I'm presenting a screening of Beowulf and talking about that (and I have no doubt, everything else). And I'm kind of excited as I have never been to Oklahoma, and I will, I hope, get to look at Lafferty stuff while I am there...
Lots of people have been writing in asking me for my opinion on the proposed Orphan Copyright legislation.
Currently I'm reading http://www.copyright.gov/orphan/orphan-report.pdf and I won't have an opinion until I've finished reading it. Then I'll read everything else I can find (like this http://lessig.org/blog/2007/02/copyright_policy_orphan_works.html and the mountains of stuff up at http://www.illustratorspartnership.org/01_topics/article.php?searchterm=00185). And then I'll probably put something up here, or point to the sanest place on the web I've run across.
The only thing that most of the emails coming in on it right now have in common is the conviction that common people are being disenfranchised, and that if the legislation goes through you will now be forced to pay to register copyright on something in order to seek damages – which has, I'm afraid, always been the case. You own your copyright at the moment of creation, but, at least in the US, you still have to register it and pay the registration in order to pursue damages for copyright infringement.
(The Copyright office FAQs on this at http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-general.html#mywork are helpful and clear on it.)
[Edit to add: Hi Neil,
All the hoopla about orphan copyrights is just that -- hoopla. This post explains a lot:
I found it on Boing-Boing.
I hadn't linked to the hysterical post at http://mag.awn.com/?ltype=pageone&article_no=3605
because it was obviously hysterical and, even from the little I know about copyright, it was ill-informed. But it's nice to see it taken apart. And just as nice to see http://ursulav.livejournal.com/758643.html]
I heard you were reading at Comic-Con New York. While that would be awesome, $500+ is very steep so keep us informed on other eastern US appearances, please!
There's a party/reception for VIPs (VIPs being defined here as "people who have bought $500 tickets") at which you get a gift bag, preferred seating and I sign stuff for you. But a ticket for the actual event itself is only $20, which is much cheaper -- plus $30 for a membership to the convention on Friday (or $45 for the whole weekend).
Here's the link to get tickets at the New York Comic-Con site.
I'm planning on reading Orange, and some of The Graveyard Book.
Dear Mr. Gaiman,
With all due respect, what on earth are you thinking!
You sir, are an Englishman. Nevermind that you have seen fit to galavant over to the colonies for an adventure or three, you seem to have been taken in by those New World types.
I refer sir, to the fact that you seem to have GIVEN UP TEA!! Have you, at some moment in this overlong winter, taken leave of your senses? Think it through man! The answer is not less tea but MORE!! I suggest Assam, or failing that a pint of gin.
ENGLAND (having a cuppa).
Obviously I'm still English. If I'd become American I would have stopped drinking coffee.