Yes…you’ve seen this before. I plan on posting once a month, perhaps. Or at least until asinine sites like ebay & ioffer stop letting people abuse copyright owners’ rights. BTW, this stuff also applies to writers who aren’t me. For modern works, after 1978 and somebody is claiming to have ‘master resale rights’ or ”I’m the copyright owner” or any crap like that over a work…it’s very likely FALSE. Copyright remains in place for the author’s lifetime, plus 70 years. Info on that can be found at copyright.gov – a nice government-y website so don’t be fooled by the BS.
Okay, I’m hoping some people out there researching ‘master resell rights’ stumble onto this page. Or I hope some of the people mistakenly claiming to be ‘authorized ebook resellers’ find this page.
Because I’ve got news for you.
You can’t buy the resale rights to my work…unless you go through me, and I can’t sell them to you, because it would be conflict with my contract to my publisher. Which could get me sued. Which is why I’m pretty certain other authors out there aren’t likely to be doing this either.
You can resell a paperback, because after all, there is just the one copy.
But you can’t resell ebook after ebook after ebook because that’s not selling one copy-that’s making new copies and you know what that does? That violates my copyright. I own the rights to my work. Me. Just me.
I contract with my publisher and they publish the books. Through my publisher, I may sell the foreign rights (and please, dear God, I’d really love to), I can sell the audio rights (please God, I would love to) and other assorted rights. I own the rights. They are mine. You can’t buy a ‘master resale right’ to anything I’ve written, because I won’t give it up.
If somebody claims they can give you master resale rights, you were lied to. Possibly by mistake, possibly with the intention of deceiving you, I don’t know. Email the publisher if you don’t believe me-ask the person claiming the ‘resale rights’ bit who their contact at the publisher was. But don’t shell out money to somebody who claim to give you master resale rights to ebooks.
Now this isn’t to say there aren’t books out there with ‘master resale rights’. I see all this ’set up your own ebook biz’ and all the ebooks are self-help and do-it-yourself, and maybe, just maybe, those do come with legit resale rights.
But if you think Nora Roberts sold her resale rights to somebody who in turn now sells them out to others so they can sell a slew of them on ebay for a few bucks when the author doesn’t see a red cent for all her hard work, you’re wrong-somehow, I suspect Nora Roberts is a little too smart for that. She doesn’t do it. Neither does Shiloh Walker, neither does Larissa Ione, neither does Lauren Dane, neither does any fricking writer I’ve talked to about this…and yeah, writers do talk about it. A lot.
Publishing doesn’t work that way.
Ebook publishing doesn’t work that way.
This is about rights. Plain and simple rights. When people ‘create’ digital copies of our work, they are making new copies-that is copyright infringement-and that violates our rights. Plain and simple. It violates our rights and if somebody came in and rode roughshod all over your legal rights, you’d be bit upset. You do not have the legal rights to resell our works, no matter what you were told.
And if anybody who was told this is reading this…seriously, completely seriously, I want to know who is telling you. You were misinformed. A lot of people have been misinformed and that circle won’t stop until we get to the root of it all.
Feel free to email me. Shilohwalker(at)gmail.com. Of course, if you’re emailing me just to tell me how I mean I am for wanting people to respect my fricking rights…don’t waste your time. I’m really handy with that delete button and I don’t waste my time arguing with people who can’t understand that I’m entitled to have my rights respected, the same way others want their rights respected.
BTW, if other authors reading this wanna do the same & spread the word…well, the more readers who are aware, maybe the fewer sales those bastards will get. Some people are thinking-you’re telling them where these are! But plenty of people already know. And it won’t get better until more people speak up and take action.
Plus, readers can also help if they want. On ioffer, if you see a modern author, be it romance authors you already read or people like Stephen King, Nicholas Sparks, whoever, there’s a report item button down at the buttom-click it-report that you believe the item is still protected by copyright and you’ll be notifying the author. Hell, leave notes on the buying page by ‘asking a question’ if you want telling the would be buyers they are buying stolen property and you can refer them to this page at the FBI- http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/cyber/ipr/anti-piracy. iOffer got nasty with me a few times and tried to close my account when I did such things. I pointed out that they can’t allow people to buy and sell stolen goods and then try to shut down my account when I inform them people are buying & selling stolen goods, which is what copyrighted material is. They opened my account back up very, very fast.
With ebay, you can also report items suspected of abuse. It’s more work, requires an ebay account and it works best if you can get the seller to send you the list of books. But if you’re not an author, this is actually awesome. Then you can get the list of items, report them and if I’m one of the authors… SEND IT TO ME! *G* Be my spy! (Yes, I’m bad.) If you click on report item, it will give you a bunch of drop down menus…you want:
Counterfeits and copyright violations (after that, if the listing showed it as being on a CD-probably did, ebay policy now makes it a violation to email stuff) click on:
Bootlegs and counterfeit media… then from there:
Media on Recordable formats (CD-R, DVD-R, VHS Tape, etc.)
Once you get there, mention something like…
Message: Claiming modern works in public domain-the list of books I saw were all copyrighted.
Please note, this DOESN’T apply to classical works. Only to works put into print after 1978. Tom Sawyer is public domain. Bronte is public domain. But those aren’t the books the majority of these people are selling.
And I will warn you, although most of the time the sellers just slink off once the auctions are shut down, some of them do get testy. I’m mean for not wanting them to make money…*even though they do it by stealing from me, making it harder for me to earn my rightful living*, I’m taking food from their kids, even though they are doing it in a dishonest, dishonorable fashion, not to mention the example they are setting…so if readers decide to do this, be aware, somebody might get nasty in response. Ebay also has gotten irritated with me. Imagine, expecting them to take action when people are selling illegal goods on their site.