Thursday, November 24, 2011


If you've been putting off reading "Bronze Inside and Out" because of the cost, you might be happy to know it has somehow showed up on the Internet as a free download.

This is entirely without my knowledge, consent or permission. I hardly know what to think about it. If you read the book, I WOULD like to know what YOU think about the book.

A fourth source of downloads has been added.

I have two serious worries. One is that these downloads from obscure websites will be carrying malware that will infect your computer. The other is that such piracy will cause a crackdown on the Internet that takes away its freedom.

If someone is doing this maliciously with the purpose of depriving me of royalties, it is futile. I haven't made any money and will not. If people read the book, I'm rewarded. So far authors who have put their books online for free have discovered that it HELPS sales of paper books. This is a book valuable for research and will increase in value over time. It's not as though you're reading to find out what happens.


Anonymous said...

This is deeply tragic. If you have a normal publishing contract, you hold the copyright and your publisher has a license to publish, usually until the book is out of print. It is virtually impossible to collect damages or even impose a cease-and-desist order.

What the internet is swiftly doing, with abundant help from certain corporate giants, is to reduce the value of literature and other arts, supplying it to readers and viewers are virtually no cost. Copyrights are less and less valuable and no longer protect an artist.

They have taken bread from your mouth.

prairie mary said...

NO TEARS !!! This is yesterday's tragedy. 700 copies of this book were printed in the old-fashioned way, except that the bill for that was paid by a foundation with a grant. Last I heard (I hear very rarely) about half the books were sold. There were maybe two or three reviews.

Since the Sixties Bob Scriver's actual bronzes have been illegally cast repeatedly and the illegal copies have been recognized. In the early Sixties we were able to get one New York business to stop making them but could recover no damages. With Bob gone and his estate in the hands of the Montana Historical Society, no one has standing to sue for damages. We know who does this illegal casting. No one cares.

In fact, now Bob's bronzes -- the really GOOD bronzes that put him in the category of St. Gaudens and Fraser, the bronzes we cast and patined ourselves in the Bighorn Foundry we built in Browning -- are selling for less than what it cost to cast them. Now is the time to invest!!

If by corporate giants you mean publishers, there are six left in Manhattan and they weaken daily. The bookstores close coast-to-coast and they are, ironically, the very same giant chains that drove the Indie bookstores out of business. Now, coming along behind the Big Box closures, are new Indies. Not counting online bookstores. I buy almost exclusively used books from and

Everything changes. It is a frontier. No one knows what to do about copyright because it was a national and treaty law -- now the trafficking is international and sources are everywhere. Replicative technology is cheap and I mean bronzes as well as books.

I make NO money from writing except the occasional small article in advertising freebies. But I wasn't doing it for the money anyway.

Prairie Mary

Anonymous said...

I was thinking primarily of Google and Amazon. Here is an Authors Guild rundown of its actions trying to preserve copyright violations by giant entities:

Art Durkee said...

I still think you should at least write these people a letter telling them to desist. It may not mean much, but it puts you on record as asking them to stop. That could work in your favor later.

I hear and understand about the rest of your points regarding publishing and illegal copying, though. The paradigms are changing so fast, it's hard to keep track.

At the same time, there's all these new little poetry journals who won't take your poem because even if you posted a version on your own blog they regard it as "previously published."

I wonder if anything of this will get sorted out in our lifetimes. Probably not.

prairie mary said...

The internal corruption of publishing houses is by now well-established and clearly every publishing author needs a good lawyer.

I have two other concerns that are more serious than whether or not I'm making money. One is that these websites may be "dirty" and simply able to download malware along with the manuscript. The other is that such tricks may trigger a 9/11 response like "Homeland Security" that will crack down on the Internet to the point of destroying its freedom.

I have more than a few "books" at that are free downloads. Authors have been offering free downloads and finding that this simply helps sales of paper books.

It's all counter-intuitive.

Prairie Mary

Rebecca Clayton said...

I spent some time this morning looking over these web sites, because they are so different than "pirate" e-book sites I've seen before. The sites you reference have many high-quality .pdf and/or .djvu books from academic presses, as well as indifferently-scanned textbooks.

(Yes, I downloaded your book. I did this mostly to check quality and completeness. If you want, I will delete it from my computer; I'm afraid I can't afford to buy new books. Actually, I would like to read it; I have enjoyed your free Lulu books, but I don't want to "take bread from your mouth.")

I run a Linux computer and take security precautions, so I wasn't too worried about malware. Academic press pdf's are not the best place to hide malware anyway; teenage vampire love stories would be a better choice.

The .ws (Samoa) and .es (Spain) domain names seem to be financed by very pushy advertising, and they claim to be places where people can make available their own books, papers, and music. I would guess that if you sent them "cease and desist" emails that they would take down your book, if that's what you want.

A more interesting question is, to me, "Who made the pdf of your book, and why did they put it up?" I see "Bronze Inside and Out" is available as a preview at Google Books. The preview includes about 60 pages of text, with captions but no visible images. The pdf I downloaded seems to be complete, including the pictures. It is a carefully-produced pdf, not a sloppy scan of a library book, just like the Google Books scan.

Would your publisher know the answer?

prairie mary said...

Rebecca, I'm pleased that you downloaded "Bronze Inside and Out" and I hope you enjoy it. You've been a much appreciated reader.

My publisher was not in the office until Monday.

When I was looking for a publisher, I sent .pdf files to a number of presses, all academic. Other than that, someone would have had to break into my computer. My blogs are being used by bit torrentors. For a while my computer gmail was set to forward everything until I found that and shut it off.

There are any number of people who would have the capacity and motive to do this, including the editors of at least two academic presses. I do not feel harmed.

Thank you for your investigation! I DO appreciate it!

Prairie Mary