“When the web started, I used to get really grumpy with people because they put my poems up. They put my stories up. They put my stuff up on the web. I had this belief, which was completely erroneous, that if people put your stuff up on the web and you didn’t tell them to take it down, you would lose your copyright, which actually, is simply not true.
And I also got very grumpy because I felt like they were pirating my stuff, that it was bad. And then I started to notice that two things seemed much more significant. One of which was… places where I was being pirated, particularly Russia where people were translating my stuff into Russian and spreading around into the world, I was selling more and more books. People were discovering me through being pirated. Then they were going out and buying the real books, and when a new book would come out in Russia, it would sell more and more copies. I thought this was fascinating, and I tried a few experiments. Some of them are quite hard, you know, persuading my publisher for example to take one of my books and put it out for free. We took “American Gods,” a book that was still selling and selling very well, and for a month they put it up completely free on their website. You could read it and you could download it. What happened was sales of my books, through independent bookstores, because that’s all we were measuring it through, went up the following month three hundred percent
I started to realize that actually, you’re not losing books. You’re not losing sales by having stuff out there. When I give a big talk now on these kinds of subjects and people say, “Well, what about the sales that I’m losing through having stuff copied, through having stuff floating out there?” I started asking audiences to just raise their hands for one question. Which is, I’d say, “Okay, do you have a favorite author?” They’d say, “Yes.” and I’d say, “Good. What I want is for everybody who discovered their favorite author by being lent a book, put up your hands.” And then, “Anybody who discovered your favorite author by walking into a bookstore and buying a book raise your hands.” And it’s probably about five, ten percent of the people who actually discovered an author who’s their favorite author, who is the person who they buy everything of. They buy the hardbacks and they treasure the fact that they got this author. Very few of them bought the book. They were lent it. They were given it. They did not pay for it, and that’s how they found their favorite author. And I thought, “You know, that’s really all this is. It’s people lending books. And you can’t look on that as a loss of sale. It’s not a lost sale, nobody who would have bought your book is not buying it because they can find it for free.”
What you’re actually doing is advertising. You’re reaching more people, you’re raising awareness. Understanding that gave me a whole new idea of the shape of copyright and of what the web was doing. Because the biggest thing the web is doing is allowing people to hear things. Allowing people to read things. Allowing people to see things that they would never have otherwise seen. And I think, basically, that’s an incredibly good thing.
”—Neil Gaiman on Copyright, Piracy, and the Commercial Value of the Web (X)
“No no no. I don’t want to screw you. I just love you. When did who you want to screw become the whole game? Since when is the person you want to screw the only person you get to love? It’s so stupid! I mean, Jesus, who even gives a fuck about sex? People act like it’s the most important thing humans do, but come on. How can our sentient fucking lives revolve around something slugs do. I mean, who you want to screw and whether you screw them? Those are important questions, I guess. But they’re not that important. You know what’s important? Who would you die for?”—John Green & David Levithan; Will Grayson, Will Grayson (via sassyanddelightful)
“As we mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we must remember that this Supreme Court decision not only protects a woman’s health and reproductive freedom, but also affirms a broader principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters. I remain committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose and this fundamental constitutional right. While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue—no matter what our views, we must stay united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant woman and mothers, reduce the need for abortion, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption. And as we remember this historic anniversary, we must also continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.”—President Obama’s statement on the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade (via barackobama)
Just had a lovely, random, drunken conversation with my flatmate about the nature of our long-term university relationships. This is after I spent the night drinking with another roomie and being quite ridiculous and fun. And all of this is after the three of us made curry and mulled wine together. I got very lucky with my flatmates.
“Green writes books for young adults, but his voice is so compulsively readable that it defies categorization. He writes for youth, rather than to them, and the difference is palpable.”—NPR Review of tfios
Um. So. This is happening when I am happily situated to to travel to Cardiff. It is also pretty fantastic-looking. But it is 100 quid, and during the same weekend as a trip to the Isle of Skye, plus I’ll probably see a fair amount of cool stuff when I go to the Experience. But special effects, panels with writers, Matt Smith and Arthur Darvill…
Please convince me that this is a bad idea. Someone.
Decided to stay in tonight. (4 pound wine is dangerous.) Instead watched Christopher and His Kind on Youtube, which is excellent, and which has reminded me how much I need to read me some Christopher Isherwood.
(Also: Does anyone else notice when watching movies about gay characters how there is always a close-up focus on the Potential Romantic Interests? It can’t ever be that easy in real life. Like, ‘here’s a focus shot on the man with whom you’ll eventually have Scenes of Emotion and Intimacy,’ even though statistically it’d be more difficult to find such partners? Wouldn’t it be nice if it actually worked like that?)