I just signed the contracts on a comic book deal for six of my stories with IDW. They got the exclusive right to sell commercial comics based on my stories, but those stories are already under Creative Commons Attribution/ShareAlike/Noncommercial licenses that allow fans to make non-commercial comics (and films, etc) from them. My agent, Russell Galen, wrote a nifty little clause spelling this out (see below).
Lots of people have asked me whether doing a non-commercial CC release makes it impossible to sell commercial rights to a traditional publisher. Here’s how it can work:
The exclusive rights granted to Licensee hereunder are subject to a pre-existing Creative Commons license which grants members of the public the irrevocable and nonexclusive right to create their own adaptations of the Licensed Property, including comic books. Such Creative Commons-licensed works may not be sold or distributed for profit. Licensee acknowledges that under the terms of this Creative Commons license, members of the public may create comic book version of the Licensed Property for non-commercial distribution. Licensor agrees not to license the rights which are granted to Licensee hereunder to any competitor of Licensee or to any commercial enterprise intending to create adaptations of the Works for commercial distribution.
Here’s the list of stories that are being adapted:
After the Siege
When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth
Nimby and the D-Hoppers
Midnight.Haulkerton, a “Grok Rock” band from Australia, has very kindly recorded a song inspired by my new short story collection, Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present — just the first of more to come. This is about the coolest, most flattering thing ever.
Future shock, present shock, we’re already in past shock
Too much to go to and nowhere to go, we’ve got way too much to know
Something in the future’s already in the past, the present’s an illusion
Cos the world is spinning way too fast
Overclocked, clock shock
This watch never stops
Overclocked, time’s fast
You’ve been blasted in the past
Reminder for Angelenos: Tonight is my Los Angeles book-launch for Overclocked, my new short story collection. It’s at 7PM at Secret Headquarters, the best comic-store in town. Hope to see you there!
Other upcoming events: Duke University, Feb 22; University of North Carolina, Feb 22; Ad Astra Toronto, Mar 2-4; Simon Fraser U, Vancouver, Mar 8/9
I’m coming to North Carolina on Feb 22 to give a talk on privacy at Duke University at 5PM and a talk on copyright at the University of North Carolina at 2PM. There’ll be books for sale at both — hope to see you there!
Other upcoming events: my Los Angeles book-launch this Thursday at 7PM at Secret Headquarters, and I’m going to be a Guest of Honor at Ad Astra, Toronto’s regional sf convention, from Mar 2-4.
I’m speaking at Vancouver, BC’s Simon Fraser University on March 8/9, in a couple of events that will include launches for my new book, Overclocked — and I’m delighted to note that the book has sold out its entire print run in two weeks and is going back to the presses!
The talk is presented by the Faculty of Applied Sciences’ Leonardo Institute, a non-credit graduate program that examines the risks, uncertainties, ethics, and art of applied science.
Doctorow’s topic is The Totalitarian Urge: total information awareness and the cosmic billiards. “It’s about how technology changes the way we view social problems,” says Doctorow. “Older mechanical technologies make us see the world as deterministic, knowable and manipulable. New emergent technologies like the Internet teach us that control is an illusion, the universe is out of control and laughing at us, and that the more we watch and control, the more problems we have.”
The lecture will be presented twice:
Thursday March 8 at 6:00pm in the Fletcher Challenge theatre at SFU Vancouver (515 West Hastings St.) Free. Seating is limited. Reservations, 604-291-5100.
Friday March 9 at 3:30pm at SFU Burnaby in Academic Quadrangle, C9001. Free. Arrive early to ensure a seat
Link, Download poster
Randall “Sorcerer Mickey” Cooper came to my book-launch at San Francisco’s Borderlands Books last night, and caught audio of me reading “Printcrime” and answering a wide-ranging series of questions. The audio and a report are on his LiveJournal.
Ten Zen Monkeys has the transcript of the interview I did last week with RU Sirius on his radio program:
Well, I went to a little family reunion in St. Petersburg, Russia. My grandmother was born there, and her family still lives there. When I was growing up, she always used to tell me about the war, and about being a kid living through the Siege of Leningrad. And she would tell me how I would never understand the terrible horrors she’d faced. I didn’t know much about the Siege of Leningrad, but my understanding was… it wasn’t anything like Auschwitz, right? Like, “Boy, how bad could it have been? You were a civil defense worker. You weren’t in a death camp.” And a couple of years ago, on one of those long St. Petersburg days, my grandmother walked us through the streets of St. Petersburg and told us about what she saw and did during that period. It really changed my perception of it. I went out and read some books, most notably The 900 Days about the Siege of Leningrad. The privation and terrors of the Siege of Leningrad can’t be overstated. It was a nine hundred day siege. And Stalin bungled it so badly that people in Petersberg were also in bad shape. There was starvation and cannibalism and lots of people freezing to death. And my grandmother — this 12-year-old girl — was digging civil defense trenches in the frozen ground; and hauling bodies and throwing them out of fifteen story windows because they were too weak to haul them down the stairs. She was going to apartments where people had died and throwing them down, and then scraping them up off the ground. And she was seeing people who’d been rendered by cannibal black marketeers – who had parts of their body sliced off to sell on the black market.
They were the most amazing, incredible stories. And it got me thinking about writing about this as an allegory. At the same time, I’ve been doing all this work on copyright and related rights with developing nations, and with what they call emerging economies like the former Soviet territories. And these countries are getting really shafted in international copyright negotiations. They’re being forced to sign on to these regimes that are totally out of step with what they need.
America became an industrial power by being a pirate nation. After the American revolution, America didn’t honor the copyrights or patents of anyone except Americans. If you were a European or British inventor, your stuff could be widely pirated in America. That’s how they got rich. Only after America became a net exporter of copyrighted goods did it start to enter into treaties with other countries whereby American inventors and authors would be protected abroad in exchange for those foreign authors being protected in America. But now you have these countries in Africa, in Asia, and in Eastern Europe, who are signing on to trade agreements with the U.S. where they basically promise to just take huge chunks of their GDP and export it to the U.S. It’s a kind of information feudalism, you know? Info-serfs.
Locus Magazine has just posted its 2006 sf reader poll, looking once again to take the temperature of the audience for science fiction around the world. In addition to the standard demographic questions, Locus always asks for votes on its recommended reading list, and going over that list, I’m amazed by how many great books and stories came out in 2006 — it was a real vintage year.
I’m also proud to note that two of my stories, I, Row-Boat and When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth made the recommended list and are eligible for your votes!
I’ve just finalized the details of the Los Angeles launch for my new book, Overclocked — it’s going to be hosted at Silver Lake’s Secret Headquarters, the best comic shop in town, on Feb 15 at 7PM.
In related news, see this interview Amber MacArthur did with me on Toronto’s Citytv, this interview I did with the Indian site BornRich, and this upcoming podcast phone-in I’m doing with Waxxi on Feb 12.
And Torontonians, don’t forget tonight’s 7PM launch at Bakka Books (not to mention next Thursday’s launch at San Francisco’s Borderlands Books with Rudy Rucker)!
What: Launch for Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present
Where: The Secret Headquarters, 3817 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026, 323-666-2228
When: Thursday, Feb 15, 7PM
The latest edition of RU Sirius’s Radio Show is online — and the guest this week is me!
Link, MP3 Link