Posts by Russell Brown

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  • Hard News: The Casino,

    Right on cue: a fascinating story about a fansite creating derivative works from stories in the public domain in NZ, but not in the US. Quite a mess, and it doesn't seem like anyone is well-served by it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21655 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Casino,

    and I get offended when some cretin thinks it funny to spell it otherwise. You have insulted me. You have annoyed me.

    I don't for a moment think it was actually deliberate. I could probably have helped by drawing attention to it in a less cryptic manner.

    And you're not a writer - so, your uninformed and uninvolved comments about Blount et al
    mean - ah well, as much as most of your other witterings on-

    Steady on. Craig has as much right as anyone else to voice an opinion here. And apart from writing very nicely, he is a prodigious and passionate reader of books. Readers are, after all, the people who make publishing an industry. They're due a voice too.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21655 posts Report Reply

  • Field Theory: I don't like cricket (tune…,

    Really, really bad shit on the Sri Lankan tour of Pakistan:

    Unidentified gunmen opened fire on a bus carrying Sri Lankan cricket team as they were on their way to Gaddafi stadium in Lahore on Tuesday morning, Dawn news channel reported.

    The channel showed footage of two gunmen opening fire using Kalashnikovs. At least 12 gunmen were involved in the attack.

    Five security personnel are reported dead, three more are seriously injured and have been rushed to the hospital.

    The attackers - who came in a white car - lobbed two grenades at the van and the men then started firing at a police van which was providing security to the Lankan team.

    The gunmen, reportedly surrounded the team van and opened fire indiscriminately. They reportedly continuously for two to three minutes.

    Rocket launchers used in the attack as well.

    The incident happened at Liberty Chowk in Lahore.

    According to the Pakistan Cricket Board seven players have been reported injured. Five of them are seriously injured - Thilan Samaraweera, Kumar Sangakara, Ajantha Mendis, Mahela Jayawardene and Tharanga Paranavithana.

    The tour has been officially cancelled.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21655 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Casino,

    Well, Kerry,

    Forgive him ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21655 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Casino,

    The EFF contends that the Guild is wrong in law; another point ignored by Blount as he dismissed their statement. He might be a fine writer, but the guy is really starting to annoy me.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21655 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Casino,

    I liked Gaiman's comment that, when a machine can do read aloud better than a human, we will have other things to worry about.

    Oh good one, Lyndon. Pit me against Neil bloody Gaiman then ...

    The issue has been bouncing around in my head since my last comment. I can see what Islander is saying, and understand that authors don't want to just let new distributors run off with rights.

    Maybe they'll squeeze a small fee for text-to-speech out of Amazon in the end, but I'm not really convinced of the idea that this is so different from TTS on a computer, which is uncontroversial, and I simply don't think the Kindle's TTS feature will prevent one sale of an audiobook.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21655 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Casino,

    I thought I'd better go to the source and see what Roy Blount actually said in the New York Times.

    I still think his basic contention -- that the TTS function on a Kindle is comparable to an audiobook, and thus will deprive authors of audiobook royalties -- is utterly wrong.

    The key difference is that an audiobook is read by someone who understands what they're reading. No amount of coding will produce that in a machine in my lifetime or the next hundred years.

    It's not a substitute for an audiobook, it's a basic feature that provides an additional way of reading the book -- which, after all, the reader has legitimately purchased.

    Some of what Blount says seems to have been conjured from the air: the Kindle hasn't been "heavily marketed" as a combo e-book/audiobook. As a ReadWriteWeb blogger points out, the Kindle website barely mentions the TTS feature.

    He dismisses the statement from the National Federation the Blind, which I think deserves better than that. It's worth reading.

    If it's just a ploy in a negotiating war between rights owners and new-media publishers, I guess we're stuck with it. I'd like to see writers get as much as possible back from the sale of their works. But this just seems a wrong place to try and do it.

    And I'm not sure if this was a good way to end ...

    For the record: no, the Authors Guild does not expect royalties from anybody doing non-commercial performances of “Goodnight Moon.” If parents want to send their children off to bed with the voice of Kindle 2, however, it’s another matter.

    Ouch ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21655 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Self-satisfactorily Yours,

    __Ha! "Have you had your boobs done?" - deadpan brilliant__

    I found it incredibly awkward and unnecessary.

    Would it help to know that they're husband and wife?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21655 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Self-satisfactorily Yours,

    Is there a reason you need two Law Commissioners on a panel to assess any topic, let alone one related to the work of the Law Commission?

    Let's just say it was a difficult panel to fill this week.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21655 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Casino,

    A TTS function of the Kindle2 - supposing I had sold e-rights- wouldnt've garnered publisher or self anything either. And, as someone who is vbisually impaired, I find your comment, Russell, just a tad offensive.

    I'm sorry, I meant no offence and my comments really weren't directed at you.

    I just can't see the point of what the Authors' Guild has done. And as Sacha pointed out, even though the provision for talking books for the blind is there, actually getting the data for a particular title is often onerous. Here was a simple solution that would make things easier for everyone, and widen the range of books available to the blind, and the guild broke it.

    Seriously, what has actually been gained by this move?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21655 posts Report Reply

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