Friday, October 30, 2009

My Change of Careers


The World Fantasy Con is a great place to meet old friends again -- Jeff Ford, Stan Robinson, Beth Gwinn, Terry Bisson . . . oh, the list is too long to even begin. But it's also a business event, and as such a great source of information.

Some of which can be alarming.

Above: The Google Books Settlement panel, discussing the agreement by which Google (whose motto is famously: "Some Men Rob You With a Gun. Others With a Fountain Pen"), and the Authors Guild (I don't even know who those yutzes are) agreed that Google could offer my work for sale on the Internet without my permission. Or anyway, that's the version I'd heard.

I'd been feeling guilty because I'd missed the opt-out date. Turns out that the the opt-out option was never intended to be workable. Every edition and every separate publication of a work is treated as a separate entity, see, and has to be listed with detailed info -- including specific page numbers -- or else it belongs to Google.

Last night I dreamed that somebody had broken into my house and stolen all the rugs, and was selling them cheap at a yard sale.

What the hell could that mean? I puzzled over it for a long time. And then it came to me:

I should get into the rug business.

So let this blog serve as public notice: I am claiming the right to sell any rugs or carpets belonging the the CEO, owners, and all employees of Google. There will be bargains galore! You need a 10 X 10 silk bakhara for your living room? I'm prepared to sell it to you for eight hundred dollars. Wow! And the former owners won't be left out in the cold either. They'll get a full five percent royalties, capped at sixty dollars maximum per rug.

Anybody who wants to opt out of this arrangement can contact me with the type, location, thread-count, and country of origin for each rug by, oh, let's say December 13.

And that goes for the Authors Guild, too. Whoever they are.


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