Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Infamous Bankruptcy Update

News flash: our government wastes an amazing amount of money on bullshit. But, you know what? WE, the so-called people make them do it.

That's my big epiphany regarding the brankruptcy filed by the ebpublisher with whom I was briefly involved. I've lost track of how many letters the court has sent me. Multiply that by about 117 authors, and you end up with a lot of postage, copying, and paper, not to mention high dollar billable rates (paid by--guess who? Yes, us taxpayers).

For what?

To protect everyone's rights, including but not limited to: the authors who have contracts tied up, authors owed royalties, miscellaneous creditors, and indeed the rights of the debtors themselves.

But if you ask me, no matter how you slice it, we all get screwed.

Meanwhile, as courts do, the trustee is trying to auction off assets. Well, guess what the assets are? Right. The author contracts, some software, an inventory of print books, and some miscellaneous furniture. I mean, we're not talking Donald Trump, here. Nevertheless, a whole lot of disgruntled authors kinda resent not having control over the books they shed blood, sweat, and tears over. Especially those of us who have letters from the publisher reconveying our rights!

So, along comes a white knight in the form of another epublisher. They've issued a press release stating they intend to bid $1500 for the contracts. Presumably they would then fulfill their end, i.e., publish the books under the original terms. To their credit, this publisher has publicly stated they will work with the authors, letting anyone go who so desires.

Meanwhile, a group of authors has hired an attorney to fight the good fight on moral grounds, hoping to set precedent establishing the rights of authors to their intellectual property. Let's just hope this particular effort doesn't end up prolonging the whole mess.

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