Friday News: California autograph lawsuit, Amazon adds booksellers, Marley Dias, and the NYT discovers open marriage
Marin’s Book Passage files federal suit over autograph law – A California bookstore known for myriad author events and multiple locations has filed suit over the California law aimed at selling autographed items. The statute used to be specifically focused on regulating the sale of sports memorabilia, but was recently expanded to encompass all autographed merchandise selling for more than $5. While bookstores were apparently not targeted under the law, it does not explicitly exempt them, either.
Dealers who fail to document and certify the items in accordance with the law could face damages and civil penalties of up to 10 times the damages, as well as legal fees. . . .Petrocelli’s lawsuit said the amendment places an unlawful burden on the free exchange of ideas. Book Passage holds about 700 events a year in which authors discuss their books and sign copies.
“As a result of this newly amended law, Book Passage, and its owner, Bill Petrocelli, are threatened with onerous compliance obligations and potentially ruinous fines if they continue to sell autographed books,” Book Passage’s lawyer, Anastasia Boden of the Pacific Legal Foundation, wrote in the lawsuit.
The law also unfairly exempts pawn brokers and some internet retailers from the law, the suit alleges. – Marin Independent Journal
Amazon has made a tiny change that’s great for readers and bad news for book publishers – So apparently Amazon is now allowing third-party booksellers to be featured on the website with the same prominence as Amazon itself. Not surprisingly, some people are up in arms, because this is one more way that publishers may not be getting paid for books. Because these third-party sellers may be selling used book as new. Or something. Although I do hope people pay attention when buying, so they know that Amazon is not the direct seller.
On March 1, the e-commerce giant quietly made a change that allows third-party booksellers to become the default option for any new books you’re trying to buy. This is how the rest of the site operates, and it means you’ll see cheaper options for new books right away, without having to dig around in the already very crowded UX of Amazon’s product pages. – Quartz
#1000BlackGirlBooks Founder Marley Dias on Writing Her Own Book and Inspiring Other Young Girls – A great interview with Marley Dias, who, at 12, is beautifully poised, articulate, and intelligently reasoned. Her comments on juggling school and writing are especially instructive. Bring it on, Marley!
Can you tell me a bit about the book you’re writing?
Marley Dias Gets It Done — And So Can You is a book about how girls who are 10 and up — and everyone who is 10 and up, basically — can use their gifts and talents to help the world in a way that’s unique to them. So I’ve been able to use the #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign to promote diversity, because I saw a problem that I resonated with. I want to be able to show other kids how they can do that, and it’s not as difficult as it seems. . . .
In what ways do you hope to inspire other young girls?
I want young girls to know that their passions are important and that they should pursue them, regardless of whether or not they think that they’ll be successful in terms of the mainstream. I’m a lucky person to be able to be successful in media and stuff, but I don’t think that’s something every person should aspire to. I think you can use yourself and your community as a more important resource, and you should use and evaluate and uplift more than just what you see on your phone or what you see on TV. – New York Magazine
Is an Open Marriage a Happier Marriage? – Despite the New York Times’ tendency to act like it has discovered certain long-existing social trends, some of their in-depth profiles are pretty interesting. This piece is no exception, in part because of the way its author, Susan Dominus, becomes more and more personally engaged in the subject vis a vis her own marriage and (seemingly) previously unchallenged value system. In many ways it seems self-indulgent, but it’s also, perhaps, inevitable, given the still-powerful social circumscription of romantic relationships, which we even continue to see in the romance genre.
The insistent need for security stifles couples’ sexual excitement, Stephen Mitchell argued, but it also builds the relationship on false premises — the deluded idea that your partner is knowable and entirely safe. Clinging to that illusion, neither partner really sees the other, or even acknowledges that the other has hidden, private selves. Mitchell ended his book offering the hope that commitment, under the right circumstances, could yield romance and passion — not through contrived “novelty” but through an embrace of the risks inherent in building a shared life. . . .
Some of the couples I followed as they forged their open marriages seemed to be reaching out, systematically but also unpredictably, to make transparent the vulnerability that was there all along. Implicit in the arrangement was the understanding that each person has an alternative self; and yet it was all in the name of the kind of committed relationship that Mitchell believed would yield the most happiness and personal growth. “You are the known way leading always to the unknown,” wrote Wendell Berry in a poem called “The Country of Marriage,” “and you are the known place to which the unknown is always leading me back.” – New York Times