Novlr (online novel writing software)

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AmberV
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Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:29 pm Post

I typically use Creative Commons, or at least the Founders variety that limits protection to 12 (sorry, 14) years, because I find modern copyright law in most countries to serve nobody but the money grubbers. But yes. :)

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Ioa Petra'ka
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Jaysen
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Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:47 pm Post

Well, my info comes from a series of meetings with legal staffs from several companies (providers and customers). In all cases the providers legal council stated "we own the data on the disks". The copyright questions was specifically mentioned in terms of software code, technical documentation, and media (photo, drawings, etc). Paraphrase the lawyers "we we own the data then we own all aspects of the data including all rights". How that would play out in the courts I don't know. That is the stated position of several companies.

As to IP rights, we raised the concept of patented software. Same statement about owning all aspects of the data. "Implied release for use" was the phrase that ended the discussion. Basically if you put it on their disk you have given them rights to do with it as they please.

How it will all play out in the courts will be interesting. All I know is that the providers basically killed the idea of non-internal cloud services for several major corps. I don't avoid clouds for my use but things I want to keep for my exclusive use don't go to the cloud (software ideas, writing, etc).

What is really frustrating was the revelation that "standard US employment law" is written the same. As a salaried employee, anything I produce, even if it is clearly outside my employment, is owned by my employer. If I write a book, publish it, and my employer chooses, they would get the profits. The lines that covered it were pointed out and the fact is was sourced from them department of labor really shocked those in the room. In the case of my employer, they have done it three times that I know about.

Maybe I'm unlucky in what I've been exposed to in my career. I do seem to find myself thinking "this can't be right" more often than not. I will admit that the recent move toward the "pointy haired boss" shows that much of what is behind the curtain is a bunch of "old men" trying to squeeze as much from the "young men" as possible. All the while crying "ignore the men behind the curtain.

Someday I'd like to try to change it. I don't think anyone can really do it. There's too much money involved for real change to be possible.
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

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druid
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Thu Jul 17, 2014 8:59 am Post

Jaysen wrote:Someday I'd like to try to change it. I don't think anyone can really do it. There's too much money involved for real change to be possible.


You hit on the key element at the end, money. My U asserts the same "rights" to creations by engineers and computer scientists, because their productions are worth big bucks. As for humanists and other loss leaders, meh. They can have their rights and dinky profits.

However, in the case of money makers, the U must agree to a SHARE of profits via an approved system of patents and royalties. In some cases, this has amounted to large, Amazon-like percentages. So, if you are a sole or principal creator, you are entitled to a profit-share even if you created your widget on company machines and time.

Corporations will not share until forced to by the courts. What they are telling you now is illegal, and a class-action suit might bring them to the bargaining table. Otherwise, "business ethics" remains as usual, a classic oxymoron.

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PJS
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Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:29 pm Post

Cloud-like storage has been the dominant O/Ting here, but another problem with rights goes back much farther. I offer you one word to consider, when discussing payment for creative effort:

BitTorrent

A recent article at New Statesman covers the issue pretty well.
http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2014/07/fifteen-years-utter-bollocks-how-generation-s-freeloading-has-starved-creativity

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robertdguthrie
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Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:03 pm Post

Let's not forget HTTP, FTP, Usenet + uuencode/uudecode, and before that, floppy disks, Zerox, and VHS. Whether that creative content was a game, a word processor, a song, movie, or novel, piracy is to blame for people having copies of things they haven't paid for. Data transfer technologies have as much to do with piracy as roads have to do with smuggling--which is to say some, but it's not the core of the issue, and nothing to do with bad Terms of Service.
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PJ
PJS
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Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:32 pm Post

robertdguthrie wrote:Data transfer technologies have as much to do with piracy as roads have to do with smuggling--which is to say some, but it's not the core of the issue, and nothing to do with bad Terms of Service.


Precisely. Whether the phrase is "Terms of Service" or "Data transfer technologies" or "outright plagiarism" or "scholarly sloppiness" or — my own favorite in this realm — "data want(s) to be free," the issue for me is ownership of and benefit from my own work.

Old-fashioned, I know. Perhaps antediluvian. Old people, particularly old men, often have difficulty adapting when change threatens their comfort or their livelihood. Threaten both, and we're liable to turn downright obstinate.

ps
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nom
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Sun Jul 20, 2014 11:19 am Post

Jaysen wrote:In all cases the providers legal council stated "we own the data on the disks".

Which reminds me of one of the very Computer Science lessons I had all those years ago (before "IT" had been invented, let alone "Cloud infrastructure") when we were lectured on the difference between "data" and "information". From memory, the former was the physical form, the latter was the content that form represented.

But also every online provider that I have investigated in recent years has been crystal clear in their terms of service that the user owns their own information. For example...
When you use our Services, you provide us with things like your files, content, email messages, contacts and so on ("Your Stuff"). Your Stuff is yours. These Terms don't give us any rights to Your Stuff except for the limited rights that enable us to offer the Services.

- DropBox

Evernote’s 3 Laws of Data Protection
Your Data is Yours
Your Data is Protected
Your Data is Portable

Evernote’s Data Protection Laws Say My Data Is Mine – What Does That Mean?
You retain copyright and any other rights you already held in your Content before you submitted, posted or displayed it on or through the Service. But you do have to grant Evernote a limited license, as described below, so we can make your data accessible and usable on the Service. Other than this limited license and other rights you grant in these Terms, Evernote acknowledges and agrees that we do not obtain any right, title or interest from you under these Terms in any of your Content.
- Evernote

Further, if using end-to-end encryption, they would only have access to seemingly random code anyway.

But this is, even by our our rather low standards, a long way from discussing Novlr (or, for Wock's sake, brownies).
Complete and utter NOMsense.
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nom
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Sun Jul 20, 2014 12:05 pm Post

druid wrote:
nom wrote:The problem with online apps is that if, for example, your ISP goes down, so do your apps. Power failure? No good using the battery on your laptop if it can't connect via your router. Water damage to your ADSL line? Say goodbye to your work in progress until it's fixed. And if you want to work on your project uninterrupted in the peace and tranquility of a country get-away, think again. These are just a few examples of actual connectivity issues I've experienced (including the getting away to the country to write - which had the benefit of ensuring I wasn't distracted by email and internet while using Scrivener). Hence I would never use an online only app to write a novel. Other people are obviously not as bothered by the connectivity demons as myself.


I wrote about "dead brick" phobia a while back, after living through a half-day power outage in rural Wisconsin. I survived by using offline apps, including Google Docs & Sheets. When power returned, my work synched to Google Drive. During the blackout I checked on tornadoes, and sent out texts, via the Verizon 3g chip in my Chromebook. This first-generation machine has a 5.5 hour battery, but the newer models run longer. Anyway, I'd just like to repeat that working this way is portable and affordable. Try buying any recent Mac laptop for under $300. And while I'd love to have a working version of Scrivener, I'm happy just reading, writing up research notes, and revising portions of draft.

PS: what kind of water damage? I thought you folks Down Under were in a long-term drought. :roll:


I wasn't making any reference to Chromebook—I agree with Ioa that it's a different beast than a standard laptop—as I actually think that Chromebooks make a lot of sense. I don't want one personally as it wouldn't meet all my needs, but it would meet many of them. So I wasn't expressing dead brick phobia, I was expressing lack-of-access-to-my-data phobia.

In the two and a half years I've used my online billing service, it's only been offline when I needed it once, and only briefly. BUT, a recent upgrade mangled all my historical data (mean really mangled - it's a good thing I submitted my tax return on time) and so I cannot rely as accurate anything that was entered prior to July 1 this year. I trust that they will fix the issue (they are decent people) but in the meantime I have to use the data I saved locally.

My website and email hosting service has been down for a week. My site is back up, but I still cannot send or receive email. This is the 4th (at least) time this has happened, the second time for more than a few days. I am currently waiting for them to release my data from their domain name servers so I can start using my new hosting service and access email again. If I accessed my email online only (as I know some people do) then I would have limited access to client emails in addition to not being able to send or receive.

I've used three cloud services that have shut down a service I used: two shut down entirely (SplashBlog and MobileMe) and another switched to a paid service only (Ning). Again, if I did not have local copies, I would have lost my information when they closed.

I have good reason to be cautious of cloud-only data.

As for long term drought in Australia, depends on location. Over the last 20 years, some parts of the country have always been in drought, but the parts change. Where I live in the southeast (roughly equivalent to the USA's northeast) we had a long drought lasting from the late 90s culminating in the horrible bush fires of 2009. But even then we still had some rain and that was enough to knock out our dodgy ADSL service. In turns out the thing-ummy under the street was installed upside down so instead of forming a water shedding cap, it formed a bucket and the water just pooled over all the connections. :roll:
Complete and utter NOMsense.
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Daniela Wolfe
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Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:43 am Post

Well now, I love it that my post sparked such a great discussion on data ownership. I must say I've learned a lot by reading some of these posts...

Anyhow, there's a new update on the novlr beta. Click. Looks like we can probably expect the initial beta to be released next week at the earliest. Unfortunately, I didn't sign up for the beta on time so I won't be able to give it a whirl just yet.
Have a deliciously demented day,

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Daniela Wolfe
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Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:57 am Post

Just thought I'd pop in and say that they're sending out more and more beta invites. So if your interested in giving the beta a test drive I would make sure to sign up here.

Honestly, from what I've seen of the previews I'm not really sure novlr will be right for me. There really isn't a lot in the way of features so far. More are promised, but at the moment it's not feature rich enough for me to get very excited. I like my bells and whistles. :wink:
Have a deliciously demented day,

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