Thursday, October 13, 2011
Activism among writers has a long and proud history. We're good at fighting for others rights. Non-fiction writers are most frequently given credit for prodding our social consciences, but fiction writers, too, have a proud history of doing the same in ways that are equally if not more forceful. Victor Hugo, Harriet Beecher Stowe, John Steinbeck and James Baldwin are good examples of this.
But what about our own rights? How well do we stack up on this front?
A.C. Crispin, Victoria Strauss and Richard C. White of Writer Beware® are personal heroes of mine for their work in keeping us informed about those who would pirate or infringe upon our rights. The SFWA, MWA and Horror Writers have shone marvelous backbone in the fight, too, as organizations that actively stand up for their members. The National Writers Union, UAW Local 1981/ AFL-CIO not only has helped me spearhead the effort to get pirating publishers to be investigated and convicted under state Consumer Fraud laws, but they also provide grievance redress.
I also want to thank all of you out there who have respectfully written to Mr. Tom Irons of the Indiana Attorney General's Office, Consumer Fraud Division to prosecute David Boyer for his theft of so many of our works, putting his own name on them and then selling them for his personal profit. You are truly friends of every honest writer out there.
But for those of you who haven't written Mr. Irons yet, why not?
If this method of using Consumer Fraud legislation against plagiarizing publishers is again successful in Indiana, then when you need a method to go after a publisher who has plagiarized you, it will be there for you, too. You will be able to file a complaint against the crooked publishing company in the state where they stole your work.
We've all got to help each other stand up to these plagiarizing publishers.
We're so good at sticking up for the rights of others, now it's time to stand up for our own rights.