Who stole my story?

When I was active on Myspace (I am not anymore), “Fly me to the moon” (Frank Sinatra) was deleted from my profile.

So who deleted the song? The answer is simple: greed and ignorance.

Greed that does not understand that this world has changed. Ignorance that thinks that, if the music is available for free, people are not going to buy the CD.

A] some will say :
you are rich enough to afford having your texts here for free.
It is true that I am rich (as were Frank Sinatra, and his heirs), but this is not the point. The point is that we want to first and foremost SHARE something. If you go to most of the pages, what will you see? Fantastic pictures, great blogs, amazing photos. For free. My texts are for free here. And you can reproduce them anywhere provided that you name the author.

B] The industry will say:
artists cannot survive without being paid.
But the industry is thinking on the opposite direction of our reality today. I follow Hilal on Twitter (even if she tweets once a year…). Hilal is from Turkey, but lives in Russia (and she is the main character in O Aleph, Elif in Turkey). She first read a pirate edition of The Alchemist. Hilal download the text, read it, decided to buy the book. Up to today, I have over 12.000.000 hard copies sold in Russia, and counting.

C] I also decided to create “The Pirate Coelho”, an non-official fan page that allows people to download the full texts in different languages. I am selling more books now than ever. (Where is it? Well, not difficult to find…)

D] How did all these social communities start?
At first it was just wanting to chat with another person. But chatting isn’t enough – we have to share the music, the book or the film that we love. When there was no law against it, this information was exchanged freely. Finally, when the entertainment industry caught on, the repression began.

E] Art is not an orange.
If you buy an orange and eat it, you have to buy another one, and then it makes sense that oranges should not be given for free, because the consumer consumes the product. Art is about beauty. Music is about beauty. If I visit a page and I like the music, I am sure I will buy the CD, because I want to know more about the work of the artist.

F] A woman went to a market and saw two jars.
She asked the vendor for the price:: “ten coins”, he answered.
The woman was surprised: “but one of these jars has been painted by an artist!”
The vendor replied: ” I am selling jars. Beauty has no price.”

Posted by Paulo Coelho on his blog.

I could not agree more. It is greed and ignorance that has destroyed the music industry, the film industry is going the same way and it looks like the publishing industry is fast catching up.

The music industry bleats about poor struggling artists. Since when has the music industry cared about poor struggling artists?

The music industry is a business, nothing more. It is looking for the next big hit, then on to the next.

It unfairly equates blank CD sales with lost album sales. It used to do the same with cassette sales. The film industry does the same with blank DVD sales.

These must be the only industries that treat their potential customers as criminals.

Nothing annoys me more than when I buy, yes buy, a DVD and I am forced, yes forced, to watch a video implying I am a criminal.

I am quite happy to copy CDs. That I have done so does not mean a sale as been lost, as I probably would not have bought it anyway. On the other hand, having copied it and liked it, I may go out and buy it, or maybe something else by that artist.

The publishing industry seems to be going the same way. Always on the look out for the next big blockbuster. Look at all the me-too Da Vinci Codes that suddenly appeared. We now have every Scandinavian writer being called the next Stieg Larsson.

We used to have gentleman publishers, men who knew their writers, appreciated good writing. Now, if those names exist at all, they are imprints of global corporations.

I used to occasionally write on a freelance basis for magazines, but it was such a hassle getting paid and being restricted on what to write, how many words to use, I now write for free.

My blog is a mix of what I write and other people’s work, but where I re-publish what someone else has written or created, they are always credited and a link goes to where the original may be found. All I ask if my work is reproduced, is that they show the same degree of courtesy (unless of course it is a commercial publication, and then I expect to be paid the going rate). I have had my work blatantly ripped off by the mainstream press and their lazy journalists.

Intellectual Property Rights are being abused by Big Business and the rich who can afford the lawyers and the bribes to lawmakers and politicians.

Intellectual Property Rights was intended to reward creative work, to grant a monopoly for a limited period.

But should it be used for what is discovered or found? Should life be patented? Should gene sequences that exist in nature or have formed part of a traditional practice, suddenly overnight be the private commercial property of a Global Corporation?

What we are seeing is the privatisation of our Global Commons of our Common Heritage.

We have Big Business trying to steal our cultural heritage. Who owns Snow White, the people of Europe as part of their cultural heritage or Walt Disney? http://bit.ly/e5nWqD

I first came across Paulo Coelho a couple of years ago when I came across a Lithuanian girl engrossed in one of his books. Since then I have read all, given many away to friends, even to strangers.

Are we to ban libraries, secondhand bookshops?

I wrote in this subject at the beginning of this month. I had a response from someone called Siobhan. [see Pirate Coelho/ help your community]

While I agree that it was good to release the books in Farsi, I think Paolo Coelho is being incredibly naive to think that everyone who downloads his book for free will go out and buy a copy to show the publishing industry that they have nothing to worry about from scribid type websites. It’s like after shoplifting a lemon and eating it going back and buying another lemon to show the shop that you could have paid for it all along. It’s just stupid.

It is not the same as shoplifting. Theft is to deprive someone of something. If I steal your car, you do not have the use of your car. If I copy your CD we both have the pleasure of listening to it.

Paulo Coelho has sold in Russia 12 million hardbacks and counting!

At times the claims of piracy hits unbelievable levels of hysteria as with a recent ill-informed rant in the Daily Mail. [see Google threatens to destroy not only pop sensation Adele, but Britain’s film and music industries]

Fighting the Copyright Ratchet Racket
Using trade marks to fence off the commons

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