Last night many of you alerted me to the reappearance of the e-book edition of Spots the Space Marine on Amazon. I hope you’ll join me in applauding Amazon’s decision to reinstate the book. Amazon and other major retailers have given me wonderful opportunities as an independent author, not just in e-books but in print and audiobooks. The stories I’ve sold to magazines launched my writing career but it’s the sales I make from these outlets that allow me to buy food for my family.
I cannot say enough good things about the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who have been enthusiastic, supportive and productive. They pursued my case with passion and principle and are standing by should any more developments necessitate their aid. Many of you have asked if you can help me pay my legal costs; I would encourage you to donate to the EFF to help support their good work.
At this point my defense is done unless legal action develops in response to the reinstatement of Spots. But this is one small battle in a long war, and we must continue to protect common terms by refusing to reshape our creations to placate over-zealous legal teams. If you’ve run afoul of this sort of behavior, you are not alone, and help is out there. My experience proves it.
I continue to be gravely concerned by the lack of due process shown me. There’s a tradition of facing one’s accuser, and one of the worst parts of this ordeal was having no petition, no appeal, no right to defend myself and point out the absurdity of the claim against me. It seems that some may take advantage of this for a cheap legal ride, damaging someone’s income and reputation simply by firing off an email. This is wrong and nothing about Spots’ outcome will prevent it from happening again. I’m not sure how a change in that process might be effected, but until that happens we’ll have to continue to stand together.
On a personal note, I want to tell you what an unbelievable few days it’s been. When I first received the take-down notice from Amazon, I was stunned—a single email seemed to imbue the world with a formless menace. For most of two months I’ve been walking with hunched shoulders, fighting a sort of numb disbelief. When I made my post on Tuesday I didn’t know what to expect and was on the verge of surrender. What happened instead has reaffirmed my faith in the benevolence and decency of people everywhere.
I tell my daughter that there’s magic in the world and that human beings are responsible for creating it. You all have proved that decisively. I’ll never forget the past few days, and for that I and my family thank you earnestly from the depths of our hearts.
Space marines forever!