The Copyright Alliance was hoping to make its point about the threat to copyrighted works and their creators from digital piracy Monday with the example of Stephanie Meyer, author of the wildly popular Twilight book series.
Meyer’s partial manuscript for the next installment of the series, Midnight Sun, was illegally posted and circulated, with the author saying late last week that the book was on indefinite hold, and that she wasn’t sure she would be able to finish it at all..
"Just because someone buys a book or movie or song, or gets a download off the Internet, doesn’t mean that they own the right to reproduce and distribute it," she wrote on her blog. Unfortunately, with the Internet, it is easy for people to obtain and share items that do not legally belong to them. No matter how this is done, it is still dishonest. This has been a very upsetting experience for me, but I hope it will at least leave my fans with a better understanding of copyright and the importance of artistic control."
But the line from her blog that could leave the biggest impression on kids about protecting copyright was the following. "I feel too sad about what has happened to continue working on Midnight Sun," she said, "and so it is on hold indefinitely."
Believe me, that news will not sit well with my own daughter, Virginia, who is willing to pay out of her own pocket to get the books from the store rather than wait in the library queue.
If anyone out there still believes creators are not victims when their works are circulated online against their will," said Copyright Alliance Executive Director Patrick Ross in a blog posting Tuesday, "I challenge you to defend what has happened to Ms. Meyer.”
Alliance members include the major studios, media companies, sports leagues and publishers (including B&C parent Reed Elsevier), who are concerned about protecting their TV shows, movies, books and other intellectual property from piracy, and in educating the public about the difference between fair and unfair use of copyrighted works.