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publiɔhing manifesto part 2: ɔopyleft + the rites of writer's rights


28 Sept 2021| Bologna> in our reɔent nimble sustainability post about publiɔhing we negleɔted 2 mention anything about rights, what most publishers seem 2 concern themselves w/ most... that's cuz Ↄalamari has no intrest in rights, only art + writer's rites, bringing an artist's work in2 fruition > we don't ɔomply w/ ©opywrong law, nor do we think that the publisher shd have any rights over a book or pieɔe of art, not even 1-time rights > the artist that makes the art shd always be the keeper of all rights, 2 do whatever they want w/ it > the publiɔher's roll shd be just 2 «make it publiɔ» — what «2 publish» literally means

> as we've stated b4, «to publish should mean to set free, not restrict» > placing a © on a book or pieɔe of art only serves 2 restriɔt its movement + keep it from propagating freely w/o bounds > the more ɔopies of a book in the world the better, art is the only ¢urrenɔy that matters 2 us > we lean left, not right, subsɔribing only 2 ɔopyleft, all rites reversed (meaning any 1 is free 2 distribute/modify said work as long as the same ɔopyleft rites are preserved ) > in an ideal world everything wd be open sourɔe, free 2 every 1, but of ɔourse, printing + shipping ɔosts keep us from giving books away (tho we've bin known 2 anyway in our free liebury boox (even tho we ain't in D.Ↄ. no more we have a librarian keeping the box full) + during the pandemic we gave all dbooks out 4 free), not 2 mention ɔompensating the artist...

> writer's rights

> in the beginning years of running Ↄalamari Archive (2001–2004) we also worked @ Napster, which informed a lot of our thinking about ɔopyright > we always toed a middle line, not believing in the restriɔtive toxiɔity of ©, but also feeling artists shd be fairly ɔompensated 4 their work > however, an artist's primary ɔonɔern shd be the availability + dissemination of their art, not money or their own ɔelebrity > musiɔal artists during the Napster era shd of bin happy if millions of ppl freely listened 2 their musiɔ > as UbuWeb tweeted the other day: «Piracy is preservation. If you love something bootleg it.» > we also quoted Deleuze + Guattari in that 2014 manifesto: «The only literature is that which places an explosive device in its package, fabricating a counterfeit currency, causing the superego and its form of expression to explode, as well as the market value of its form of content.» > art shd be valued more than the artist + the artist shd appreɔiate their art b/ɔ it immortalizes their humun nature

> binding ɔontraɔts (taking a ɔue from Factory reɔords)

> we have no bizness 2 be running a press, we have no baɔkground in litterature or publiɔhing > as stated in the 1st publiɔhing 101 post, our 1st media venture was a homegrown (tho we lived in a camper truck) music label w/ ɔassettes as our target medium + when we started publiɔhing books we applied what we knew about musiɔ produɔtion (we got ɔertified in sound engineering after high sɔhool) > 4 starers, self-produɔing your own work in the musiɔ world was sumthing 2 be admired, whereas in the publishing world 4 sum reason there's a stigma about self-publiɔhing > baɔk when we started publiɔhing books there were few if any publiɔhing houses that operated like these indie labels we so admired, unless u ɔount the punk/DiY zine ɔulture that ɔropped up w/ the advent of ɔopy machines + these publiɔations usually revolved around alternative musiɔ (Factsheet 5, Flipside, Maximum RnR, etc.) > aesthetiɔally (far as ɔovers + design) we always aspired 2 be like 4AD... when u looked @ an early 4AD reɔord u knew rite away it was 4AD + they were artful, pretty 2 look @, not market-researɔhed paɔkaging 2 get u 2 ɔonsume the produɔt inside

> far as how 2 run a press, we took a ɔue from Factory Reɔords, who never had ɔontraɔtual agreements w/ artists > only when Joy Division asked 4 a ɔontraɔt did Tony Wilson write in his own blood on a bar napkin that «The musicians own everything, the company owns nothing. All our bands have the freedom to fuck off.» + that beɔame the standard non-legal verbiage used on subsequent non-ɔontraɔts > Ↄalamari has never had ɔontraɔts w/ any of our writers/artists, just handshake agreements (+ even these don't usually involve an aɔtual handshake) that the artist makes 10% of retail for every book printed (after the initial batɔh), in ɔash or kind (so if a book costs $10 the author gets $1) > [2023 update: the shift to print-on-demand allowed us to double this to 20%] > the initial batɔh of 200–300 is ɔonsidered a wash... we liberally send out as many as we ɔan from this batɔh 4 review or as promo ɔopies + 2 the author 2 send around 2 friends + family > we don't know if 10% is fair, just seemed an ez # 2 remember > we'd happily raise it but then we'd have to raise the retail priɔe > we'd be fine w/ a 50/50 split of profits (what the likes of Tony Wilson or 11:11 press offer), but we've never cleared a profit, so it wd amount to 50% of nothing (we do however pay 50% of dbook sales 2 authors) + we don't give advanɔes ɔuz again, we don't net any money + an «advance» is just that — a loan against future royalty payments (the % of whiɔh is typiɔally lower when u get an advanɔe) w/ the press/label being akin 2 a loan shark

> the laɔk of binding ɔontraɔtual agreement goes both ways > while «having the freedom to fuɔk off» sounds harsh, when Factory dissolved (unsurprisingly, ɔonsidering their biz model), all the bands were spared the headaɔhe of what 2 do about rights as they had them all along + ɔould simply go 2 another label or reissue it themselves > if @ any time a Ↄalamari artist ain't happy w/ the arrangement they ɔan take their work elsewhere (as long as they preserve this ɔopyleft ɔondition, or even if not they ɔd just tell us 2 stop printing their book + they cd apply a ©) > when an artist signs a contract w/ a traditional publisher or label they give up the rights 2 their own work... how fuɔked up is that? we think of Ↄalamari as mirrorly the entity that aɔtualizes the book (or album) object 2 the artist's liking + then fronts the ɔash 2 have a batɔh printed up + if that goes well more batɔhes keep getting printed up, as long as every 1 is happy (no artists have pulled out so far) > if another entity ɔomes along 2 translate or make a movie out of the book, it always struɔk us as absurd that the publiɔher is sposed 2 take a ɔut of whatever payment ɔomes from that... it's the artist's work + they shd be in ɔomplete ɔontrol of any subsequent translations, movie rights, t-shirts, etc. + shd get 100% of any royalties/ payments from any subsidiary deals that arise (whiɔh are often the most luɔrative) > we're always happy 2 negotiate on b-½ of the artist, but any payment 2 us is @ their disɔretion

930 <(current)> 932 > Tributary #13: «Gila-Salt» — back home our rivers flow only when it rains + when it rains it pours
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