A recent motion by the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) regarding the reinstatement of its Copyright Committee (formerly known as the Electronic Piracy Committee) has some folks speaking out. The issue stems from a couple of months back when Andrew Burt of the SFWA took issue with some fiction posted at the text file sharing website, Scribd. (See history here.) The end result was that Burt was removed from the Committee. With the recent motion, Burton has been reinstated to the newly-named Committee.
Charlie Stross has something to say about that (expletive masking done by me):
To say that this is a f***witted decision is an understatement. Under Dr Burt, the new copyright committee will almost inevitably devolve into a reincarnation of the old piracy committee. If I thought it’d do any good I’d be resigning in protest right now; only the expense of a life membership purchased a couple of years ago is restraining me right now. Clearly the current executive of SFWA is making damaging decisions and ignoring input from committees it appointed, and and in view of this I call on SFWA president Mike Capobianco and the rest of the SFWA executive — including Andrew Burt — to resign immediately. Meanwhile, I’d like to call on all other SFWA members who don’t want to see their organization commit public relations suicide to make their voices heard.
John Scalzi also had some comments:
I think the board choose puzzlingly, to use as polite a word as possible, in its choice of chairman for the new committee, for some of the reasons which Charlie outlines in incendiary but not unreasonable fashion.
See also: Comments from Cory Doctorow.