Science Fiction Writers Of America: Enemies Of Art And The Future

September 1st, 2007 | researchmaterial

I’m not a member of SFWA, neither being American nor recognised as a science fiction writer by its membership requirements. Nor, I think, would I want to be. The calibre of its executive officers has been questioned before, when an ex-VP called those who put their work on the internet scabs. The current VP appears to have outdone that, according to Cory:

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America has used the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to fraudulently remove numerous non-infringing works from Scribd, a site that allows the general public to share text files with one another in much the same way that Flickr allows its users to share pictures.

Included in the takedown were: a junior high teacher’s bibliography of works that will excite children about reading sf, the back-catalog of a magazine called Ray Gun Revival, books by other authors who have never authorized SFWA to act on their behalf, such as Bruce Sterling, and my own Creative Commons-licensed novel, “Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom.”

Ironically, by sending a DMCA notice to Scribd, SFWA has perjured itself by swearing that every work on that list infringed a copyright that it represented. Since this is not the case, SFWA has exposed itself to tremendous legal liability…