Mike_Beggs

Mike_Beggs

14p

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438 weeks ago @ overland literary journal - Australian literature ... · 0 replies · +1 points

Woohoo! Cheers guys!

439 weeks ago @ overland literary journal - another nail in the co... · 0 replies · +1 points

I Should Never Have Let Spinner In
"John Howard, Prime Minister" by David Barnett and Pru Goward

439 weeks ago @ overland literary journal - another nail in the co... · 0 replies · +1 points

The Undead Are Many
Dead Kelly

439 weeks ago @ overland literary journal - responding to the Prod... · 0 replies · +1 points

Great post Jeff. I totally agree that the terms of debate ought not be dictated by the Productivity Commission, but also not by the idea that the best way of supporting local publishing is through protectionism.

It's unfortunate that writers and publishers feel the need to argue for what is a rather convoluted way of supporting their lives and activities. Ultimately the argument for continued protectionism rests on the need to allocate enough social resources for their survival. Why can't they just say that and call for more direct means of doing that, like direct state aid?

The stuff Bernard Keane dredged up in Crikey from the writers' submissions - like Peter Carey's sneering comments about 'Excel-sheet readers' - really does look pretty foolish. (This is about the only time I've ever agreed with Bernard Keane, by the way.) It uses anti-economics rhetoric in support of what is really a completely market-oriented way of dealing with the underlying problem, that commodification does not do a good job of allocating resources where they are needed.

The Productivity Commission argument that protectionism is not a fair or efficient way of doing what it's supposed to, is right, even if - as Sophie hilariously showed in her own quotes - their own rhetoric makes them walk right into Peter Carey's caricature. The problem is, of course, that the Productivity Commission has no intention of replacing the status quo with some more direct way of supporting writers, editors, etc. But that's what we ought to push for.

440 weeks ago @ overland literary journal - two writers · 1 reply · +1 points

Yeah those guys are great. It seems to me Australia's own Guy Rundle is in the same genre.

442 weeks ago @ overland literary journal - Australian places defi... · 1 reply · +1 points

Christina Stead's Seven Poor Men of Sydney is an obvious one, heaps of still recognisable locations from the northern cliffs to what's now Chinatown and Sydney University. I read it when I was fairly new to the city and it prefigured the way I ended up getting some places set in my head.

442 weeks ago @ overland literary journal - There Goes the Neighbo... · 0 replies · +1 points

It's a great book from a really thoughtful exhibition.

443 weeks ago @ overland literary journal - copyrights and wrongs · 3 replies · +1 points

Easy digital reproducability is an accomplished fact, whatever you think of it. The question so far as the artist/writer/whatever's livelihood is concerned is whether to push for police action, which is doomed to be arbitrarily punitive and ineffective, or to push for some alternative way to support the creator of reproducible works.

As for who's making a living off whose creativity: everyone's dependent on other people's creative labour. Even artists eat, live in houses, wear clothes, travel in trains, and so on. The issue here is a breakdown in how capitalism manages that interdependence so far as artists etc. are concerned. And anyway, as Jeff pointed out, the vast majority of them have never got that great a deal from their "fundamental right to ownership and control of the work".

443 weeks ago @ overland literary journal - copyrights and wrongs · 0 replies · +1 points

Yeah, I didn't mean academic publishing companies, they're getting pushed out of the loop and that's a good thing. I mean the separation of pay to the author from book sales. Of course there's no way for non-academic writers/artists/musicians/editors/designers etc. to replicate that on their own - there would have to be some socialised way of paying the workers - as discussed in the thread last time this came up.

443 weeks ago @ overland literary journal - copyrights and wrongs · 0 replies · +1 points

There is an interesting difference between academic and non-academic writers (and it's not the one Gleitzman implies): academic salaries are not really related to book sales. The (very high) pricing of their books is based on the fact that libraries are the market. The professional motivation to publish books relates to influence/citations rather than sales. Consequently, academics generally aren't much fussed about piracy of their works, and are often the source of the pdfs that turn up on the web. (Another contributing factor is the ease of access to scanners in postgrad centres.)____The academic model might actually point a way forward for publishing in general in a world where the commodity form fails to allocate resources to reproduce the labour involved in production (writing, editing, typesetting).