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SFWA Comes Under Fire Again for Its “Talks Like a Duck”...

Science Fiction Writers Association came under scrutiny when its e-piracy committee chair, Andrew Burt, undertook to issue thousands of copyright violation notices. When others stepped forward to take Burt to task, the e-piracy committee was disbanded and a new interim committee was formed to determine what would take its place. The new committee, chaired by author John Scalzi, served its recommendations to the SFWA including a strongly worded proclamation that Burt should not be allowed to be part of the new committee.

The SFWA responded by forming a new committee regarding copyright and placing Andrew Burt as the head of it.

Not sure how the “new” committee isn’t the old committee with just a new name. After all, if the charge is the same (dealing with issues of piracy and copyright) and the committee head is the same (Andrew Burt), then isn’t it really just the old committee? i.e., if it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, then it is still Andrew Burt’s DMCA takedown happy email box in charge?

Via Boing Boing.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Kaz Augustin
    Nov 30, 2007 @ 19:34:42

    It’s actually worse than that. If you read the Board’s recommendations here on SFWA’s site, you’ll see that it wasn’t just the head but the entire committee that was reinstated:

    Moved, (1) that per the recommendations of the Exploratory Committee, the former Electronic Piracy Committee be revived in toto under the new name “Copyright Committee” with the same members and chair (my emphasis) as when it was disbanded;

    Can SFWA do anything right?

  2. Maya Reynolds
    Dec 02, 2007 @ 08:07:02

    Prior to his going off the rails on the subject of e-piracy, I had a lot of respect for Andrew Burt. He is the founder of Critters, the sci-fi critique group, and he was part of the gang who pulled off the “Atlanta Nights” hoax that exposed PublishAmerica as the bottom feeder vanity press it is. (see Wikipedia’s entry on “Atlanta Nights” here for a description of the hoax).

    However, on the subject of e-piracy, IMHO, Burt is not even rational. This is the second time (that I’m aware of) that he’s headed up a group trying to stop what they perceive as e-piracy. I wrote about the first time in my blog of 9/5/07 here.

    The thing that surprised me was Burt’s contacting me after I blogged about him back on 11/11/05.

    So, Jane, don’t be surprised if you hear from him after your post.

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