NANCY: You are offering my books in electronic version free on your website. This is in violation of copyright laws. Please remove my works immediately, and send me an email to state that you have done so. Nancy Kress
PIRATE: I shall certainly consider it. And of course should start by sending me some documentary (scanned) proof that you are who you claim to be.-- The Burgomeister
NANCY: I don't know what "scanned proof" you require to stop breaking the law. meanwhile, I will turn this whole mess over to my agent.
PIRATE: That was the wrong move. I make a point never to negotiate with agents, publishers, or attorneys, all loosely grouped under the term "bottom-feeder". They cannot touch me or my library, since this is a question above all of jurisdiction.I am certainly not 'breaking the law', at least not where I live, and I resent the implication.I think you may have just blown it.
NANCY: It was not a "move" because this not a game. You do understand, don't you, that I make my living as a writer? That my stories are the product of my effort and creativity and passion? Taking them to give away is no different than taking anything from a store without permission or payment. I don't know what you do for a living but I imagine you don't do it for free.
PIRATE: The word 'move' does not necessarily imply a game: in common parlance, it also denotes an action of a general nature.But permit me to point out a fundamental error in your thinking:A text is not a physical object, so it cannot be stolen. Ownership of such an agglomeration of symbols (since 'unity' here is inapplicable) is an impossibility. The best you can do is _claim_ ownership - but anyone else can do that too. There is no legislation that can successfully govern the ether, thank heavens.I make my living, partly, as a librarian, but I don't claim ownership of my catalogue. It is there - it exists, but it is not my property. If anything, it is everyone's property - as are your texts.If you turn this over to the bottom-feeders, you will not hear from me again on this subject. I repeat, I do not do business with intermediaries and flunkies, and I resent their interference. But they are a minor irritant, nothing more - so go ahead if you must.
NANCY: Your thinking is flawed. Things which are not tangible can nonetheless belong to me. My identity is mine, for instance. And so are my stories, the result of my efforts and creativity, not yours.
And do you really imagine it would distress me to not hear from you again?
PIRATE: No, not at all. That is not what I meant and you know it. The intent behind my statement was that if you wanted your files removed you would negotiate directly with me and not attempt it through intermediaries (because that would have got you nowhere).As to our identities - these are fleeting, transient, insubstantial shadows, and our hold on them (if it can even be stated in such terms) is tenuous at best. I set no store whatsoever by mine, for example; in fact, I have a number of them to suit the circumstances at hand, changeable at will...I wouldn't dream of ever denying you the right to be named as 'author' of the texts cited; I acknowledge that they are indeed the fruits of your creativity. But that's as far as *your* hold on them goes; now they are 'out there', they belong to everyone and no-one. As a writer, surely you must be prepared for this? You're not a cabinet-maker: once those thoughts and ideas leave your head, they merge with the universal energy (or whatever you prefer to call Everything). Anyway, what I want to tell you is that the works of 'Nancy Kress' are no longer downloadable from my library. Listed, yes; downloadable, no.
NANCY: Thank you. But you are wrong about identities. Transient, yes -- everything in the universe is transient. But for now, this moment, I am me.