22 April 2006

Fat, Drunk and Stupid is No Way to...

Okay, I can't speak for the first two in this case, but (as long as I'm quoting it correctly) I do love that line.

[Hopefully I'm not violating any copyright laws by posting it]

So, I imagine that many have already been clued in to the latest young author who decided to take upon herself to self-publish a piece of Star Wars fanfic.

[Note: I imagine it's only a matter of time before Amazon figures out that they really don't want to bend over for the lawyers of George Lucas and take down the page.]

[Additional Note: Not having read the book, I can only go by one of the comments that the poor author apparently confuses Star Wars and Star Trek icons. Poor thing.]

So, aside from the blatant violation of copyright (which the author has reportedly blown off because the book was only for distribution to friends and family [Hello, genius! Amazon.com????]), there's a bigger issue at hand.

Fanfic...

No, I've never (as far as I recall while sober) written fanfic, but it's everywhere online. Who knows, there may even be Aston West fanfic out there somewhere. But, for the most part, it goes unpunished because people write it for themselves (and other fanfic writers, I presume). This author had the audacity to try and sell it (near 300 pages for $20...still cheaper than a PublishAmerica offering).

Now, the question I have is simple: What would have happened in this case if the author had simply offered the piece up as a free e-book? Perhaps via her website (which has since been taken down, presumably by the Lucas juggernaut)? Perhaps via Lulu?

Considering the amount of fanfic out there, I don't imagine most of it gets much attention for its blatant copyright violation. So, what is the magic "go" point at which the lawyers began to play the Jaws theme song (uh oh, copyright violation in progress)?