July 8th, 2011 by jdsawyer
Dropbox keeps trying. They’ve changed their TOS again–if you’re watching and waiting for them to get their act in order, check the link and see where they’re at now.
Meanwhile, Gigacom has posted an interesting analysis about what the public reaction to Dropbox might mean for the future of online privacy.
Finally, a reader wrote in privately to recommend the iTwin as a potential alternative to Dropbox. From my once-over, it looks to me like i’ll be very useful for a limited subsection of Dropbox users, and fairly idiot-proof, and it certainly does get around the disadvantages of the cloud services. It’s relatively inexpensive, so if you’re looking for an alternative it’s worth checking out.
May 26th, 2011 by jdsawyer
Preface: I mentioned this in the first post in this series, but because I’m going to be talking about some specific points of law in this post, I need to reiterate: I am not a lawyer, am not qualified to dispense legal advice, and none of what follows should be considered as legal advice. All of what follows is opinion based on experience and on layperson’s research, and you should always consult a lawyer of an appropriate specialty when negotiating an IP-related contract (especially when dealing with a company that can afford bigger lawyers than you can).
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Previous chapter: Market Awareness
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If God had a lounge singer in the 40s, 50s, or 60s, I’d lay you even odds that it would have been Peggy Lee. Along with Etta James, Billie Holiday, and Rosemary Clooney, she had a glorious, smoky, rich alto that wrapped naturally around horns and clarinets to make sounds that were the aural equivalent of chocolate.
Peggy Lee had a good friend named Walter, and Walter need a singer/songwriter for his new project. Walter did good work, and he was a good friend, so Peggy gave him a good rate, and in 1955 the result of that project hit the country like Christmas. It was a little movie called Lady and the Tramp.
It was a great collaboration, and they had a good contract for the time (Peggy and her cowriter retained rights to “transcriptions” such as record albums and sheet music–a smart move). Everything might have been peachy for life, if Sony hadn’t screwed up the world with home video.
Videotapes have been around pretty much since the Big Bang (or at least since 1951) in broadcast, but nobody really expected that it would wind up being something people used at home any more than the early computer manufacturers thought that your phone would contain twice the computing power that sent men to the moon (which some of them now do). Even if it were technically possible, why would anyone want home video when they had, you know, lives? And television? A professional toy like video tape wouldn’t appeal to a mass market–or such was the thinking. Sony, by the 1970s the world leader in miniaturization, disagreed. In 1975 they introduced Betamax, the first home video format.
It took a few years for it to catch on, but (thanks largely to the porn industry) by the 1980s home video was THE thing (and in the years since, this trend has only deepened with more formats being released). Studios started making their bread-and-butter money from video rentals and sales, rather than from theatrical exhibition. The only people who had a problem with this were the artists who weren’t getting paid for the work they’d done for theatrical exhibition–but most of them just grumbled. Not Peggy Lee. Peggy Lee pulled out her lawyers and said “Sic ‘em.”
Continue reading ‘Principles of Contracts: Everybody Knows Peggy Lee (or should)’
May 17th, 2011 by jdsawyer
As I get to the very end of writing Free Will, it’s time to wrench open the Antithesis taps again.
My friend Danny Schade has now soundtracked two and a half books for me over the last couple years. For Predestination, he composed upwards of nine hours of music, and it made such an impression that people started immediately clamoring for versions they could listen to without the story talking over it.
A year ago, Schadey came out to ArtisticWhispers where he and I brought in veteran producer Mary Mason, and the three of us proceeded to rework the music into an album. In that first glorious weekend, we culled those original nine hours down to nineteen emblematic tracks with a running time target of between fifty minutes and an hour. Then, over the year since, in stolen moments, Schadey composed and recorded new material and arrangements at his home base in Colorado, while we here in California re-mixed, produced, sweetened, polished, and sometimes re-orchestrated the original material, blending the old with the new to bring Schadey’s audio vision snapping to the fore. The result is one we now proudly present to you, for the first time anywhere: A one hour instrumental genre-spanning rock opera. Predestination: The Soundtrack.
Available now as a DRM-free MP3 download.
Also, don’t forget that the novel which started it all is now available as an ebook, with all new scenes and other material to deepen the world and set you up for Free Will, which is coming in June. Get it now for Kindle, Nook, and for all other readers on Smashwords. And, of course, if you like the artwork, you can get a signed and numbered limited edition poster print for your private gallery.
…It isn’t whether you win or lose. It’s how you rig the game.