June 07, 2010

People need to stop messing with my stuff

Reading over some of my old posts from the last couple of years, I can't say that I'm overjoyed at the way the entities who actually own the material in Youtube videos have forced said 'tube to remove said material in the interest of protecting their copyrights. Because I gotta tellya, it interferes pretty seriously with some of the humorous juxtapositions with which I like to punctuate my pontificatin'. The nerve of these people! The hubris!

Even more irritating is when I dutifully posted the ostensibly legal links to material from MTV or Comedy Central, only to find that they are now dead. I try to play fair, people, but fair is a moving target, and as I've asked about other moving targets in the past, how come the moving target never seems to move any closer?

Of course, as a wannabe content provider myself, I take a much dimmer view of copyright infringement than I may have in the past. This not to say I wouldn't still be overjoyed if somebody thought any of the songs I helped to write were good enough to steal, which as far as I know hasn't happened yet ... and let's face it, that window of opportunity has probably sailed.

But the textbook is a different story, especially since we actually are getting some modest royalties on it. If I could put the kibosh on the black- and gray-market commerce in the book, I surely would ... including those people who buy exam copies from professors, though I must admit I've been on the offending end of that transaction once or twice or several dozen times.

Last year we received an inquiry from somebody in China asking for permission to translate the book. I had yuan signs in my eyes ... think about how many college students there must be in China--what a market! Turns out he wasn't willing to pay for permission to translate it. Well, crap.

Though I gotta tellya, the idea of all those Chinese students learning about writing about literature from our book (and thus becoming at least associate (if not full) minions)) does have its appeal.

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