Journal Entry

Tuesday, March 8, 2005

Fiction, Wise

So Fictionwise approached me about them selling my stories, particularly "Embracing-the-New", since it's on the Nebula Ballot.

I said yes, so if you go to my page on Fictionwise, you can buy a few stories for under 75 cents (I believe I get 30% of the take), and get "Embracing-the-New" for free (for now), in lots of pretty formats for your computer or PDA. There are three up now, and more will be coming in the next few weeks.

I had a moment of concern that this might be confusing to readers, because "Embracing-the-New" is under a Creative Commons license (along with "The Orange" and "Start the Clock"), and I didn't want people to buy it from Fictionwise, and later feel burned because they could download it for free online. But it then occurred to me that Fictionwise is simply acting like Red Hat, doing packaging and sorting work on open sourced information, and charging for the service.

Fictionwise was very accomodating about releasing me from the exclusivity parts of their contract. They are even distributing the Creative Commonsed stories with the Creative Commons licensing information, and they have enabled copying and printing and all that stuff (because I don't want to be in the position of selling people busted PDF's that don't print).

Let me know what you think.

Posted by benrosen at March 8, 2005 02:27 PM | Up to blog

My only concern is that your current CC license says NonCommercial, but since Finctionwise is making money selling the story, does that make it commercial? Then again, I guess it doesn't matter. I'm still very new to licensing, so forgive me! I guess, the fact that you have a CC license for the story here doesn't mean that the story can't be published somewhere else under a different license? It seems a bit confusing, but perhaps you could relate more how this might work if more than one publisher wanted to publish your work and perhaps each might allow for different restrictions on works that appear in their publications?

Posted by: Levi Wallach at March 8, 2005 03:05 PM

An excellent question, Levi.

The CC license for "Embracing-the-New" says "you may reproduce this for free if you are doing so for a non-commercial purpose; if, however, you are making money off of it, you have to give me some (or at least get my permission)."

It doesn't say "Embracing-the-New" can't be distributed commercially. Fictionwise is distributing it commercially; their usage does not fall under the terms of the CC license; hence, they have to make a separate deal with me, which they did.

They can't rescind rights that I have granted. Anyone is free to distribute "Embracing-the-New". If they want to read it on a PDA, or if they value the collaborative filtering part of the Fictionwise site (e.g. they never heard of me but find the story through ratings or Fictionwise promotions), it may be worth it to them to pay FW money to get a FW copy of the story. That has no bearing, though, on their right to redistribute the story noncommercially, with attribution.

Posted by: Benjamin Rosenbaum at March 8, 2005 03:16 PM
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