Scott Turow Opens His Yap Again

The Slow Death of the American Author

I’m just going to address a few nails-on-chalkboard points:

Last month, the Supreme Court decided to allow the importation and resale of foreign editions of American works, which are often cheaper than domestic editions. Until now, courts have forbidden such activity as a violation of copyright. Not only does this ruling open the gates to a surge in cheap imports, but since they will be sold in a secondary market, authors won’t get royalties.

WRONG! How could any editor at The New York Times let that absolute lie through? The authors get royalties on those foreign editions, where they are being originally bought. A sale is still a sale whether it’s in a domestic or a foreign market. International rights are never granted royalty-free.

… a crisis that hits hardest not best-selling authors like me …

See? He’s not doing this for himself. No. It’s for all those poor writers who actually can’t ever join the Authors Guild he heads. Just how self-serving is this guy?

Google is also at odds with many writers because in 2004 it partnered with five major libraries to scan and digitize millions of in-copyright books, without permission from authors. The Authors Guild (of which I am president) sued; years later, with a proposed settlement scuttled by the judge, the litigation goes on.

See his mention of being President? Again: Self-serving. And the “proposed settlement” would have sold out all the writers he claims to protect! Here is the truth of that litigation: My letter of resignation from the Authors Guild by writer Ursula K. Le Guin. Again: The Authors Guild was willing to settle and sell out all of the writers!

It got worse in 2011, when a consortium of some of Google’s partner libraries, the Hathi Trust, decided to put online some 200 books that the group had unilaterally decided were “orphans,” meaning they couldn’t locate the copyright owners. The “orphans” turned out to include books from writers like the best-selling novelist J. R. Salamanca — alive and well in Maryland — and the Pulitzer Prize winner James Gould Cozzens, whose copyrights were left to Harvard. The Authors Guild sued, and Hathi suspended the program. But that litigation also continues, even while millions of copyrighted works are stored online, one hacker away from worldwide dissemination for free.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.


one hacker away from worldwide dissemination for free

Is a snide, low, and ignorant swipe at the memory of Aaron Swartz. Tell me, Turow, how Google can have a gazillion in-copyright books at Google Books and none of those books have been “hacked” free? How is it that hackers haven’t stolen all the eBooks from Sony’s Reader Store since hacking Sony is apparently a piece of cake? Why hasn’t any public library been looted of all its eBooks?

That’s all I will do. Turow has managed to top even himself in the trainwreck category with that Op-Ed. If I were to try to address every point, I’d likely wind up as brain-dead as he apparently is.

Previously here:

Memo To Scott Turow: Just STFU Already!


Filed under Stupid, Writer

3 responses to “Scott Turow Opens His Yap Again

  1. Pingback: Slow Death of the American Writer? Not So Fast… | betweenasleepandawake

  2. Pingback: Scott Turow and The Zombiefied American Author | Critical Margins

  3. Pingback: Lots of kerfluffle this month | How To Write Shop

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