That was quick

Fighting the copyright war is utterly useless. The S/D curve varies depending upon price. People will buy what they value and want to buy, not the pigs in a poke that copyright holders try to force them to buy, and the success of Harry Potter proves this in spades.

It seems to be selling just fine, despite the fact that the full text is already floating around the Internet in at least three formats that I’ve seen.

Once a Swashbuckler, always a pirate….

UPDATE: Perhaps I should mention that I have put my copyright where my mouth is. As does Charles Stross, who actually has his publisher’s approval to give out free downloads of the full text in seven different formats. Although I cannot do the same thanks to my publisher’s archaic views, you may wish to know that there are electronic versions of my novels floating around the Internet and not only does this not disturb me, it pleases me immensely. I only wish more people were interested in passing them around, as I contend that people will always support those products and artists that they like enough to support financially.

It is, as I mentioned before, yet another example of the S/D curve in action. A downloaded ebook is very seldom a lost sale, as a willingness to pay $0.00 is not the same as a willingness to pay $12.95. In any event, it is lack of market awareness is the author’s enemy, not free ebooks, which actually help combat the primary problem.

One should note that it is the best-selling books that are most frequently seen on the pirate ebook sites. As for the idea that copying an ebook or an mp3 is “stealing”, one must first accept the idea that one can steal something that doesn’t exist and leaves the producer with exactly what he had before. I find this to be an interesting demonstration of post-scarcity economics at work and given the human creative impulse, I reject the notion that it will have any deleterious effect on art of any kind.

Indeed, an elimination of the need to appeal to the lowest common denominator might well improve the general level of art being produced.


Love your enemy

President Bush is close to making his first nomination to the Supreme Court, and Washington was abuzz with speculation Tuesday about Judge Edith Clement of the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans…. Known as a conservative and a strict constructionist in legal circles, Clement has eased fears among some abortion-rights advocates. She has stated that the Supreme Court “has clearly held that the right to privacy guaranteed by the Constitution includes the right to have an abortion” and that “the law is settled in that regard.”

Still, Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said that Clement’s record raises “seriously troubling” questions about her commitment to protecting personal freedom. “Unless she was able to put those concerns to rest in Senate hearings, pro-choice Americans would oppose her nomination,” Keenan said.

Her statements also are causing concern in anti-abortion circles. “We are looking to see in what context Judge Clement made those statements and do they give a window into her thinking on Roe and other decisions,” said Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the conservative Christian Defense Coalition.

I don’t know how well the Love Your Enemy command translates into politics. At least, not in the give-in-to-them-everytime-they-cry manner apparently preferred by the President.

Wasn’t a pro-life Supreme Court judge the one solid reason for conservatives to vote for the President this last go round? Anyway, this may simply be a smokescreen, so there’s not much point getting all hissy about it yet.

Raising tomorrow’s capitalists today

“Why can’t we go on our plane? Is it broken?”

No, it’s not broken. It’s just that the men who are in charge of fixing it say it’s broken.

“But why would they say that, if it’s not broken?”

They’re having a labor dispute. Basically, that means they want to get paid more money.

“Don’t they already get paid money to work?”

Yes, but they want more.

“Why do they need more money? Don’t they already get paid money? Don’t they know we want to go on our plane?”

Yes, they do, but they think being paid more money is more important than us getting on our plane.

“Oh….” (disapproving shake of the head)

Some time passes…. “When are we going to get on the plane?”