Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Nightmare of MacAdam/Cage & MP Publishing

The Many Ways of Ebook Theft

Dayne Sherman
April 24, 2014

This statement was just sent by e-mail to me from the Authors Guild. It is reproduced verbatim except for adding  full web links to linked documents. 

MacAdam/Cage authors demand their ebooks to revert. They were "sold" without our knowledge, consent, or compensation.

Via email transmission from The Authors Guild.

On Thursday, April 24, 2014 3:34 PM, Stevie Fitzgerald <Sfitzgerald@authorsguild.org> wrote:


Hi All,

You are getting this email because you have communicated with us in the past about the MacAdam/Cage bankruptcy. Included below is an update with all the relevant information we have to date along with links to important documents. We expect to have this up on our website sometime tomorrow, but wanted to make sure that everyone directly affected got a copy. Feel free to forward this information.
____________
Good news for all MacAdam/Cage authors! On March 4, 2014, the MacAdam/Cage bankruptcy proceedings finally concluded.1 All publishing contracts between MacAdam/Cage and its authors are now terminated and most rights have reverted to the authors. You can view the “Final Decree” that was entered in the United States Bankruptcy Court here: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1146874-m-c-b-final-decree.html. This, together with Section 365 (d)(1) of the Bankruptcy Code (here: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/11/365) should act as proof of reversion of rights. According to that Section of the Code, all contracts that are not assumed by the trustee are deemed rejected 60 days after the filing date, [1] [2]January 17, 2014. This means that, as of March 18, 2014, the publishing agreements between MacAdam/Cage and its authors are all terminated and the authors’ rights have reverted, with the exception of rights previously licensed to a third party. Authors whose rights were licensed to a third party must comply with the terms of any licensing agreement.2 


However, the electronic rights to many titles may not have reverted to their authors. MacAdam/Cage signed an agreement with MP Publishing in March 2009, which gave MP Publishing the electronic book rights to almost 200 MacAdam/Cage titles. This agreement survived the dissolution of MacAdam/Cage, so MP Publishing retains the electronic book rights to the works specifically listed here: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1146876-m-c-list-of-e-books.html, subject to the specific terms of the authors’ individual contracts with MacAdam/Cage.3 It is important for authors of books on this list to note that although their print and various other rights may have reverted, their electronic rights remain with MP Publishing.

Authors whose e-books are being offered for sale by MP Publishing are bound by the terms of the 2009 agreement between MacAdam/Cage and MP Publishing, which can be viewed here: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1146875-m-c-ebook-deal-contract.html. Additionally, MP Publishing is now obligated to submit any royalty statements and payments to the author directly.

We recommend that all affected authors review their MacAdam/Cage agreements, assess whether their e-book rights have been licensed to MP Publishing, and confirm that MP Publishing is paying them the royalty rate stated in their original publishing agreement. These authors should also inform MP Publishing that print rights have reverted to them and should request that they be sent royalty statements and royalties due to them from the sale of the electronic form of their books.

The owner of MP Publishing, Mark Pearce, has indicated that he is open to communicating directly with authors and can be reached via email at: mark@mpassociates.co.uk
___________________
1 For background on this issue, a good summary can be found here.http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/61941-dealing-with-the-aftermath-of-macadam-cage-publishing.html.
2 See Section 365 (n) of the Bankruptcy Code here: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/11/365
3 Some of the books were listed in error as the titles had already reverted to the author prior to the license agreement or e-book rights had not been granted to the publisher in the first instance.


Best,

Stevie Fitzgerald, Esq.
Legal Fellow
The Authors Guild
31 East 32nd Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10016
(212) 563-5904

--------------------------------------
Dayne Sherman resides in Ponchatoula, Louisiana. He covers the South like kudzu and promises that he never burned Atlanta. He is the author of Welcome to the Fallen Paradise: A Novel. His website is daynesherman.com.

////////////////////////////
Dayne Sherman, Writer & Speaker
Web & Social Media: http://daynesherman.com/
Talk About the South Blog: http://daynesherman.blogspot.com/
Tweet the South - Twitter: http://twitter.com/TweettheSouth/
Facebook: http://facebook.com/daynesherman

***This message speaks only for the writer, a citizen, not for any present or past employer.***

Monday, April 21, 2014

No More Duck Wrestling in Louisiana

A Real Plan for Higher Education

Dayne Sherman
April 21, 2014
Column / 700 words

Did you hear about the new bill to make “duck wrestling” the Louisiana state sport? It will honor Duck Dynasty, the popular reality TV program based in West Monroe.

No, this is not a bill filed this year, but don't be surprised if it's filed next year. In Louisiana, politics is entertainment. If it's not Huey Long leading the LSU band in Tiger Stadium, then it's Gov. Edwin W. Edwards, known as a “wizard under the sheets,” unlike former Klansman David Duke, a wizard wearing sheets.

The latest imbroglio with freshman Rep. Vance McAllister, R-Swartz, the “Kissing Congressman,” is a mere sideshow. It ranks right there with “chicken boxing,” the Bible as the state book, convicted felon Edwin Edwards running for Congress at 86, “Sinator” David Vitter's “very serious sin,” and Gov. Bobby Jindal being parodied by an Iranian woman on Saturday Night Live.

Louisiana politics is nothing more than a comedy routine.

At home, however, we have problems, serious ones. The Jindaleconomic miracle” is gifting the next governor with a billion dollar shortfall for the state budget beginning on July 1, 2015, just a few months before Bobby leaves office. Could this be a coincidence?

Keep in mind that $700 million has been cut from funding to Louisiana higher education, 80 percent of state dollars. Likewise, recall that midyear cuts were announced at 6:30 PM on Friday, April 4. It's being called a “spending freeze,” but it's a midyear cut.

Since 2008, I have seen almost nothing come from of the Legislature to fight the destruction of higher education in Louisiana. No, gun auctions on college campuses won't help. Thanks, but no thanks, Rep. Chris Broadwater, R-Hammond. HB 244 is no help at all.

Sure, there has been some entertainment such as the WISE Plan, an unfunded scam to keep university leadership quiet, allow for some positive PR spin for the governor, and provide more meddling in the affairs of state colleges and universities by Jindal's minions. An alleged money pot of $40 million is a pittance compared to the $700 million of vaporized support.

The one legitimate plan I have seen is HB 142, a bill filed by Jerome “Dee” Richard, I-Thibodaux, and championed by Treasurer John Neely Kennedy. In short, the law would call for a 10 percent reduction in contracts per state agency and would reroute the $500 million saved as revenue earmarked for higher education. All of this with no new taxes.

Why do you suppose very little has been said in favor of HB 142 by college leaders?

I suspect they'll be fired for supporting it. It's simple. I know it, the leaders know it, and now readers know it. College presidents don't have to receive a memo from Jindal to see the handwriting on the wall.

Remember, most major leaders of Louisiana higher education showed up for a staged announcement of the WISE Plan on January 21 in Baton Rouge. The camera lights must have blinded the chancellors and presidents to reality. Perhaps it was just Jindal making a rare appearance in the state that stunned the leaders into happy submission.

A few Louisiana higher education advocates pine for the good old days when we had the Stelly Tax Plan, which gave stable funding for state government. But most of this was trashed in 2008 by Jindal and his lapdog legislators. I want to be clear: The Stelly Plan is never coming back. It's over. Move along.

HB 142 is a real plan for higher education. The WISE Plan and the activities of the Louisiana Legislature are mere comic relief cloaked in the trappings of democracy.

Louisiana higher education needs a funding plan. We can do without duck wresting and the unWISE Plan.


Dayne Sherman resides in Ponchatoula, Louisiana. He covers the South like kudzu and promises that he never burned Atlanta. He is the author of Welcome to the Fallen Paradise: A Novel. His website is daynesherman.com.

////////////////////////////
Dayne Sherman, Writer & Speaker
Web & Social Media: http://daynesherman.com/
Talk About the South Blog: http://daynesherman.blogspot.com/
Tweet the South - Twitter: http://twitter.com/TweettheSouth/
Facebook: http://facebook.com/daynesherman
***This message speaks only for the writer, a citizen, not for any present or past employer.***

Sunday, April 20, 2014

"Drill, Baby, Drill"

Original Folk Song about the BP Oil Spill 

Dayne Sherman

April 20, 2014
Today is the 4th anniversary of the BP oil spill. I wrote "Drill, Baby, Drill" a few days after the disaster in 2010. Four years later, I've recorded it. Audio and lyrics below.


 

"Drill, Baby, Drill"

By Dayne Sherman
Written in Late April 2010
Recorded April 20, 2014

Lyrics


April 20, 2010
Deepwater Horizon
BP’s oil poisoned the Coast
Eleven dead in the water


Drill, baby, drill
Spill, baby, spill
Kill, baby, kill
Pelicans are dying in the Gulf
Louisiana’s sliding in the Gulf
People are crying in the Gulf


Oil's buying groceries
Oil's causing war
Oil's filling barrels
Oil's killing us


Drill, baby, drill
Spill, baby, spill
Kill, baby, kill
Pelicans are dying in the Gulf
Louisiana’s sliding in the Gulf
People are crying in the Gulf


Oil's making money
Oil's driving cars
Oil's reeking havoc
Oil's killing marsh


Drill, baby, drill
Spill, baby, spill
Kill, baby, kill
Pelicans are dying in the Gulf
Louisiana’s sliding in the Gulf
People are crying in the Gulf



Dayne Sherman resides in Ponchatoula, Louisiana. He covers the South like kudzu and promises that he never burned Atlanta. He is the author of Welcome to the Fallen Paradise: A Novel. His website is daynesherman.com.

////////////////////////////
Dayne Sherman, Writer & Speaker
Web & Social Media: http://daynesherman.com/
Talk About the South Blog: http://daynesherman.blogspot.com/
Tweet the South - Twitter: http://twitter.com/TweettheSouth/
Facebook: http://facebook.com/daynesherman
***This message speaks only for the writer, a citizen, not for any present or past employer.***

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Chicken Boxing and April Fools' Day

Stuck on Stupid in Louisiana 

Dayne Sherman
April 6, 2014
Column / 650 words

On April Fools' Day, the Louisiana Legislature was in session. Perhaps the apex of legislative insanity ensued on April 1 when our elected officials debated the legality and ethics of “chicken boxing.” It was not a joke.

Yes, chicken boxing became both a great occasion for humor and an embarrassment to the state. News outlets nationwide picked up the story. Sen. JP Morrell (D-New Orleans) proposed legislation to close the loopholes in the state cockfighting ban. Slick and enterprising fowl breeders bypassed the fighting cock prohibition by using sparring “gloves” during rooster bouts. In other words, they've turned the birds into boxers instead of fighters.

This is the logic of Louisiana politics on public display.

No doubt, when the legal authorities aren't watching, the gaffs and knives come out and cockfighting is back to the bad old days.

Undone by Morrell's attempt to make cockfighting paraphernalia illegal, Sen. Elbert Guillory (R-Opelousas), a rising star in GOP politics, defended the practice of chicken boxing, which he understood to be well within in Morrell's legislative sights. Guillory, a man with an unparalleled love for the photo-op, posed for pictures while holding little rubber boxing gloves fitted for roosters.

Guillory, an African-American, was a Republican but then switched parties in order to win his seat in a heavily Democratic district. Last year he switched back to Republican with much fanfare. He is also a man who made headlines a year ago for his praise of witch doctors as a rationale to keep Louisiana's embarrassing creationist K-12 “science” law on the books.

Indeed, the debate over chicken boxing will continue, as will Louisiana being the laughingstock of America.

However, we have another debate that is to me just as insane as boxing birds, perhaps worse.

Rep. Chris Broadwater (R-Hammond) is on the defensive about HB 244, the “gun shows on college campuses bill.” The proposed law, according to Broadwater, is simply a gun safety bill.

I have read HB 244 bill, gotten an email and a text message from Rep. Broadwater regarding the bill, and read articles written about the bill.

Two facts come to mind. First, there is NOTHING in HB 244 to prevent gun shows on college campuses or even in the facilities of the elementary and secondary laboratory schools at SLU, Southern University, and LSU. If Rep. Broadwater had wanted to prevent “gun shows” from occurring, he could have written into the language allowing for no more than two or three guns to be auctioned or sold at events.

Second, if Rep. Broadwater wanted to make a real statement promoting campus safety, he could have stopped any and all groups from selling or auctioning guns on campus under the Gun Free School Zones Act.

This did not happen. We now have a bad bill that makes a bad statement. We can do better.

I am proud of SLU professor Dr. James Kirylo and the SLU faculty senate for making a strong statement against gun sales on college campuses through a recent resolution. In a climate of fear created by Gov. Bobby Jindal's assault on higher education, it is courageous when college employees take a stand on an important issue. LSU's faculty senate is scheduled to take up a similar resolution soon.

We don't need to get stuck on the words “gun shows” or “gun auctions.” Likewise, let's not get distracted by “chicken boxing” or “chicken fighting.” Who cares?

At the end of the day, all of this is a bunch of foolishness as Louisiana continues to go to the birds. We have elected officials who make it April Fools' Day all year long here in the Pelican State. Unfortunately, we allow them to bring embarrassment to the state when we create an atmosphere of disaster by voting them into office.

Dayne Sherman resides in Ponchatoula, Louisiana. He covers the South like kudzu and promises that he never burned Atlanta. He is the author of Welcome to the Fallen Paradise: A Novel. His website is daynesherman.com.
////////////////////////////

Dayne Sherman, Writer & Speaker
Web & Social Media: http://daynesherman.com/
Talk About the South Blog: http://daynesherman.blogspot.com/
Tweet the South - Twitter: http://twitter.com/TweettheSouth/
Facebook: http://facebook.com/daynesherman
***This message speaks only for the writer, a citizen, not for any present or past employer.***

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Gun bill loaded by a gallery of rogues

Another bad bill on the Bayou

Dayne Sherman
March 23, 2014
Column / 675 words
 
 
I am rarely surprised by the antics of the Louisiana Legislature. This session is by no means an exception.
 
There is a bill banning the personal ownership of various snakes. Then there are numerous bills related to the Common Core, an education curriculum that is not well thought out and is backed by vulture capitalists. I wonder how many of the legislators now up in arms about the Common Core can read their own legislation? Probably few.
 
Locally, we have our own Bad Bill on the Bayou, Rep. Chris Broadwater's HB244. It allows colleges and universities to “lease of property... to nonprofit corporations or associations to hold fundraisers that include the auctioning and sale of firearms.”
 
In other words, selling guns on campus.
 
The bill rolled through the House with 90 yes votes and only two souls had enough guts to say no. In some ways, I respect both yes and no votes, but there was a large peanut gallery of absent votes, often a way to avoid being held accountable for taking a stance.
 
All of our nearby representatives were on board. What a shame.
 
The bill is currently pending Senate referral next week. So it goes from one rogues' gallery to the next with hardly a hiccup in the process.
 
Part of the pretense for the law is to raise money for cash-strapped institutions. Louisiana is ranked number one in America for cuts to higher education. With Gov. Jindal's heart set on destroying Louisiana colleges and universities, cutting funding by 80 % with his lapdog legislators doing whatever he desires, there is no doubt that campuses will either receive lower funding during the next fiscal year or stay just as bad off as before.
 
An exasperated university faculty member wanted to know what's next? An escort service (prostitution) coordinated by college campuses to raise funds?
 
Please, supporters and friends of “sinatorDavid Vitter, don't answer the question.
 
Even Hammond Mayor Mayson Foster is shilling for the gun bill. Really, Mayor? Is that the legacy you want to leave for your three lackluster terms in office?
 
The real question is not why a Republican or a Democrat files foolish bills. If a voter does not understand the bill writing process, I will explain it in one sentence: A special interest group corrals a “bill mule” to carry the legislation they have written or want written, usually with promises of donations, and the legislator, or “bill mule,” files the bill and carries it through the legislative process.
 
No, the real question is how citizens should respond?
 
To start, they should think through the implications of bills and what they do long term. I believe HB 244 will lead to college campuses without gun restrictions.
 
In the case of Rep. Broadwater's bill, how will parents of K-8 students at the Southeastern Louisiana University Lab School feel about guns being auctioned inside the Kiva, a nice sized room for a gun auction if there ever was one? Will they want their children seeing gun dealers and cops packing assault rifles to be auctioned on campus?
 
How will college faculty, staff, and students react when they learn that their formerly Firearm Free Zones are no longer that at all? Will they rally statewide to fight the bill?
 
When it comes to active civic engagement by Louisiana citizens, there are more absentee votes than anything else.
 
I am a hunter. I love to hunt and would rather be hunting or fishing than writing a column on a bad bill. I just wish we could bring a little common sense to gun legislation. Unfortunately, I am not expecting common sense to rule as long as special interest groups often outside of Louisiana own the legislative process.


Dayne Sherman resides in Ponchatoula, Louisiana. He covers the South like kudzu and promises that he never burned Atlanta. He is the author of Welcome to the Fallen Paradise: A Novel. His website is daynesherman.com.

////////////////////////////

Dayne Sherman, Writer & Speaker
Web & Social Media: http://daynesherman.com/
Talk About the South Blog: http://daynesherman.blogspot.com/
Tweet the South - Twitter: http://twitter.com/TweettheSouth/
Facebook: http://facebook.com/daynesherman
***This message speaks only for the writer, a citizen, not for any present or past employer.***


Monday, March 17, 2014

Open Letter - American Association of University Professors

I voted for the Organizing for Change Slate

Dayne Sherman
March 17, 2014
Letter / 200 words

Dear AAUP Members:

Today I placed my ballot in the mail for the AAUP 2014 election.

After some thought, I decided to back the Organizing for Change Slate (Rudy Fichtenbaum, President Hank Reichman, First Vice President, Susan Michalcyzk, Second Vice President, and Michele Ganon, Secretary-Treasurer). See more about the Organizing for Change Slate here: https://sites.google.com/site/aauporganizingforchange/.

Dr. Fichtenbaum reached out to me and asked for my support, which I gladly offered after reading the platform and accomplishments. I understand that he has had to clean up many problems from the past, and I want to give the group more time to work.

On the other had, I tried to reach out to Dr. Cary Nelson on May 2, 2012, by e-mail. We'd met briefly at the AAUP meeting at Tulane University. I asked to interview Dr. Nelson, and I'm still awaiting a reply. I'm not at all surprised by the silence.

To me, we can continue the slide toward irrelevance or attempt to make a change. This is why I am supporting the Organizing for Change Slate, and I hope you will consider doing the same. Please feel free to forward this e-mail.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Dayne Sherman
///////////////////////////
Dayne Sherman, Writer & Speaker
Web & Social Media: http://daynesherman.com/
Talk About the South Blog: http://daynesherman.blogspot.com/
Tweet the South - Twitter: http://twitter.com/TweettheSouth/
Facebook: http://facebook.com/daynesherman
***This message speaks only for the writer, a citizen, not for any present or past employer.***


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Watch your Billfold; Legislature in Session

As the Worm Turns in Baton Rouge

Dayne Sherman
March 15, 2014
Column / 850 words
Published in several newspapers & blogs

On Monday, March 10, the Louisiana Legislative session began. Surely it will not be as acrimonious as the 2012 session, a time when school teachers gathering at the State Capitol were treated like animals at the hands of Governor Jindal, Speaker Chuck Kleckly, and some members of the House Education Committee. You will recall this is when the governor pushed his education “reform” agenda in marathon meetings.

Why did the 2012 session kick the teachers in the face? Governor Jindal thought he was going to be Vice President of the United States. He had to show that he could go complete imbecile in order to achieve this goal. With the help of ALEC--who paid off some of our local legislators with campaign cash--they forged ahead with unconstitutional education reform that has mostly failed to meet court muster since.

I have to give props to Mitt Romney: He had the wisdom to keep Louisiana's Boy Wonder off the GOP ticket. I respect Romney's judgment for that much if nothing else.

But all is not love and light this year.

One major battle will be the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Senator Ben Nevers and Representative John Bel Edwards both have common sense bills to implement the federal Medicaid expansion for Louisiana citizens.

On the other hand, Representative Jerome “Dee” Richard, an Independent from Thibodaux, usually a reasonable man, is trying to enforce Tenth Amendment rights regarding the ACA. He calls denying the health law a “States' Rights” issue, and does not want to implement the ACA in Louisiana.

Whenever I see someone calling for "State's Rights," why do I also see images of George Wallace, German shepherds, fire hoses, and billy clubs? The Medicaid expansion is absolutely a part of ACA. Indeed, the ACA brings no caps on medical benefits, children on family insurance plans until 26 years old, free preventative care, 80 percent of premiums going to actual medical care, and on and on. I hardly think Louisiana needs to stand in the hospital door and declare: "Bad healthcare now, bad healthcare tomorrow, bad healthcare forever!" 

Let the States' Rights foolishness fall away into the dustbin of history.

Speaking of tomfoolery and downright idiocy, I wonder if the proposed secession city of St. George in Baton Rouge will spill over into this year's legislative gathering? I and others have dubbed this proposed municipality “St. George Wallace.” The effort is being led by Senator Mack “Bodi” White, my state senator, a true dim bulb if Louisiana has ever had one in public office. Why is it that every time I see a photo of Bodi White I think of the late brute Bull Connor? Maybe it is because they are both good Methodists. Who knows?

Perhaps the most heat and least light will come from the battle over the Common Core, a national curriculum that has been panned from both the left and right as out of touch with real classrooms, real teaching, and real students.

Liberals and conservatives have lined up against it with sharpened pitchforks. In the middle is Governor Jindal. He has backed it 100 percent through his little education troll, State Superintendent of Education John White, but Jindal has been sheepish about the whole thing. I suspect Jindal will sacrifice White over the Common Core before the session is over.

The Common Core is great in theory and bad in practice. It's mostly a cash grab by companies and pushed by vulture capitalists like Bill Gates. Dr. Diane Ravitch, a leading education historian, recently said, “The billionaires will get bored and find a new hobby. Maybe yachting or polo ponies.”

Let's hope so.

When it comes to higher education funding, don't expect much. With 80 percent of state funding cut from college and university budgets, the campuses are heading to insolvency. The state lacks higher education leaders with enough fortitude and political juice to make funding improvements happen. As long as TOPS pays the tuition bill, there won't be much in the way of help coming from the public either.

At the end of the day we have a governor who has left the state a fiscal disaster by cutting taxes, destroying services and infrastructure, and buying politicians through privatization and the funding local pet projects. Over 100 years ago an astute political observer said, “No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.” This is certainly true in 2014.

According to reports, during the first week of the session Jindal campaigned in New Hampshire, an early presidential primary state. Hardly a coincidence. We all know his heart is not in Louisiana. So be wary, be awake, and be vigilant. With Bobby Jindal in office and his legislative lapdogs at his feet, Louisiana could be annexed by Vladimir Putin's Russia before we read about it in the morning newspaper.

Dayne Sherman resides in Ponchatoula, Louisiana. He covers the South like kudzu and promises that he never burned Atlanta. He is the author of Welcome to the Fallen Paradise: A Novel. His website is daynesherman.com.
////////////////////////////
Dayne Sherman, Writer & Speaker
Web & Social Media: http://daynesherman.com/
Talk About the South Blog: http://daynesherman.blogspot.com/
Tweet the South - Twitter: http://twitter.com/TweettheSouth/
Facebook: http://facebook.com/daynesherman
***This message speaks only for the writer, a citizen, not for any present or past employer.***