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Echoes From the InverseReality

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Additional Suckitude
Copyright right or wrong aside -- it's a lot more convoluted than popular knowledge is aware of, and I've only hung around enough computer geeks to know a little bit about the issue on a digital playing field -- I wonder if this might not be a political statement. I started doing some web research as soon as I heard about it (today) and came up with some details that most of the other ranters/bloggers I've seen so far have overlooked:

1) Jareo's husband, Kevin Walzer, holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Cincinnati. Now, while as hard-core detractors may not think this establishes anything, I think it sets up some level of intelligence and awareness about what's going on in publishing and the copyrighting world.

2) Both husband and wife work in the publishing industry. Their company is called WordTech. This has been mentioned before in other discussions in the context of "Look at how stupid she's being, she should know better, she works in the industry!" but I don't think these detractors took a good look at what the company actually does: barely for-profit, indie poetry publications emphasizing the use of technology in production. This sets us up for the next tidbit...

3) Both husband and wife have been linked to open-source projects, which I think suggests leftist leanings and probably not only an awareness of the state of copyright and intellectual property in U.S. law, but a resistence to the direction in which large coorporations have taken these laws. So motive there for rebellion, I think.

This should establish both some intelligence and awareness of the situation of copyright and public domain in the U.S. today as well as possible leftist leanings/sympathies from both. I'd like to suggest that this may not be as clueless a case as it seems. Yes, it looks totally idiotic on the surface, but I wonder if this might not be a PR move for challenging established copyright laws gone terribly wrong... (Wikipedia article on Public Domain).

I am fascinated by the negative reaction the fan community has taken towards her actions. It's interesting that people have all initially assumed the very worst about Ms. Jareo (she's stupid and egocentric) without full access to all the information. The automatic instinct for fan writers and web community members is to turn on the one who's strayed from the fold, running to the defense of the intellectual "proprietor" without even questioning the legitimacy of the copyright law in the first place.

Assuming what I say might be true, the the quote I've seen most frequently cited against Ms. Jareo, could be interpreted another way:

Q: Having set Another Hope in an already existing universe, I find myself wondering if there was any concern on your part regarding copyrights?

Jareo: No, because I wrote this book for myself. This is a self-published story and is not a commercial book. Yes, it is for sale on Amazon, but only my family, friends and acquaintances know it’s there.

Original article cached by Google

Sheer stupidity, or was she trying to get her book on the system in an attempt to try to demonstrate fallacy of current copyright laws? I think there's room to believe that she may have been misquoted (out of context) and misinterpreted, in addition to the Total Stupidity explanation. What were her reasons when she said that she wrote this for herself - just for the sheer satisfaction of the writing, or for the possibility of making a statement? Why did she only alert friends and family? Because she wanted to share her fan writing that badly, or because it was amusing to be able to get this book through and onto Amazon.com or Powell's Books as a solicitation? The world may never know.

Let me be clear and say that I'm not claiming at all that I have all the info. I really, really don't. I'm just interested in what other angles we can look at this story from. Not that my theory about what is going on is necessarily right, either. I don't actually support what Lori Jareo has done. I don't disagree with it. I'm just another web-kid burning with curiousity to see how this story ends.

Wow! I had not heard of this. This is of particular interest to me because of my desire to re-write the prequel films. I wouldn't be so brazen as to try to sell them in whatever format I ultimately put them into...

Well, unless this takes a turn that suggests I could get away with it!

Oh gosh, I'd really just take enough money to recoup whatever losses I took producing the work, and donate the rest to charity. But wow. Have you been finding out about this on forums? How do I keep up with the news of this?

Elementary My Dear Satchelmarr82!


2006-04-24 05:20 pm (UTC)

Well, you can subscribe to my handy dandy newsletter right here! But there's a discussion going on on Amazon.com which I'm a part of (scroll to the bottom of the page), and I'll be reposting whatever I write on this damn account too.

Oh, and I hate you all!

Re: Elementary My Dear Satchelmarr82!


2006-04-24 08:31 pm (UTC)


Re: Elementary My Dear Satchelmarr82!


2006-04-24 10:13 pm (UTC)

Incidentally, this person has volunteered to send the .pdf version out to anyone who requests it: querymethis@gmail.com. Bon appetite!

That's an interesting theory, but what squashes it for me is that they put their legitimate business at risk. Also it seems like Jareo and Walzer would be a tad more vocal at this point. But only time will tell...

Thanks! I like to think of it as more of a hypothesis. Like most everyone else, I really have no proof, nor any direct statements from either Jareo or Walzer to back it up. As a friend pointed out, it's interesting because usually, it would be the publisher who gets sued for publishing and selling the book. In this case, Jareo and Walzer have put themselves at risk. Why? The legitimate business angle certainly puzzles me, too, but it's possible that they are just really, really bad at PR. Which is ironic, because here is an article on their website about how to sell yourself as a writer - not directly related to marketing your fanfiction witha positive 'spin', but generally sound advice. Or maybe they *were* taking their own advice and "advertising" their book, and look what happened now!

I guess if I was really curious, the next step would be to contact them directly. But somehow, I think their e-mail boxes are currently going up in flames.

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