Copyright and the SFWA – here we go again

Paul Raven @ 30-11-2007

Hooo-boy. Remember the Scribd/Science Fiction Writers of America dust-up a while ago? It would appear the fat lady has not yet sung.

Andrew Burt, the man behind the Scribd DMCA take-downs, was removed from the SFWA Piracy Committee because of the incident. But now, despite recommendations to the contrary, the committee has been re-established under a new aegis (the Copyright Committee) … and Burt is back at the helm.

Charlie Stross is, to say the least, livid – especially as he was part of the exploratory committee that recommended, among other things, that Burt be kept well away from copyright issues.

Scalzi is politely baffled.

Cory Doctorow is, unsurprisingly, not very impressed either.

I’m not even going to pretend to understand the deep architecture of this debate – I’m not a professional writer, much less a member of SFWA – but from an outsider’s perspective, no matter how valid their motivations may be, the SFWA is displaying a marked lack of smarts by going back on themselves and, in the process, annoying three of the most popular and publicly outspoken writers on their roster. Not very pragmatic, really.

I think Steve “My Elves Are Different” Wilson has struck the nail firmly on the head in this instance. In the meantime, I think this will be the sf story of the moment for a few weeks to come.

[tags]writing, copyright, SFWA[/tags]
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