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Novel-pocketbook?

Crumbly Writer

What the fuck is the new tag "novel-pocketbook" supposed to signal? I know, I know, I read the tag description, but does the distinction from "novel-classic" really mean enough to the average reader to warrant a separate classification?

If nothing else, these works help convince myself and others on Lazeez's archiving of older stories (so we can eventually sweep these stories under the rug as they're replaced by the original stories by up-and-coming SOL authors), but I'm continually reminded of it as he continues adding NEW "Classic Novels" in an attempt to boost the number of stories on Sci-Fi.

Please, anyone who has ANY outstanding Sci-Fi stories, post them to the alternative site so we can finally get enough stories on the site to eliminate the need for outside stories! The addition of these 'classic stories' only tends to discourage new authors from submitting their works. I understand why he's doing it, but it's a self-limiting solution.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


What the fuck is the new tag "novel-pocketbook" supposed to signal?


That's not new.

ETA: I believe novel-classics are mainstream whereas novel-pocketbook are porn. And I believe it's always been premier only.

ETA2: What I said above is not true because "Fanny Hill" is a novel-classic and it's porn.

I read the definitions. Novel-classics are in public domain. Novel-pocketbook has something to do with it being out of print and the publisher out of business. (I believe the novel-pocketbooks are all porn, mostly incest or bestiality)

awnlee jawking

I thought 'novel-pocketbook' was based on length - aren't James Patterson et al now churning out short novels described as novel-pocketbooks?

AJ

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

In publishing industry terms, pocketbook is another term for the dimensional (page size) format of a mass-market paperback, as opposed to a trade paperback which is the same size as a hard cover book.

The length of the book doesn't really have anything to do with it.

https://www.quora.com/Whats-the-difference-between-Paperback-and-Mass-Market-Paperback

In terms of SOL: novel-classic=older fiction originally published in hard cover form/literature. In copyright terms, these are public domain works free to be published by anyone.

novel-paperback=Newer fiction generally originally published as mass-market paperbacks. The ones on this site are orphaned works. In copyright terms, the pocketbooks on SOL are orphaned works.

Technically publishing them is a violation of copyright, but the copyright owner is dead/defunct with no known heir or successor so there is no one who can sue over the violation.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Dominions Son

Orphan works are becoming a significant problem given the current length of copyright.

Works, which may be a significant piece of pop culture, but no one has the right to republish them or create derivative works based on them and no one knows who would be legally able to grant permission.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

Works, which may be a significant piece of pop culture, but no one has the right to republish them or create derivative works based on them and no one knows who would be legally able to grant permission.

By and large, the 'accepted' usage of the entire 'abandoned works' category is that, as long as you make the effort to contact the original source, and acknowledge where it came from, you're free to publish the material. That may not hold up in court, but the assumption is, IF anyone contests the material, you'll pull it from your work, so it becomes essentially 'no harm/no foul'.

I run into this all the time with alternate fonts on the various font sites. The original creators go missing all the time, or someone posts 'new fonts' they've discovered online, but aren't the owners of, and it's up to each user to determine whether it's 'legal' or not. The sheer fact that so many people publicly seek information about the owners on the online forums documents that they're NOT trying to steal the work, and are actively seeking to pay someone for it.

This is also a common problem for many of the online pictures floating around the internet, where photographers simply never check their feedback on the sites (that only offer feedback on each individual photo, rather than direct email to the photographer).

In short, there's a legal way to handle these issues (and Lazeez seems to be in the clear, in this regard), and then there's the illegal method (simply grabbing it and using it without investing the research to establish the works aren't abandoned). The distinction is something that all authors need to be aware of when they include material in their stories.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

but the assumption is, IF anyone contests the material, you'll pull it from your work, so it becomes essentially 'no harm/no foul'.


All generally true, but if someone claiming the copyright does pop up and sue, your run the risk that a court won't accept the "I'll pull it so 'no harm/no foul' and make you pay damages/back royalties.

It's an unsettled area of law that no country has addressed adequately despite the fact that the life + x years copyright term has been around outside the US since the late 19th century. The US copyright term is now longer than what the Bern convention specifies, but prior to the 1976 copyright act, it was much shorter.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Dominions Son

All generally true, but if someone claiming the copyright does pop up and sue, your run the risk that a court won't accept the "I'll pull it so 'no harm/no foul' and make you pay damages/back royalties.

The 'no harm/no foul' doesn't protect you, but the fact (that you can document) that you made every effort to legitimately contact the original creators, listing the efforts when you posted/published the work, is likely to be accepted by most courts. Granted, it's not a guarantee you'll be protected, but it substantially increases your chances if anyone ever sues you. However, the fact no one has sued the thousands of people on these sites, freely posting these works, clearly indicated that no one remains to claim ownership, meaning ANY lawsuit is highly unlikely. (I would never suggest you try this when there's a large publishing house involved, as they will file charges whether the original authors lives or not!)

Note: This is a limited exception to the 'abandoned works', which doesn't apply to any other works, and was intended as a guideline for working around the few cases where you're unable to identify who owns a given work. Please, don't use this as a license to publish whatever the hell you want!

Replies:   PotomacBob
PotomacBob

@Crumbly Writer

Whether accepted by a court or not, who wants to go to the great expense of defending in court. It will cost you thousands of dollars to win. Even more to lose.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@PotomacBob


It will cost you thousands of dollars to win. Even more to lose.


True, but on the other hand, with a truly orphaned work, the odds that you will ever need to defend it in court are very low.

ETA: Risk = Cost * probability (where probability is expressed as a number between 0 and 1)

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

True, but on the other hand, with a truly orphaned work, the odds that you will ever need to defend it in court are very low.

Again, the cases I'm discussing, the works were clearly abandoned, as users had been posting the works for years, while readers kept searching for any clue as to who owns it so they CAN pay them. Clearly, if the owner was still around, they'd have objected or filed charges years ago. Somehow, I doubt they're suddenly going to pick the one individual with the least ability to pay, or even that there's anyone who even knew the original author created the piece (otherwise some distant relative or ex-wife would file a claim as his last-remaining relative).

Thus, the risks are essentially nil, regardless of the potential worst-case costs (just consider how many family members know an SOL author is writing online porn).

Again, I was outlining the currently accepted procedure on handling unknown, abandoned copyrights, rather than how to guarantee you'll NEVER EVER be sued by anyone in your entire life.

The short answer, do you due-diligence, demonstrate you made every effort to find the original creator, mention in your work that you tried to find him for proper approval but were unable to (with the implied assumption you'll yank the work if the rightful owner objects).

Legally, there's little a court would ever object to with such diligence. The author, in that case, did everything right, other than conducting a seance. At worst, the case would be extremely short, with the judge deciding 'either remove the usage or pay the agreed upon fee'. In short, there's NO malicious theft of someone else's work. So unless the original creator has been in a comma for the past decade, and woke up with a instant desire to sue anyone he can find, the odds of a suit of any kind are ridiculous.

Beyond that, even if they DID sue, there's little they COULD claim. Not only would they have to ask for monetary damages based upon your earnings, they'd then have to determine what influence a single font on the cover had for the limited profits you earned.

True, there ARE penalties if they ever filed an official copyright (something few individuals file for), but they aren't as likely to initiate a lawsuit when facing financial losses (lawsuits AREN'T cheap for either party, so they're unlikely to sue anyone without the means to pay for the lawsuit itself).

Once again, I find your complaints spurious. I'm not saying that you don't have a point (about your legal risk), I just think you're taking the my arguments out of context (as is your want).

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

D.S., just as I keep saying every time you start ranting about how no studies PROVE what every writing group claims, you're not obligated to try to publish abandoned works OR use the writing techniques yourself. So you're only fighting everyone for the sheer joy of causing angst (i.e. it won't change how others conduct their business, and it definitely would never change how you conduct yours). So let's just stop these non-existent arguments of yours.

Your ONLY point is that you want iron-clad guarantees before ANYONE ever mentions ANYTHING in an online forum. Sorry, but such guarantees ONLY exist in the land of mathematics, not in real life, and NOT in a field which DOESN'T invest in original research! Get over yourself!

awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

Patterson himself calls his shorties 'BookShots' - stories with the boring bits left out.

I believe it was my local library that called them (and similar) as novel-pocketbooks on a display rack, even though some were full-sized hardbacks except for the depth.

AJ

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

I just think you're taking the my arguments out of context (as is your want).


No,you are are misconstruing my argument. I agree with you that if you've done the due diligence, the odds you will end up in court are slim to none.

However, there is no way to predict how the courts will rule if it ever did happen. The risk is low but unquantifiable.

I've not suggested that either you or Lazeez needs to do anything different.

Personally I think this is something that national legislatures need to deal with, so that works that can be proven to be orphaned can be moved to the public domain.

samuelmichaels

@Dominions Son

Personally I think this is something that national legislatures need to deal with, so that works that can be proven to be orphaned can be moved to the public domain.

Or at least have general-purpose safe harbor provisions (possibly combined with a standardized pool fees to cover late claims).

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

No,you are are misconstruing my argument. I agree with you that if you've done the due diligence, the odds you will end up in court are slim to none.

However, there is no way to predict how the courts will rule if it ever did happen. The risk is low but unquantifiable.

Thanks for clarifying that. I'd thought you were just attacking the principal as not being a perfect solution, rather than being one to deal with an awkward legal solution.

Once again, I never suggested that anyone SHOULD seek to use abandoned resources, but I have, following the guidelines (fonts) I've laid out.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

@samuelmichaels

Or at least have general-purpose safe harbor provisions (possibly combined with a standardized pool fees to cover late claims).

Last one in the pool has to pay the rest of us a buck!

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

I never suggested that anyone SHOULD seek to use abandoned resources


I am suggesting than anyone SHOULD be able to use such abandoned resources legally.

We are allowing parts of our cultural history to be sealed up in concrete boxes and dropped into the deepest parts of the ocean.

Replies:   AmigaClone
AmigaClone

@Dominions Son

We are allowing parts of our cultural history to be sealed up in concrete boxes and dropped into the deepest parts of the ocean.


I believe that there are some that would not be satisfied with doing that to our cultural history. They would want much of it to be destroyed completely.

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