Thursday, November 29, 2007

Update on the Weirdness

Well, first I'll update on the copyright infringement weirdness, just by repeating what I already said in the comments section to the last post: The guy never answered my email, forwarded through his domain-name service, but he did take my story down. And not just my story; he took the whole blog down! And recreated it, under a new name (but same URL). Odd. But life is odd.

And speaking of odd, it's time for another roundup of links to the stupid, the strange, the weird and fun:

New Scientist has a couple of interesting columns, starting with a roundup of strange products. The first comes under the heading of, as they put it, fruitloopiness: bottled water that has had music played to it, so that it might better calm your inner feng shui. That would be H2Om, the world's first "vibrationally charged, interactive water." You gotta see it to believe it.

On a more down-to-earth note, also from New Scientist: Do fish get thirsty? Maybe...maybe not... It all depends on the kind of fish.

Now, I'm not a Mac lover and I'm not a Mac hater. I simply note that the Mac user in the family seems to gripe about poor performance and annoying quirks from her machine at about the same rate as the PC users. I personally find the Mac incomprehensible. But I intend no political or religious statement with the link to this video; it's just too funny not to point to: Why Macs suck.

If you have friends, and lots of them, and you like to bike together, you gotta have a Conference bike. Don't worry, it's only a little over $12,000! Isn't that worth it for a tricycle made for seven? They even have a video, if you're interested. (Turn the sound down, though, unless you want the music to drive you mad.)

But seriously now, the gift-giving season is nearly upon us. And you should not go into it without being armed with Dave Barry's Holiday Gift Guide. I'm eyeing the Flying Alarm Clock, myself.

And saving the best for last. Be Rocky the Flying Squirrel! (But wait until your kids are grown up and able to support themselves, in case you, er...well, you know.) This looks like so much fun, I have to do it someday. Fly like a bird! Or at least like a flying squirrel.

My writing quote of the day definitely applies to me:

"Very few writers really know what they are doing until they've done it." —Anne Lamott

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Copyright Infringement Strikes Close to Home

Before I start: One reason I haven't posted for a while is that I've actually been focusing on working out some things about the storyline of the new book—not Sunborn, but the following book, The Reefs of Time (working title). It's been sending out shoots in some unexpected directions, which I guess is consistent with the theme of The Chaos Chronicles—but disconcerting.

There are a number of things I've been meaning to write about here, but what actually kicked me into gear is a just-discovered case of copyright infringement involving one of my short stories. I have several stories up for free on my web site, and each of them has at the top a copyright notice, along with a plain language statement that it is not permissible to reproduce them elsewhere on the web. Nevertheless, someone named "Jim" has chosen to do just that.

The story in question, "Shapeshifter Finals," was published in 1995 in the anthology, Warriors of Blood and Dream, edited by Roger Zelazny. I've had it up for readers to enjoy for quite a few years. Earlier today, I did something I've done from time to time but not lately, which is to take a line at random from my online works and run a search to see if anyone has stolen the source. To my astonishment, I came up positive with this story. It's been posted online, in its entirety, on a blog called Tales and Tributes. The blog owner apparently lifted it directly from my website, and gave me credit as the author but neglected to ask for permission, or to reproduce the copyright notice—thus giving the false impression that the work is in the public domain. The work is not in the public domain; it is copyright © 1995 by Jeffrey A. Carver.

I would contact the blog owner, but the thing is, "Jim" has no contact information on his blog. Apparently he doesn't want to be contacted. Another thing is, according to a lookup, the domain name,, was created on the very same day my story was posted. How odd is that?

I have contacted the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) to see if they can assist me in dealing with this, and I'm sure we'll get to the bottom of it eventually. But in the meantime, if any of you out there in blogland know anything about or "Jim," I would appreciate hearing from you.

"The problem is when you're not writing you don't know if you're lying fallow or if you'll never write again." —Norman Mailer

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