News & Updates - August 2022
Check out the Policy Advisory Committee's monthly column, "News & Updates," rounding up news and articles of importance to writers.
Bitcoin Prices Falling
Not too long ago, Bitcoins sold for as much as $68,789.63, but prices have dropped to under $18,000.
As we have previously warned, beware of this phenomenon. This is uncharted waters, and little is known about the pitfalls or benefits of purchasing Bitcoins, NFTs, or cryptocurrency.
As you will see by clicking on the links below, Anthony Scaramucci has become a victim, and the DOJ has charged SIX people with fraud.
DOJ Charges Six with NFT Fraud
On June 30, the DOJ charged six individuals in four separate cases for a fraudulent NFT trading scheme.
Understanding Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency
Amazon – Authors Fighting Piracy
The website listed below gives detailed accounts of two authors who have lost revenue because of Amazon’s lax policy on copyright screening.
In short, here is what’s happening: Authors publish their books on Amazon, only to later discover a third party has reproduced their books and listed them on Amazon for sale. The books are visibly different in print style, quality of paper, cover, and size. There are literally two copies of the same book for sale on Amazon—one legitimate; the other, not.
If you or anyone in your orbit has experienced such piracy, report it to Amazon immediately. Keep detailed records/notes of your encounter with Amazon. Also, contact RWA with a detailed account of your experience if Amazon does not respond favorably to your complaints.
Copyright Office - No New Copyright Protection
Bucking a legal trend in Europe, the United States Copyright Office recently recommended against adopting additional copyright-like protections for news publishers that would require online news aggregators to pay publishers for news content shared on their platforms.
Disability in Publishing
This organization began on Twitter; founded by and for disabled publishing professionals late last year; officially launched in July.
Mergers & Acquisitions
Astra Acquisition — Astra Publishing House acquired sci-fi/fantasy publisher DAW Books.
RBMedia — RBMedia acquired Upfront Books. They work with publishers, self-published authors, and literary estates.
CAA (Creative Artists Agency) — CAA acquired ICM. ICM is valued at $750 million.
DOJ v. Penguin Random House — DOJ’s suit to block Penguin from acquiring Simon & Schuster is set to begin trial on August 1, 2022.
DOJ v. Filippo Bernardini — Bernardini is being prosecuted for stealing a manuscript. Judge McMahon adjourned the case until September 10.
Hachette, HarperCollins, Wiley, and Penguin v. Internet Archive — The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is defending Internet Archive against a lawsuit which threatens its Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) program.
Canada Hockey, L.L.C. d/b/a Epic Sports, Michael J. Bynum v. Texas A&M Athletic Department, Alan Cannon, Lane Stephenson — Canada Hockey, L.L.C. has filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court in their appeal of a copyright case against Texas A&M University and a pair of school officials.
Petition Asks SCOTUS to Clarify Takings Clause in Context of Copyright Infringement - by IPWatchdog.com
— Sales are down all across the board.
Comic and Graphic Novels
— sales have increased by 62% in both the U.S. and Canada.
— Authors Guild raises flag for authors on Spotify’s expansion, stating their primary concern is Spotify will pressure authors and publishers to put their books into a subscription-based system.
Distribution and Supply Chain
— Paper shortages are affecting the entire publishing world and are now forcing magazine publishers to offer digital editions, namely, People and Better Homes & Gardens.
Important Note: Because the pandemic has affected everything we do, and because of cargo/container ships’ difficulty making it to port in a timely manner, be aware that if things don’t get any better this could affect your Christmas purchases this year.
Shop early. Very early.
More than 250 employees of HarperCollins announced they will strike on July 20th. They want higher pay, improved family leave benefits, a greater commitment to diversifying staff, and stronger union protection.
Harper Children’s and Clarion Books have launched Allida Books. The imprint will launch in early 2023 and its mission is “to encourage marginalized writers and artists to explore stories they are most passionate about and to craft narratives that defy expectations.”
Allida’s first titles will be You are Here: Connecting Flights
– a middle grade exploration of contemporary Asian American identity; An Impossible Thing to Say
, a YA novel-in-verse by rapper Arya Shahi; and Secrets
, a middle grade graphic novel by Cindy Chang.
Ingram Content Group UK will expand their operations to compete as a trade wholesaler of books and will launch their full service in September 2022.
Artificial Intelligence to Help Write a Novel?
Amit Gupta and James Yu are writers who have created an artificial way to speed up the writing process.
is an artificial intelligence app that acts like your brainstorming buddy, or better yet, like your beta reader without the guilt of infringing on a real human being’s time. This writing tool offers contextual writing suggestions and creative inspiration.
Sudowrite uses, as its base, GPT-3, the latest version of a deep-learning neural network that can auto-generate text.
Native American Authors
This month, we're spotlighting two books written by Native American writers.
written by Mourning Dove (Christine Quintasket) is a 1927 Western love story of a biracial girl stuck in the world of two cultures: that of the Anglo ranchers and that of the full-blood reservation Indians. This internal conflict is personified by the two men who come into Cogewea’s life, the Easterner Alfred Densmore and the cowboy James LaGrinder.
Mourning Dove was Christine Quintasket’s pen name. In the Salish language, her name is Humishuma. She was the first Native American woman to publish a novel. She was born in Idaho in 1880, and the daughter of Joseph Quintasket (Okanogan) and Lucy Stukin (Colville). She had a sporadic formal education and mainly worked as a migrant field laborer in the Pacific Northwest. In 1912 she landed in Portland, Oregon where she began writing a western romance novel loosely based on her own life.
Her Land, Her Love
, written by Dr. Evangeline Parsons Yazzie, is a historical, multicultural romance and is the first of three Native American novels that follow a Navajo family, beginning with the 1864 deportation of the Navajo people. The story tells of the disrupted lives that are scattered across the United States and how only their love keeps them together in frightening and dangerous times.
Evangeline Parsons Yazzie was born in Arizona in 1953. She died on May 22, 2022, at 69 years of age. She was raised on a Navajo reservation in the Arizona community of Hardrock. Dr. Yazzie was an author and Professor Emerita of Navajo at Northern Arizona University (NAU). She obtained a Masters of Arts degree in Bilingual Multicultural Education (NAU) and a Doctorate degree in Education (NAU).
Famous Quotes and Advice
"If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster." -- Isaac Asimov
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