Thursday, December 08, 2005

Mellon And On

Greetings from dank London town, and lord love the Starbucks. Yes, lord love the Starbucks, where a call for black coffee is not met with a hopelessly bitter Americano. McDonalds is also meant to be good for the homesick, according to Cutesome, who is if anything fonder of the place than we are. Moreover, DayjobLondonCentral has now begun to offer a fine selection of ground coffees, yours for the price of having the courage to clean out the French Press/Cafetiere.

In this short interval between the office clearing out and our moving to join them, we woould like a to share a couple of things with you.

Felix Salmon's latest on the Google Book Search controversy, which covers, to simplify, the right of google to scan and make searchable books without the permission of their authors. Felix points out that if intellectual property such as books are to be considered as such, then there's a pretty lousy market in it. We're still not sure whether he thinks that this is a good thing, but he seems on fairly solid ground in saying that the current system, which relies on the interplay between corporations and their prized auteurs, is a tad unfair to the auteur's collaborators.

The extension of this argument may well be that authors should be able to do with their works what David Bowie has done with his royalty payments, and borrow a huge amount of money against future revenues. Stephen King, Michael Crichton, and the loathsome Dan Brown would all benefit, should they ever need an island in a hurry. Oh, bugger, this was dealt with in the comments. Foor what it's worth, the sale of copyright, as opposed to the rights to income streams, should be possible, much as it is in music. The terms under which you sell it, however, are the kicker. Just ask Suge Knight's clients. Heh.

The bipolar gentleman who was shot yesterday is one of those horrific moments when we realise that the unflinching unimaginitive devotion to the rules among US law enforcemment has reached its nadir. Yes, it is daft to take a meds-less manic depressive on a plane. But police are called to deal with rampaging crazies the whole time, and have learned to deal with them with discretion, albeit with mixed results. Aviation security no longer allows for this, and we'll probably cheer them on when they do it.


At 2:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Publisher or author holding copyright (moral or legal) notwithstanding, Google is trying to fleece everyone, and they suck. Plus I like my job. One musn't forget that Google is bigger in market cap than Sony and Time Warner put together, so any references to nasty big corporations (like Murdoch's HC) should bear that in mind as well. They are no longer a fun indie web project, and the book search is not cool at all.

At 5:23 PM, Blogger Miguel said...

information wants to be free, maaan


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