From the it’s better to ‘Self Publish’ than ever use a publishing house archives…
We have Tim Cushing bringing us news that makes me never want to even bother to publish with these people…
This works out great for publishers, who can make irrational, unilateral decisions to pull their catalogs from platforms as a “bargaining tool,” leaving purchasers without access to their purchased goods. But publishers (including music publishers like UMG) only use the term “license” when it’s most advantageous for them. When it comes to paying authors, the terminology suddenly changes. Now it’s a “sale,” with all the disadvantages for authors that entails.
“Sales” is a historical term, meant to reference physical sales and the additional costs (printing, packaging, shipping) built into the process. Licenses — and the ebooks attached to them — have none of these costs, hence the higher payout rate. But, according to a recently-filed lawsuit, Simon and Schuster is treating ebooks like physical sales in order to pay authors lower royalties.
Lloyd Jassin of CopyLaw points out why this is worth litigating:
The distinction is significant, because the royalty rate for sales is much lower than the rate for the license of rights. If categorized as a license the author receives 50% of net receipts, rather than 25% of net typically paid to authors for the “sale” of an eBook.Source: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20160522/14454734518/author-sues-publisher-portraying-ebook-licenses-as-sales-to-pay-out-fewer-royalties.shtml
Did you notice that last part?
Authors are getting HALF of what they deserve because of some slippery language (25% instead of 50%).
That’s honestly disgusting.
It isn’t like that extra money for the publishing house isn’t going to good causes… it’s not like these people have a struggling authors fund.
That money is merely going to a different pocket than it should.
I don’t see any way to morally justify that. That’s all I have to say about that.