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Thread: Book Drum

  1. #1
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    Book Drum

    One of my contributors received the following email this morning from Book Drum. It went as follows:
    I’d like to invite you to write about your favorite books at www.bookdrum.com, where you can add information, images, video, music and links to illustrate and explore the books.

    Right now, we're running a $3,000 Tournament and we'll be offering contract work to the best entries. Perhaps you'd like to profile A Christmas Carol? You'll find it under Fiction: Young.

    Best wishes

    Hector Macdonald
    Editor, Book Drum
    He forwarded it onto me asking if I had heard anything about it. I had not, so I checked it out. I think it might deserve a thread here on AW since the message sent to my contributor was not an answer to a request for information.

    They want writers to "enhance" books with "images, sounds video and information available on the Web." They are trying to entice writers with a Tournament that promises cash prizes but only vague promises of future payment to some. Maybe. When you look at the terms of the Tournament, you see that according to section 4.5 payment to non-UK entrants is a bit complicated.

    The most startling section, however, is Contributor Terms. They are, to say the least, daunting. In fact, this has to be the most "legalized" writing site I think I have ever seen. Pay particular attention to Property Rights (3.2). It's an astonishing rights grab especially for the amount of work they are asking for--for free.

    And who are they? Other than the editor's name--and I doubt this is the right Hector MacDonald or this one and probably isn't, though I can't be sure, this one--I can't find that information anywhere.
    Last edited by LLauren; 11-24-2009 at 02:28 AM.
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    BiblioBuffet serves up a banquet of zesty book reviews, piquant literary commentary, savory bibliophilistic observations and tantalizing conversations. We spice up your reading life by leading you to books you deserve to read.

  2. #2
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    So what is this? A contest? A display site? A publisher? What?

  3. #3
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    I honestly don't know. It wants writers to "enhance" books for free. And it's doing it by spamming writers. I posted it as an FYI to all, but also especially for Victoria's attention.
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    BiblioBuffet serves up a banquet of zesty book reviews, piquant literary commentary, savory bibliophilistic observations and tantalizing conversations. We spice up your reading life by leading you to books you deserve to read.

  4. #4
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    http://www.bookdrum.com/about-us.html

    they add pictures and videos to books and that supposedly enhances the reading experience.

  5. #5
    permaflounced
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    Let me get this straight, I could use some of my own photographs, or drawings to 'enhance' a book that they don't own, and they can keep my photos and artwork forever and ever?

  6. #6
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Such a deal!

  7. #7
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLauren View Post
    Pay particular attention to Property Rights (3.2). It's an astonishing rights grab especially for the amount of work they are asking for--for free.
    Some version of a licensing clause like that is standard for websites that host contributor content (it enables them to display the material and run the website), but Book Drum's is a lot more sweeping than most. It is also, somewhat unusually, an exclusive license, which means that you couldn't use or display the material elsewhere.

    Since Book Drum wants to become a compendium of book profiles, and Tournament entrants have to submit a book profile, this would seem to be an excellent way of getting content for free.

    - Victoria

  8. #8
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Clarification

    Hello everyone

    I'm sorry to see there's been some negative views expressed about Book Drum. Perhaps I can provide some answers to your questions as well as some good news on our Contributor Terms which you rightly draw attention to.

    Firstly, who are we? I’m a British author, with three novels published by Penguin (www.hectormacdonald.com). Together with two bibliophile friends, I saw the opportunity to enhance the reading experience for some – particularly younger, more reluctant – readers, by collating multi-media content online. Book Drum is intended to be a collaborative Web 2.0 effort, whereby enthusiasts can assemble material about their favorite book for others to enjoy. Each book profile will be built up over time by numerous contributors around the English-speaking world.

    That brings us to the legal bit. What we needed was a set of terms that would allow us and others freely to build on and edit contributors’ material, and put advertising next to it to pay for the site. We also needed to protect ourselves from a copycat site lifting Book Drum profiles wholescale across to their own.

    What our rather over-cautious lawyers gave us was something far more – as you say – sweeping! I admit, I’m not a lawyer and didn’t pay enough attention early on, but you’ll be glad to know that we are now getting these Terms changed. A contributor drew my attention to the unnecessary exclusivity the day we launched, and so we’ve rewritten the Terms. The revised Terms, which will apply retrospectively to all contributors, make no claim on printed rights and do not in any way prohibit electronic publication of individual material elsewhere. Only usage in association with other Book Drum material is prohibited, to protect against total replication by copycat sites. Our lawyers are currently making the amends, and the new Terms will be posted in the next week or so.

    On the “spamming” point, my sincere apologies to anyone who takes offence at my writing personally to them to let them know about Book Drum. I have tried only to approach individually those book reviewers or enthusiasts who – from reading their blogs – might be interested. And indeed many are, and we’ve had a very enthusiastic take up. To quote just two responses:

    Hi Hector-

    I think Book Drum is a FABULOUS idea- I love that a book can be annotated online, with access to all sorts of multimedia. I'd love to do one for The Book Thief, or for The Phantom Tollbooth.

    Dear Hector,

    First of all, may I just say thank you for your email and I love what you're doing with Book Drum! I think it is a fantastic idea for a website and a groundbreaking approach to reading.



    As you can see, there is a real interest in and desire for the kind of facility we’ve built. It’s not a question of grabbing rights, but of providing a managed and edited forum in which great supporting content can be built up by many over time, for the enjoyment of everyone. It may not be of interest to hardworking professional writers who need to make a good living out of their words – and as an author living on my books for ten years, I completely understand that – but I hope you will at least see Book Drum as a positive good, especially if it encourages more young people to read good books.

    I would be delighted to answer any questions, or take any constructive advice and guidance, that you may have. Book Drum is still finding its feet, and it’ll be a while before we get everything perfect.

    My email is editor@bookdrum.com

    Kind regards

    Hector Macdonald

  9. #9
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Huh. Well, for those who might look for this later, I'm filing it under Miscellaneous until we see what it develops into.
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  10. #10
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Has now published its first "enhanced edition" to Kobo: http://www.bookdrum.com/news/2012/05...publisher.html
    ICAO
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    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  11. #11
    Sockpuppet
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    I realize that it's an old post, but I'm *really* put off by the poor self editing in the post by Hector MacDonald. For example:
    The revised Terms, which will apply retrospectively to all contributors...

    Umm... is that "retroactively"?
    And:
    Our lawyers are currently making the amends...

    Reparations? Compensation? For what? Oh, wait, he meant "amendments," didn't he?


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DragonWing View Post
    Re: "The revised Terms, which will apply retrospectively to all contributors..."

    I realize that it's an old post, but I'm *really* put off by the poor self editing in the post by Hector MacDonald.... Umm... is that "retroactively"?
    No - you can apply something respectively. It's a standard UK usage.

    You might prefer that the English use their own language ('English') differently to the way they do ... but it is their language after all.

    eg:

    * google [ "apply retrospectively" site:.gov.au] = 6,600 results
    * google [ "apply retrospectively" site:.gov.uk] =2,980 results
    * google [ "apply retrospectively" site:.govt.nz] =583 results


    * google [ "apply retroactively" site:.gov.au] = 45 results
    * google [ "apply retroactively" site:.gov.uk] = 15 results
    * google [ "apply retroactively" site:.govt.nz] = 7 results

    Compare that with US English:

    * google [ "apply retrospectively" site:.gov] =3,820 results
    * google [ "apply retroactively" site:.gov] =70,800 results


    In Summary:

    * UK: 'apply retrospectively' wins with 99% of official usages
    * Aus: 'apply retrospectively' wins with 99% of official usages
    * NZ: 'apply retrospectively' wins with 99% of official usages
    * USA: 'apply retroactively' wins with 95% of official usages

    Mac
    (PS: If you check the 4th Edition of the American Heritage Dictionary you'll find that they also recognise it as a synonym of 'retroactively' ... even if it isn't as common)

    (PPS: I just checked the site itself. What a great idea ... basically hosting a wiki guide for published books, then licensing the rights to produce a special edition of the book, with the wiki content merged inline. I can really see this as valuable to breathe new life into older work. For example - in 2030 they might well be licensing content from Stephanie Myers to create a special 'anniversary' edition of 'Twilight'. Right now they are starting with classics (ie: works they don't have to license!) .. but I could imagine this might work out really nicely for authors who have older works. )

  13. #13
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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