is ultimately a technical one rather than a logical one. Logic would dictate that a document can't really be considered privileged information once it's public, regardless of who released it. Legal/technical might dictate that unauthorised releases don't count against the document's status, but in reality it's public whether you like it or not.
I also don't know how the law works specifically in this example, but it depends on which side you're arguing from. Of course, the MPAA is going to argue to silliest legal definition regardless of reality.