Bright and early Monday morning handwringing session.
Will January 1, 2013, Be Doomsday for Publishers?
As Don Henley told the New York Times, what's at stake is "fairness" and "parity." The Eagles lead singer, who also heads a group called the Recording Artists Coalition, was referring to a revision to copyright law, made in the 1970s, that could drastically affect the ownership of some of the cornerstones of classic rock. As the Times explored last week, a "termination right," written into copyright law more than 30 years ago, is now putting certain songs back on the rights block, allowing artists to renegotiate royalty rates on their works or reclaim ownership entirely. The termination right could also create some waves for print publishers, as authors seek to do the same thing as songwriters....
Agent Gail Hochman, head of the Association of Authors' Representatives, said she is "sure that literary agents are watching this news story regarding musicians' rights" and that her group has been sponsoring a number of seminars on the topic. Another agent who sees a storm brewing is Robert Gottlieb. The chairman of Trident Media Group thinks the termination right will especially come into play on the digital front. "Publishers need to come up with effective strategies to convince authors to keep their backlist business with them given the fast changes in e-book publishing occurring in today's market. One way is to offer additional advances with limited rights."
Yeah, Let's have some seminars. Let's put together a SuperCommittee to study the issue! And take bribes and reassure each other that all is not as grim as the "Tea Party Faction" of publishing (that would be wild-eyed self-publishers, the yucky kind of people who like freedom and want the heavy boot of the "elites" off our necks) is making it out to be. Bezos is an outlier!!!
Screw off, Bobby. Yeah, find a way to convince us to stay with the dolts who've been stiffing us all these years. Wait, maybe they just recognized our value. It took them, what, 30 years??? Midlist writers have been maligned and mistreated for the last half century. Now you can have my backlist? "What am I dumb or sumthin?" to quote Lina Lamont.
I'm already gone.