Monday, April 08, 2002
In your journal you mentioned someone who put entire works many authors (including you) up at a web site. That's wrong. I've got that part of the law clear. So at what point do you get testy? I mean, on my web page I've got a quote from The Books of Magic. Is that illegal even if I cite it? More importantly would you get ticked of? I hope not, but then again it's not like you'd ever know about if I didn't send in this FAQ question anyhow. Come to think of it, I'm almost sure you won't know, even given that, so um.. what was I saying? Oh. Yes, nevermind, I've got nothing of yours quoted anywhwere, even though you're my favorite author in the world, honest.

I get testy when people put whole books or short stories or poems up on their website, without permission, especially when they know it's wrong. (A good rule of thumb. Ask yourself, if I were a publisher, and I wanted to publish this, would I have to pay for it? If the answer's yes, then don't do it.)

I'm perfectly happy with the concept of "fair use", which tends to cover extracts from a larger work; I don't mind people posting quotations (from books or stories or comics) to their hearts' content. It's not illegal, or even problematical, unless you decide that the best way to quote from Neverwhere is to scan the whole book in, and your quote is the whole of chapter ten.

How's that?