22 May 2007

We fade to grey

This post started as a comment for Pip's Whispers at the edge podcast, but seems to have grown in the writing. So here's the whole kahuna.

Seriously, what is up with the SFWA?

I've written before about, departing vice president Hendrix putting the boot into people who post their work online, which lead to the creation of a new public holiday. But he's gone, right? So no problem. Except that his replacement seems to think that the single biggest threat to authors today is piracy. He's entitled to his views, but his solution, seeding corrupted copies of copyright works is utterly pointless. Does he really think that someone who downloads a pirate copy of a work will be upset because it's only 95% complete? Does he really think that he'll be able to bring the file traders to their knees just by uploading bad copies? Has he even looked at Bittorrent?

If it's true that Burt was loaned $12,000 of SFWA funds to set up this scheme then... sigh. Wouldn't it have been cheaper just to ask Madonna how the same thing worked out for her in 2003?

And this is the point where people from my side of the argument slump their shoulders and start the usual litany of Doctorow, Stross, blah blah blah. But now there's a new detail: the same weekend that the SFWA elected Burt, James Patrick Kelly won the best novella nebula for a Creative Commons-licensed, podcasted, story.

Technology is going to change the way people purchase and read fiction. I'll be very disappointed if authors go the way of certain movie studios and record companies. With so many options to consume entertainment time, you simply MUST NOT make it harder for a reader to choose you.

No comments: