Thursday, November 29, 2007

the taste of money

Once there was a little man named Everybody. He got a job that took his money to a place called eternity. When he felt like reading, he would fold his hands to mime the opening of a book, but his hands were thin and brittle with poorly designed cover art. The title was a real attention getter though - The Story of our Hands by Everybody Smith. One day Everybody decided that it was time to put his money where his mouth was. Once the money was in the proximity of his mouth, he was able to taste its great power. It was akin to that of a very spicy Thai dish that starts out hot and builds in intensity until you are dribbling and sniffling. Oddly, Thai money doesn’t have the same effect at all. But neither does American food.

That one taste of money was all Everybody needed to motivate him to sell his manuscript.

The first publisher refused to publish the work because it was more than 40 percent digital, and the industry was already in a severe number crunch. The second publisher found the book very handy and suggested that it be used as a doorstop. The third publisher thumbed through the book in a sluggish manner before suggesting a new name, “Everybody’s Handbook”. Everybody in the room loved it, except Everybody. Everybody ran out with his book covering his face, leaving everybody shocked and confused.

While everybody was discussing the possibility of a digital book being published on a single set of human hands, Everybody wrung his hands, and then the phone rang. Everybody rushed back into the room and clumsily picked up the phone with his literal hands. It was yet another publisher asking Everybody to hand the book off to him so it could be developed into a children’s bedtime story called “Show of Hands”. However, everybody had to remind Everybody that they had intellectual property rights to his hands because the work was developed under contract to the place that took all his money. Everybody was crushed, but everybody was overjoyed that they had gotten the upper hand in the situation. There was only one thing Everybody could do, he called his older brother (a lawyer) to help him handle the situation. After days of negotiations, the dispute was resolved. The hands were published (with minor edits) under the title “The Manual”.

Also, our hero - who preferred to remain anonymous - penned his own work. He was able to catapult to success by using the name of his sibling who was more than happy to help. The finished work was entitled “Grasping Intellectual Property Rights in a Digital Age - by Everybody and his brother”. Don’t gag, that’s marketing.

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