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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, December 22, 2020

[A]f mysterious international phishing scam that has been tricking writers, editors, agents and anyone in their orbit into sharing unpublished book manuscripts. It isn't clear who the thief or thieves are, or even how they might profit from the scheme. High-profile authors like Margaret Atwood and Ian McEwan have been targeted, along with celebrities like Ethan Hawke. ... Whoever the thief is, he or she knows how publishing works, and has mapped out the connections between authors and the constellation of agents, publishers and editors who would have access to their material. This person understands the path a manuscript takes from submission to publication, and is at ease with insider lingo like "ms" instead of manuscript.

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It's someone working for Google.

#1 | Posted by Tor at 2020-12-22 08:38 PM | Reply

I know one of mine got stolen (and my remaining copies of it encrypted with an unbreakable password). Luckily, I saved my other two books, once I discovered what happened, though several attempts were made to get at them too. Sadly, I think it was my best effort of the three, now, likely lost forever...

#2 | Posted by earthmuse at 2020-12-22 09:56 PM | Reply

Paper tablets can't be hacked. Sometimes old school is better. A paper copy is always a good idea. I don't understand why nobody writes on paper anymore.

#3 | Posted by Effeteposer at 2020-12-23 01:29 AM | Reply

Frightening.

#4 | Posted by Alexandrite at 2020-12-23 02:40 AM | Reply

Plagiarism in the digital age. Ironic to think intellectual property isn't smart enough to protect itself.

Funny how stingy we are with our ideas anymore. There was a time when a person gifted in copying another's work was paid a decent wage for the effort and often went on using their gift in copying as it evolved added something of their own that was worth copying.

Now everyone wants to claim first dibs on an idea, concept, or whatever as if such a thing were possible. Like a person's favorite little brain fart entitles one to a fiefdom built around it.

The Chinese know that is a b.s. western conceptualization... thus they prepare to kick our @$$3$. We browbeat them for doing the most obvious part of evolution.

#5 | Posted by RightisTrite at 2020-12-23 07:18 AM | Reply

Naive question, but what good is an unpublished manuscript?

Is it the risk of it being published? Would the fact that it's stolen be easy to prove once it hits the market?

Or is it the loss of ideas and the worry that the larger story will be used and a manuscript/book sold that isn't so easily pointed to as plagiarism?

#6 | Posted by jpw at 2020-12-23 09:07 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"I don't understand why nobody writes on paper anymore."

Because it's easier to get your thoughts from your brain to the page and easier to edit when you want to make changes. Easier to share with the relevant people. Yeah, easier to share with the wrong people too, as this story points out.

"Is it the risk of it being published?"

Distributed, yes. Published, no.

"Would the fact that it's stolen be easy to prove once it hits the market?"

Yes, if you were to identify somebody who was actually selling physical or digital copies you could take some standard legal action against them, but the threat is not that somebody else is intending to profit monetarily from your work. It's in the free distribution. That's what threatens future sales. At least that's how the thinking goes.

#7 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2020-12-23 09:28 AM | Reply

Well, since this person appears to have a good understanding of how things work, we can certainly rule-out Biden!

#8 | Posted by Gr8Music at 2020-12-23 09:30 AM | Reply

Paper tablets can't be hacked. Sometimes old school is better. A paper copy is always a good idea. I don't understand why nobody writes on paper anymore.

#3 | POSTED BY EFFETEPOSER

They also have these things called "printers" nowadays that can take a manuscript from a computer and put it on paper! Amazing!

#9 | Posted by WhoDaMan at 2020-12-23 04:33 PM | Reply

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