Genuinely the Stupidest Thing I Have Seen on the Internet in a Very Long Time

Australian bargain site Cudo, apparently co-run by Microsoft and Channel Nine, offers for an e-reader for sale, complete with a CD of 4,000 written works, the purported titles of which are here. If that title listing is correct on that CD, then tons of those books are under copyright, including what looks like hundreds of titles from SFWA members. Who I am pretty sure didn’t sign off on having their works burned onto a CD to be stuffed into an e-reader.

Dear Cudo: Are you fucking kidding me? Are you people genuinely stupid enough to do something like this? I’m guessing that even in Australia there’s such a thing as violation of copyright. The idea that a subsidiary of Microsoft and Australia’s second-ranking television network, two entities that probably get peeved at people violating their copyrights, would blithely sell a CD that is almost certainly packed with unauthorized versions of copyrighted works just simply boggles the mind. You are a big, fat, soft, obvious lawsuit target. And as of this writing, you’ve sold 2,054 units of this thing, which means that you have possibly engaged in up to eight million two hundred sixteen thousand acts of copyright violation. That’s pretty impressive, it is.

Honestly, folks, I’m kind of agog on this. I have to believe that what we’re seeing here is a genuine and colossal mistake, because the other option is that Cudo is treating hundreds of living, working writers and their work with actual contempt. Either way, it’s the sort of 200-proof stupidity you just don’t see that much of anymore. And either way, I want to take whoever it was who approved this item for sale and keelhaul him (or her) across the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef. Whether by ignorance or by contempt, Cudo is very likely screwing a whole bunch of writers. These writers deserve better. And, of course, they deserve to be paid.

(Via Metafilter)

Update, 6:30 am 2/29: Cudo gets a clue.


My Day

Has been spent doing publicity for the Italian release of Old Man’s War, which has meant three e-mail interviews. Question present in each interview: “Hey, isn’t Scalzi an Italian last name? Are you Italian?” Why yes. Yes, I am. Well, Italian-American. Actually, more accurately Italian-English-Irish-French-Dutch-NERD-American. But still.

How’s your Monday?


Outgoing SFWA VP Mary Robinette Kowal Endorses Rachel Swirsky For VP

You may read her reasoning here.

I am running unopposed for President (again) (again), but the Vice Presidential race has two candidates, Rachel Swirsky and Lou Antonelli, both of whose candidacy statements SFWA members may see here.

As president, I have no doubt that I will happily work with whomever the SFWA members, in their wisdom, choose to elect, and I am pleased our members have a choice of candidates for the role.

As a practical matter, I don’t know Mr. Antonelli, although I am sure he would work hard to be a good VP for the organization. I do know Rachel Swirsky and have a good idea of her capabilities. In my experience of her, I think she would make a very good vice president, both for SFWA, and for me as president.

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