Sunday, April 04, 2010

Contracts and the Net

I just had a long and pleasant conversation with one of my beatiful and talented friends. (I'm serious, she's played the fiddle in some of the most prestigious venues in the world, and she's an outstanding composer and writer too.) With her brother, an artist, she wants to publish childrens books, as ebooks first, and with music in them. They talked to some woman who loved it, and would publish it and so on. And then came the contract... basically, this woman would own their work, their soul, and 99.9% of their income for life. Slightly exaggerated, but not much.

But, but, but... that's exactly what the Net is for! So we no longer have to be prey to such people. We can be autonomous.
A problem is my friend has a hard time with computers, so I am not sure what to say to her.


Philocalist said...

'A problem is my friend has a hard time with computers, so I am not sure what to say to her.'

Surely the obvious solution would be for her to find someone with the neccesary skills and agree a contract that both are happy with?

Can't have everything for nothing ... or can we? ;-)

couchpotato said...

If the iPad is a revolutionary device--as it has been touted, and having used one I am convinced--perhaps we may reasonably expect an emerging business model for services that would answer your friend's needs. Do such services already exist, albeit not yet fully fledged? Ah, if only I wasn't so lazy, maybe I would do the job myself.

Lexi Cograffie said...


I will be using this word until it is worn thin. I never knew it was an adjective until I checked [blush] seems so obvious now.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Actually I meant "autonomous".
But antonymous is not bad.

Unknown said...

If she is typing, manually, then scan it and correct the text.
If using a WP, conversion to XML is not a lot of work.
Once in XML, conversion to PDF is easy.
Once in PDF, with illustrations, she can self publish, use a publishing establishment for n copies etc. She keeps full rights.

Else, she sells 'soft' copies, encrypted PDF that the buyer decrypts.

Lots of options since she is no longer in a minority... in avoiding dead tree publishing that is. More rare, in not using a computer.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Well, she does use one, but it's like a cat having to use a vacuum cleaner.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

For the record, I was not insulting her intelligence with the cat thing, she is *highly* intelligent and educated. I just meant she is nervous around a computer the way a cat is nervous around a vacuum cleaner.

Unknown said...

I don't think a dislike|fear|nervousness of computers has anything to do with intelligence.

The stopper to her publishing in a way she wants is the transformation from her preferred source to a 'computer based' source? For that she needs 'friends' who are geeks IMHO


Pascal [P-04referent] said...

"dead tree publishing" : now THERE's an elegant expression for printing on paper! :-D

My verif's opinion about that contract you describe, is that your friend is being shamefully "coerkst".
I think this is anton... I mean, synonymous with "abused". :-P

"it's like a cat having to use a vacuum cleaner."
Another good metaphor for coercion, methinks. Or maybe it's more about a bold buckaroo bareback-riding a rowdy bronco in a rodeo?...

My cats are one thing, but I used to have a canary... ho boy! Seemed to view the vacuum cleaner as a competition that had to be outsung!
I'm still amazed that spring cleaning didn't leave that crazy horse beard... I mean that crazy bird hoarse.

DaveP thought...
"a dislike|fear|nervousness of computers has [nothing] to do with intelligence."

On the contrary, my dear: disliking Windows is a DEFINITE sign of basic intelligence! ;-)
Mine is currently glitchy something abominable, because of two things: the antivirus(!), and the HP scanner/printer mandatory associated image editing/archiving software, "won't work unless you install the whole package". Boo! ):-P

"For that she needs 'friends' who are geeks IMHO"
IMO you just hit that nail on the head like a Shaolin monk: with "the power of a sledgehammer, the grace of a ballet dancer."
I'm pretty confident she WILL manage to find a friend that's both a geek and available, and that this will be the end of her troubles... and the beginning of a beautiful webdeavour.
Pardon the neologism. :-)