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Self-publishing News: What CASE Means For Indies

Self-publishing News: What CASE means for indies

Dan Holloway head and shoulders photo

ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway

In this week’s Self-Publishing News, ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway fills us in on the latest with what the CASE Act would mean for indie authors seeking to pursue copyright infringement claims and more global print on demand options. 

One of the things I love most is talking to the public about the things that excite me. As a writer, talks and performances and signings have always been my favourite perk of the job. And this last week I’ve had indulged twice. I spent Saturday in the local shopping centre talking about extinction threats to the public. And on Friday night I toured Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum with 200 people teaching them memory techniques. There is so much we can do beyond Amazon ads!

Copyright & the CASE Act

We have been following the CASE Act for a long time now, and last week it came one step closer to being US law. The main purpose of CASE Act is to enable copyright owners to pursue infringements through the small claims court. It would simplify the process for seeking damages against pirates. And it would enable copyright owners without vast resources at their fingertips access to justice.

CASE (Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement) highlights one of the major differences in UK and US copyright law. One of the changes it makes is to extend punitive damages in a case where copyright has not been registered. Previously only compensatory damages (often zero) could be awarded. The cap on damages is $30,000. Where I’m based, in the UK, registering copyright makes no difference.

The move has been welcomed by the Association of American Publishers and Authors Guild. The Electronic Frontier Foundation on the other hand have called it disastrous. They point out the risk of financial damage to internet users who do nothing more than share a photo.

Libraries take the offensive

Just when we might have thought the battle between publishers and libraries had reached its peak, things got even frostier this week. First, the American Libraries Association (ALA) have said they will boycott Pan MacMillan’s ebooks. The publisher has been at the forefront the battle. It was the first to embargo new releases, and more recently to introduce metred usage of ebooks for loan.

And congress is now investigating publisher for anti-competitive practice. Under scrutiny is whether the move by all big five publishers to restrict libraries’ ability to purchase and loan ebooks amounts to anti-competitive behaviour. The ALA has delivered a report to the house judiciary committee outlining what it sees as damaging practices. And it is not just publishers’ restrictive terms they have in their sights. They also outline the damage to readers from Amazon, who refuse to make much of their digital content available under any circumstances.

More Print on Demand options

Last week we saw that the new ISBN figures from Bowker showed a growth in self-published print titles. We hypothesised this might be a result of the merger between Createspace and KDP Print making it easier to make your book available in print “because you can.” This week two stories mean that has become even easier to do. First, KDP Print has expanded its print on demand offering into Canada. And in France, the partnership between Kobo and Fnac will now offer print on demand.

It will be interesting to see if ISBN figures for self-published print on demand books keep rising next year.

Draft2Digital: Out of Google Play, into Audiobooks

Draft2Digital has had what might be described as a bellwether week. It has made two moves which are equally on trend. First it has stopped distributing its titles to Google Play. But it has replaced that service with the possibly far more useful one of allowing authors to add audiobooks to their universal links page.

Writers Game

Writers Game, coming on November 9 in Dublin, is an event that gives writers the skills they need to make the most of opportunities in other industries. Virtual reality, gaming, and augmented reality are all growing rapidly. And all crying out for storytellers. ALLi is delighted to partner with organisers to offer a discount, using the code ALLi when booking.

The CASE Act comes one step closer to becoming law & other top #selfpub news stories for #indieauthors, in one quick read, by #ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway @agnieszkasshoes #digitaleconomy #publishingopenup Click To Tweet

Over to You

How do you feel about the CASE Act? Would it help you protect your work or is it a danger to internet freedom? Let us know in the comments below.

Upcoming Conferences and Events

OCTOBER 2019

Algiers International Book Fair, 30 Oct – 9 Nov [Algiers] Sharjah International Book Fair, 30 Oct – 9 Nov [Sharjah]

NOVEMBER 2019

Writers Game, 9 Nov [Dublin] (ALLi discount)
Independent Self-publishing Authors Fair, 17 Nov [Henley-in-Arden] Sydney IndieCon, 24 Nov [Sydney] Writerfest, 22-23 Nov [Nashville] Futurebook, 25 Nov [London]

APRIL 2020

London Book Fair, 16-18 Apr [London] Self-publishing Conference, 25 Apr [University of Leicester]

Sacha Black

Sacha Black is a bestselling and competition-winning author. She writes the popular YA Fantasy Eden East novels and a series of non-fiction books that are designed to help writers develop their craft. Sacha has been a long-time resident writing coach for website Writers Helping Writers. She is also a developmental editor, wife and mum. Wesbite: www.sachablack.com

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