This week! Books!
A federal judge ruled decisively against the Internet Archive’s so-called “National Emergency Library,” which made 1.4 million e-books available for free in the early days of the pandemic, as well as its supposed “controlled digital lending” (CDL) system where it loans out e-books on a one-to-one basis based on print copies held by participating libraries. The judge noted that CDL was essentially a sham as the IA had no way of affirming that participating libraries withdrew print copies from circulation, invalidating their “one-to-one” model, but even if they did enforce it, the model is still illegal and not protected by fair use.
The IA says it will appeal. Nate Hoffelder has a good thread on why creators should root against them.
Legal e-book lending already exists, and, while it’s a source of controversy given the expense for libraries and the extent to which it’s become a big business for publishers, the balance between the public good of libraries and publisher/author compensation is something that needs to be negotiated for the digital era.
In my opinion the IA was engaging in flagrant piracy, and shame on them for preying on authors at a vulnerable time. I personally was beyond pissed off seeing them making my books available for free while I was sick with pre-vaccine Covid in March of 2020 and facing an uncertain future.
And in other legal news, publishers are preparing to go to the mat with tech companies over the use of their content to train AI systems. This will be a thorny one.
The notion of “credit” in fiction is a sticky one, and game creator Brenda Romero took issue with her work being used as inspiration in Gabrielle Zevin’s hit novel Tomorrow, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow. Zevin’s publisher notes that “every author draws from the world around them.” And as Sophia Nguyen notes in the article, it’s not customary for novels to cite references with the rigor of nonfiction.
A Brandon Sanderson profile in Wired went viral for its mean-spiritedness, and a Brandon Sanderson profile in Esquire caught up with Sanderson in his underground lair (seriously) and discussed the profile in Wired. Got all that?
In writing advice news, it would be fun to write a Star Wars novel, right? Yeah… about that. Agent Kate McKean discusses what it takes to write IP content. And I enjoyed this post by Angela Ackerman on utilizing your setting to provide conflict.
This week in bestsellers
Here are the top five NY Times bestsellers in a few key categories. (All links are affiliate links):
Adult print and e-book fiction:
- It Starts With Us by Colleen Hoover
- Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
- Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
- It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
- Countdown by James Patterson and Brendan DuBois
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- Poverty, By America by Mathew Desmond
- Saved by Benjamin Hall
- Spare by Prince Harry
- The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk
- I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy
Young adult hardcover:
- Five Survive by Holly Jackson
- Nick and Charlie by Alice Oseman
- The Stolen Heir by Holly Black
- Lightlark by Alex Aster
- The First to Die in the End by Adam Silvera
Middle grade hardcover:
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
- Refugee by Alan Gratz
- Odder by Katherine Applegate
- Two Degrees by Alan Gratz
- The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen Kids
This week on the blog
In case you missed them, here are this week’s posts:
Don’t forget that you can nominate your first page and query for a free critique on the blog:
And keep up with the discussion in all the places!
And finally, I enjoyed this profile by Susan Orlean of long-time Disney animator Burny Mattinson, who lived an extraordinary life and created some amazing art.
Have a great weekend!
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