SOPA, so what, and the e-book revolution

So much is going on in the digital world that it would take FOREVER to list all of them here along with my very own opinions, so I’ll focus on two issues that are at hand now: Self Publishing e-textbooks and the SOPA blackout which took place January 18, 2012.

Self Publishing is becoming somewhat out a breakout darling  and Lulu.com, Kindle, CreateSpace, and other self publishing companies are behind this push. Amanda Hocking, the incredibly lucky but talented writer who self published her books via Kindle Publishing is banking off of her success and for some it makes us smolder with jealousy but bright with hope about our own writing/publishing futures.

Meanwhile college students have a problem: How can they afford textbooks without going broke? Print books can cost in the hundreds and even e-books unfortunately are not any better so Apple has come up with iBooks 2, a digital media platform featuring textbooks $14.99 or less- self published. Says, Calvin Reid for Publishers Weekly,

The iBookstore textbook category will launch with high school textbooks from Pearson, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill and DK, generally in the categories of biology, algebra and math. Apple is also launching with a new biology text created in the iBooks 2 format, Life on Earth by acclaimed biologist E.O. Wilson, which will be available exclusively in the iBookstore. The book will be free and there will be additional chapters to come, for-pay.

People have posted comments already, upset that self publishing means “not edited properly”…hmmm, some big name authors of textbooks may be able to get away from that slant, but what do you think?

With self publishing and textbooks comes the undeniable fact of anything via the web…copyright infringement. Yesterday while looking up some information, I came a across a few sites, that protested againt the STOP ONLINE PRIRACY ACT(also known as Bill 3261)- they were blacked out and for a brief moment I really felt “lost” back in the early 90s where we had to purchase Encyclopedia Britannica in an expensive CD-ROM format, ugh.

I still Googled and found some scant places which were okay, but if I may, let me just say this: I do believe there is a problem with copying and posting up documents without permission and this is such a horrible sad fact because people work so hard only to have their work taken for free. Again, this is a sad matter.

However, some people actually “infringe” without knowing it. Some postings, pictures and other things we find online have difficult policy terms that requires a lawyer a look into. When someone see the word FREE, they think free and then you find out later that you can only “sign up” for free or that royalty-free actually does not mean free(you have to read the terms closely). Anyway, thats not blatant, just ignorance.

What are your thoughts?

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