Free and Freedom

Tobias Buckell points out a Wired article that is amazed that something freely available on the internet can still generate money. Simple: If you want a paper copy and don't want to print it out yourself, you pay for someone else to do it for you more efficiently and aesthetically. The Baen model has already been proven successful, and Cory Doctorow followed suit (1, 2, 3 times), so why are people still amazed? More power to them. (My sincere apologies to the publishing ethics of Harlan Ellison.)

Anne Rice defends her novel on Amazon.com. I defend her defense: Writers should be able to respond in kind to reviewers--especially to those who are cruel and/or logically impaired. However, I did have a problem with this part of her argument:

"[T]he sheer outrageous stupidity of many things you've said here that actually touches my proletarian and Democratic soul.... You are interrogating this text from the wrong perspective. Indeed, you aren't even reading it.... I'm justifiably proud of being read by intellectual giants and waitresses in trailer parks, in fact, I love it, but who in the world are you?"
We should probably avoid critiquing the writer but focus on the writing, instead (whether the writer be Anne Rice or reviewer). Still, even with the logical faux pas, the controversy piques my curiosity, as I'm sure it will for others. So responding may increase sales, in addition to blood pressures.

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