NonCommercial and recovering costs

Greg London email at
Tue Jun 22 19:32:55 EDT 2004

Evan Prodromou said:
> If I had my own bookbinding machine ...

You do. It's called
Actually, its a book binding and order fullfilment machine...
You need a PDF with fonts embedded, but it can be done.
My "Impatient Perl" book is available through Lulu
and it didn't cost me any money up front.

Course, with a CC-NC license, I'm not sure if it would be cool
to leave it up on Lulu, even if you charged no royalty, since lulu
would still be making money on it. You'd probably have to upload,
order one copy for yourself, and then remove the book so no one
else purchases it. Not sure about that one.

>> Now, for my question.  Do folks on this list think it _should_ be a
>> violation of the NonCommercial license for the Internet cafe and the
>> printers to make these copies?

yes. NC is a market economy license. the point is free advertising,
free samples, to make the original author money. The idea of NC is
to give up some non-commercial rights in exchange for word of mouth
and a few actual sales. The idea is to bypass the "machine" that is
the massive book publishing industry (or music industry, or insert
industry of choice here) and to allow artists and authors a channel
to get distribution and advertising with no money up front. But the
point is for the author/artist to make money.

If they want to give it away, then they should use GNU-FDL or some
such thing.

My perl book is GNU-FDL. I'm offering it as a paperback through Lulu
more as a convenience than to make money. Plus, since it's a software
book, it can benefit from people sending in corrections and improvements
and I don't have to worry about them wanting a piece of some CC-NC action.
GNU-FDL makes that whole problem go away. You just have to be willing
to give the work away, completely.

But, then, my sci-fi book is currently All Rights Reserved until I can figure
out what to do with it. It may very well stay that way because it's not
like a work in progress piece of software. It won't benefit
much from GNU-FDL or something like that, because it is a complete, finished,
story. There is nothing that a major gift community could contribute to.

>  Many authors of books, for example, would be
> better off having someone publish and distribute their book for free,
> rather than having to pay the publisher to print it!

Did I mention Lulu is a zero-money-up-front POD publisher?
you upload a file and you pay nothing. They calculate the
production cost per book, and you decide what royalty you want
to add for yourself, giving you the final price per book.
if anyone orders your book, they send you a royalty check
every quarter, and report it to the IRS as 1099 income.

The only thing is you've got to do your own advertising,
else no one will know to buy your stuff there.

> Stories of musicians who spend tons of dollars in releasing albums is
> another case. Having someone take your work and try to sell it, with no
> risk or obligation on the creator's part, is a _net_gain_ for the
> creator! Zero income is better than a loss.

Lulu does something with music too. I'm not sure how it works.
It's no money up front, and people pay to download songs, I think.

"Impatient Perl" => Perl geek in about a week.
Available in GNU-FDL, HTML, PDF, and paperback.

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