Plague Diary, Day 17

A legit brouhaha broke out across the internet recently when the Internet Archive announced it was making access to 1.4 million ebooks for free. These are digitized works donated to the nonprofit by libraries and digital institutions. This resource will be available until June 30 or the end of current situation, whichever comes last.

Sounds like a nice thing to do, right? Well…not if you’re one of the authors whose work is now being distributed for free without their permission. Do a quick search on Twitter and you’ll find hundreds of writers railing against this. Rightfully so, as far as I’m concerned.

Offering free access to your work is a time-tested method of gaining exposure. When and how to do that, however, should always be up to the content’s creator, even in extreme circumstances like a global pandemic. Many authors already have released some of their work for free or at a discount and many more are planning to do so; the actions of the Internet Archive threaten to undercut everything content creators are doing on their own. No bueno.

What else?

An interesting side effect of hiring young people for low-salaried, entry level positions is that they typically lack the up-to-date technology required to work at home effectively. This is obviously not their fault, and I would argue it’s a shortcoming of disaster preparedness planning at the businesses that employ them.

If Joe Exotic somehow finds his way out of jail in the next year or two (I’d lay 3 to 1 odds on that), guaranteed his next stop is the adult entertainment industry.

I divorced the NFL a few years ago, but now that Tom Brady’s gone I find myself interested in the Patriots again and I’m planning to watch at least the first few games to see what the team looks like without him.

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