Saturday, January 24, 2009

Rip-Off Alert

Regular visitors to rifters.com know that most of the stuff I've ever published is freely available in a variety of e-formats on this site (and on some others). I'm a bit worried that this may not be a sustainable approach over the long haul (especially in times of global economic meltdown), but so far the counterintuitive-yet-undeniable truth is that going the Creative Commons route has only helped my writing career, such as it is. (In fact, I believe CC actually saved my career outright, by rescuing Blindsight from the oblivion to which it would have otherwise been doomed.) Anyone who wants to can download my work, copy and distribute it, convert it to other formats, hand it out as party favors, and masturbate in a warm tub to the soft erotic glow of my pixelated words on their e-book readers. Yay me.

There are some restrictions on this license, however. Authorship must be attributed, regardless of format. You're not allowed to rewrite the text, even you think the torture porn was gratuitous in behemoth and you know you can make Blindsight's infodumps less clunky. And you cannot charge money for work that I created and for which you paid nothing. (Or at least, you come to me first and we work out a deal where I get a cut.) The rights granted under my Creative Commons license are strictly noncommercial.

You can imagine, then, my reaction upon discovering this doofus here, selling "The Ultimate Peter Watts Collection" for £4.99 over at eBay.uk. The fact that he describes my short stories as "books" makes it pretty obvious this is no fan; he probably hasn't read a word of my stuff, and is in fact selling the works of numerous other authors as well.

Anyone willing to pay for the Ultimate Watts Omnibus will most likely have already dropped by here and taken what they want, so it's not as though I expect e-bookkeeper_norwich to get rich off my efforts. Still, it burns my ass that he's even trying to; so if any of you have an eBay.uk account and ten minutes to kill, maybe you could report norwich-boy using eBay's handy on-line fink menu. (I myself lack that option, having no such account — although I may well report through more formal channels over the next few days).

No biggie. But what an asshole.

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15 Comments:

Blogger TonyC said...

Reported to eBay.

Next stop: pitchforks aand flaming torches.

January 24, 2009 at 7:24 PM  
Blogger Phiala said...

I can't help with the ebay problem, but thank you for posting your works online. I didn't realize you'd done that.

I read a lot of fiction, far more than I could afford to purchase. Most comes from the library, some comes from Internet sources like your website or tor.com. Or Project Gutenberg, for that matter. But I do purchase as much as I can manage, and it's almost entirely from authors I like and want to support. That generally means they a. write well; b. have an online presence; c. have at least some material freely online. I try especially hard to support authors who are interested in encouraging their fans, and in developing business and promotion models that make use of modern technologies.

Giving away some of your work is good advertising, and makes readers think favorably of you. Or at least, it makes me think favorably of you, though I also have a soft spot for biology PhDs turned writer.

January 24, 2009 at 7:30 PM  
Blogger Mac said...

Good god -- "asshole" is indeed the operative word.

January 24, 2009 at 8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://pages.ebay.co.uk/vero/notice.html

According to eBay, you have to be the person who files this one. Looking at his book collections, though, I suspect the best option might be informing some of the other authors, or their publishers.

January 24, 2009 at 9:58 PM  
Blogger Kisama said...

What an ass. This problem calls for fire!

January 24, 2009 at 10:07 PM  
Blogger Lunch Guy said...

It's at times like this that I ask myself: What would Ken Lubin do?

January 24, 2009 at 10:45 PM  
Blogger razorsmile said...

Seriously dumb asshole. Wow.

January 24, 2009 at 10:58 PM  
Blogger Olman Feelyus said...

Wow. Wrong on so many levels. Anybody know that guys home address? email address?

January 25, 2009 at 10:07 AM  
Anonymous Madeline said...

This guy fails at fandom. Way to break Rule No. 1, doofus!

and masturbate in a warm tub to the soft erotic glow of my pixelated words on their e-book readers.

This, though? This is just asking for trouble.

January 25, 2009 at 10:12 AM  
Anonymous rayp said...

Ever read K.W. Jeter's NOIR?

Extract spinal column and mid brain of pirate and transform it into high quality sound cable.

January 25, 2009 at 5:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday my dear friend...
Getting older, hu?!

Luv, Jessie

January 25, 2009 at 6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ive taken it off, Im so sorry, you don't actually think about the person before you do it. I feel like a complete asshole.

My appologies and regards

January 26, 2009 at 8:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Infact it makes you think about all the people your ripping off!!!!! Im sorry for taking your life's work and using it to try to make a quick buck, Im a complete prick who couldn't write a story if I tried. Ive now stopped it all.. I've been just another of those knock off nigels and am glad you have said something as it was needed.

My apologies once more and regards for the future.

The arsehole that was the knockoff-ebookkeeper

January 26, 2009 at 8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jesse said:

"Happy Birthday my dear friend... Getting older, hu?!"

M. Python comments, "Very old, you know, 206..."

January 26, 2009 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger The Lake Fever said...

How do you "not think about the person" before you attempt to charge people for work that is not yours? That's the worst money-making scheme I have ever heard of, on several levels. What a maroon.

January 26, 2009 at 12:24 PM  

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