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ARGH again. [Sep. 1st, 2009|01:15 pm]
[Current Mood |frustrated]

You're tired of this topic.  I'm really tired of this topic.

So this morning I set out to find, claim, and assert rights to what I fondly hoped were the last bits of my stuff that Google should not use.

There's a Baen book entitled Armageddon, edited by David Drake and Billie Sue Mosiman, in which I have a story, "The Last Battle."

I hadn't been able to find my copy, but my husband did (it was in "his" cabinet...!)  so I entered all the info from the book (title, my name, date, ISBN) only to be told that the ISBN is not valid.

Yes, dimwits, the ISBN exists, it's on the stinkin' book.  Back cover and copyright page.   If that's not "valid," what the heck is?   The search function can't find the book (the search function can't find most also doesn't believe that Easton Press books exist.)   So I did what I've done for other anthologies I don't have to hand (hey--I get only one copy and after 20 years they sometimes go astray) and went to Amazon to hunt it up.  Amazon doesn't have much info about it, not even the ISBN, but something called an ASIN.  And if you want to pay $75 for a copy of the mass market paperback, you can.   Will Google take that ASIN?  Do hogs have feathers?  Of course it won't.  I then take the time to search the Baen website, where I can't find the book listed by title the catalog.

So I have a book in my hand (well, beside the keyboard at the moment) that Google thinks doesn't exist, that Baen has forgotten exists, and my story is in there, ripe for the plucking, even though it's also in my own anthology Moon Flights, because Google doesn't care that it's the same story--if I don't plug every single tiny hole Google won't even pretend to pay attention to my copyright.   (Reminder--my copyright for the story "The Last Battle" covers the last battle in every situation.)

On the good side, while discovering four of my anthologies hidden behind other paperwork in his cabinet, my husband found an anthology and story I'd forgotten until then--Warrior Princesses and the story "My Princess"--which aren't on the list on my website.  That will be remedied shortly.


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[User Picture]From: jimhines
2009-09-01 07:03 pm (UTC)
In a just universe, we would be able to bill Google for every hour we've wasted dealing with this crap.

I tried to claim one of my stories using their "Unknown" option since I don't have page numbers in front of me. It spits back an error message. I guess they're just taunting us with that option, and you're not supposed to actually use it.

Urge to strangle...rising....
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-09-01 07:04 pm (UTC)
March on their corporate headquarters? Petition?

Nothing media based would work--the anti-copyright crowd have everyone who isn't in the barrel convinced that the barrel is a gold-plated, mink-lined luxury condo.
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[User Picture]From: silverbackbutch
2009-09-01 07:08 pm (UTC)
Makes me want to go tilting at Google's windmills....
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-09-01 08:18 pm (UTC)
I don't want to tilt at them. I want to drop the publicity equivalent of high-explosives on them. Barrages of artillery from afar kind of publicity.

I lack the publicity firepower.

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[User Picture]From: meakerc
2009-09-01 07:34 pm (UTC)

contacting google

for the most part I like google and believe they have good intentions. I'm getting the impression that they did not think through the impact of their approach on all existing copyright holders and could stand to be better informed. Perhaps they could use a nicely written complaint... after poking around a bit... I'm aiming to use Contact Us off the

thought I'd share in case anyone else was similarly inclined.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-09-01 08:06 pm (UTC)

Re: contacting google

Thanks. Well, it's been obvious from day one that they didn't think through their position with respect to copyright and copyright holders...I'm not sure being better informed than having people suing you for copyright violation will help, but I'll try. AFTER I finish claiming my works using their forms, because there's a hard deadline for that.

Otherwise they assume I've agreed to let them do whatever they want.
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[User Picture]From: eir_de_scania
2009-09-01 07:38 pm (UTC)
This is just sick. If Google want to publish still copyrighted material it should be their ¤%&¤% duty to find the author and ask for their permission.

Except, of course, the whole situation is ludicrous. Why should any author want to give away their work, getting nothing in return?
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-09-01 08:09 pm (UTC)
Well...I've given things away, and I've allowed the use of things for specific purposes without payment (e.g. a story to be reprinted in a limited-circulation newsletter.) Sometimes you just do things like that. I wasn't ever paid for the plays I wrote for a community group, either.

But it was my choice. Not someone else's choice.

But yeah, Google should do their due diligence and ask writers for permission.
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From: connerybeagle
2009-09-01 07:49 pm (UTC)
Stealing Connery's LJ...

This is probably something I could do because I have fewer editions of this and that than you do, but I didn't mess with ISBNs at all. I put in my name and the book title, and Google brought up all the editions; I checked 'em as claimed.

Just in case that helps (dare I hope!). Because that sounds *awful.*

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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-09-01 08:16 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, Google didn't work that well for me. For instance, did not bring up all the editions of each book (large print Speed of Dark, any of the Easton Press editions, to name a few) and did not find most of the anthologies in which I have stories. Like most of us, the bibliography I keep has books by title--does not include a listing for each format. It shouldn't have to--the copyright covers the whole thing--but Google has digitized some of my books in their earliest OOP format and then claimed that the book was not commercially available. Well, no, the 1988 Sheepfarmer's Daughter with the typo right *there* was succeeded by a later edition with the typo removed...but it's the same story (and another typo was removed in the hc edition of the Deed.) If Google were to digitize and then distribute just one "not commercially available" format for each book (such as the large-print Speed of Dark) then they would be directly competing with the very commercially available other formats.

It's a FFTARD. Rude expression but very exact description familiar to military folks. "Rolling doughnut" for short.

Back to work. Still on the first page of actually turning things off and removing them but I think (hope) everything's claimed...oh...dagnabbit. Just looked up and realized I haven't done either of the Far Starts Wars anthologies yet. ::headdesk:: Why was I writing so much?????
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From: bdenz
2009-09-02 12:38 am (UTC)
For those of us who are nowhere NEAR as well known as you, this has been a very enlightening discussion. Thank you for taking the time during all the crap you're having to go through. There are lots of us (I suspect) lurking and learning.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-09-02 03:48 am (UTC)
One thing to learn is that corporate slogans mean diddly-squat when it comes to real life.
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[User Picture]From: comrade_cat
2009-09-02 12:47 am (UTC)
ASIN is some kind of amazon ID number. Does google need the 13-digit version of the ISBN? The same thing sometimes happens with the register program in the bookstore I work at, & sometimes I can get around it by using the other form of the ISBN. Of course, I'm not sure how you figure out the last digit change...

Good luck.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-09-02 03:50 am (UTC)
thanks to the kind soul who thought of looking at B&N, I found a 13 digit one that worked.

What I'm searching for now is the ISBN of _Siege of Arista_, ed. Bill Fawcett, published by ROC (of Penguin Group) in 1991. I can't find my copy. I would also need the page numbers of my story "In Suspect Terrain."

Also if anyone has a copy of Women at War, ed. by Lois Bujold, I need the page numbers of my story "Hand to Hand" in it.
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