Thursday, July 28, 2011

Audio Book Copyright Issue..

I was sent an email today, normally I wouldn't post it. However I want it to be known that I have not broken any laws or over stepped any boundaries. I would also like it to be known that I would never purposely crush an Author out of making a sale. The purpose of a giveaway is to draw attention to that specific book so the word spreads about this book. Most books are given to me by the Publishers and the Authors themselves which were intended for me to read, review and/or giveaway. Otherwise it is a book I have purchased myself.

Paul Said...
What is your understanding of authors' copywrite in the context of you givingaway audio books. You might consider that it often takes many years of hard work for no pay before an author is lucky enough to have his/her book published. How do you think authors should be paid?

Some basic Copyright Laws and information...

The U.S. Copyright Act grants certain exclusive rights to the owner of a copyright in a work. These exclusive rights are different from the rights given to a person who merely owns a copy of the work. For example, when a person purchases a book at a bookstore, they have received a property right in a copy of a copyrighted work (namely, the book). The book owner may then resell the book, or even destroy it, since they own the book. However, the book's owner did not receive any copyright rights when they purchased the book. All copyright rights are held by the book's author until the author specifically transfers them. Consequently, the book owner may not make any copies of the book, since the right to copy a work is one of the exclusive rights granted under the Copyright Act. This distinction allows a copyright owner to sell copies of a work, or even the original work itself (such as a sculpture), without forfeiting her rights under the Copyright Act.

The Copyright Act grants five rights to a copyright owner, which are described in more detail below.

The rights are not without limit, however, as they are specifically limited by "fair use" and several other specific limitations set forth in the Copyright Act (see the BitLaw discussion on Fair Use for more information on these limitations).

The distribution right grants to the copyright holder the exclusive right to make a work available to the public by sale, rental, lease, or lending. This right allows the copyright holder to prevent the distribution of unauthorized copies of a work. In addition, the right allows the copyright holder to control the first distribution of a particular authorized copy. However, the distribution right is limited by the "first sale doctrine", which states that after the first sale or distribution of a copy, the copyright holder can no longer control what happens to that copy. Thus, after a book has been purchased at a book store (the first sale of a copy), the copyright holder has no say over how that copy is further distributed. Thus, the book could be rented or resold without the permission of the copyright holder.
Congress has enacted several limitations to the first sale doctrine, including a prohibition on the rental of software and phonorecords.

Not a single book or Audio book I have given away has been copied or has been distributed in any illegal fashion. All Audio books have been new still in the packaging and have not been altered. The Audio books I have given away have all been on CD and have not been E-Files.

I do understand the struggle Authors endure and I strive to make a difference in spreading the word about their books. I have managed to meet and work with so many wonderful Authors. Why would I try to corrupt the book world that I know and love. I do not and will not feel guilty for giving away ORIGINAL Copies of books and Audio books. In other words these are not forged, copied or bootlegs. Especially if directly given to my by the Authors and Publishers. There is No Piracy involved.

I believe Authors deserve every penny they can get, most deserve more than they receive. That is why Publishers and Authors seek my blog out on a daily basis to post reviews and hold giveaway with a book they would like to get more attention. Thus bringing it to more readers attention. Which leads to book sales.

If I have done something of the ill Natured, Please let me know in a more explanatory way so I can rectify any issues. As I would not intentionally do so.

I do hope this clears up any and all issues that may have come forward.

Calling All Book Bloggers... What's your stance/take on this situation?


Melissa @ Mel's Books and Info said...

I have always thought that giveaways help promote the book and increase the public awareness of the title. Whether it be an audio book giveaway or a printed book giveaway. In many cases I have purchased copies of the book specifically to giveaway--I have even had the authors themselves sign the work (not audiobooks granted) and they were thrilled to sign them and have me give them away on my blog because it meant more publicity. As long as the copy wasn't bootlegged and you have the permission of the publisher or author (if they sent you the item) or you purchased it yourself--I don't see anything wrong with giving a copy away. Interesting post.

aLmYbNeNr said...

I completely agree with what you and Melissa said. Giveaways are a form of promotion and I have not yet met any author or publisher who has had a problem with them. This guy who emailed you...obviously he had no idea what he was talking about.

Btw, I'm not sure how recent your layout is, but I'm just noticing it (I usually stay on Reader). It's really beautiful!

Sarah said...

I'm confused. Someone had a problem with you hosting a giveaway for an audiobook of theirs? Maybe I'm reading this wrong. I can't imagine there being anything wrong with that given it's more promotion for the author/publisher.

Mocha ღ Latte said...

Giveaways are a way of promotion for both the novel and the author. I don't see how it takes anything away from anyone other than your spending the money to actually ship the item to said chosen giveaway winners.

So long as you are not;
-illegally reproducing the novel or audio book
-and actually purchasing it and owning said copy of the novel/audiobook
then there is no problem at all in giving it away to anyone. However sending mass copies of a single ebook that was only purchased once is illegal (if I'm making any sense) though I'm pretty sure that isn't the case in this situation.

Misha said...

How can giveaways be illegal? On the contrary, they're only helping promoting the book further. I really don't get what's wrong in that.

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

I give books to my friends all the time. This is the same thing. Shame on that person for sending you that email without doing their own due diligence.

Great post and great job addressing the situation.

Juju at Tales of said...

Doesn't sound like Paul "gets it". Giving away an audio is like giving away any book. It's one copy being passed on in the hopes of bringing recognition to the book.

Sounds like you did the right thing highlighting what happened to you.

Kate said...

You've done nothing wrong, illegal or immoral. I don't know what book ink Paul's been sniffing, but he obviously hasn't bothered to look through your site before shooting off a disgruntled email.

Cherry said...

Is this Paul character real anyway? Or is he just yanking your chain and gets his kicks that way... because no sane person would think you're ripping off authors or anybody, by doing an honest giveaway.

Autumn @ From the TBR Pile said...

I agree with Juju. I don't think Paul "gets it". All of us book bloggers are giving away hardcopies of books and audiobooks usually provided to us by the publishers or authors themselves for the purpose of publicity.

I'd say do the dusting off your shoulder bit and do your thing.

Zibilee said...

I think it's ridiculous for someone to get themselves all upset about a giveaway. The publishers are usually the ones to supply the materials for giveaway, and by hosting one you are raising awareness of the book and getting more people excited about, and exposed to a book that they might not have heard much about. I think getting upset about a giveaway just speaks to the ignorance one has about such practices. I can't see what the point of the email was, other then to stir up trouble and upset you.

Leah (aka Mary_not_Martha) said...

Obviously this guy hasn't spent much time on your blog or he'd know you have nothing but the best interests in mind for authors!

jackie b central texas said...

LIz I agree with all the other responders you have done nothing wrong in giving away a book whether it be audio or hard copy that is brand new and either provided by a publisher or bought by yourself to give away. There are so many of us out there doing giveaways every day, we are not pirating anything we are just like you promoting, sharing what we love so that maybe just maybe that copy or copies given away gets the author in question a sale down the road for another book they wrote... I have been doing a lot of giveaways with Indie authors whose book was sent to me as a file in an email. When the giveaway is over the person who wins gets their own digital copy of the book directly from the author so there is no piracy there either... Do what you do, knowing that it is helping not hurting authors Liz!