David and GoliathTeleRead has earlier covered two stories about some bad publishing experiments:

The first was about the scammy contracts Random House was offering authors who signed with their digital-only imprint. The second was about a Canadian newspaper, the National Post, which was trying to extract ‘licensing’ payments from readers who were trying to quote from their stories in a legal way under fair use rules.

In both these stories, I pointed out that neither business was being illegal, per se—but that they were being fishy, and would learn their lesson if people raised a loud enough hue and cry. Well, it’s happened! I am pleased to report that both of these hare-brained schemes have been at least partially recanted.

John Scalzi reports that the Random House people will be offering people a choice between the new model and something closer to the older one. Not a perfect fix, but progress nonetheless, with potentially more tweaking to come.

And Michael Geist relates that the National Post appears to have dropped their scheme.

The people have spoken, and Big Business has listened and rolled with what they heard. Yay!

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  1. Not to be pedantic or anything, but the illustration for this piece is not David/Goliath, it’s Judith/Holofernes. Which has a more “seduction in order to destroy” vibe, rather than “weak defeating the strong.” Just sayin’.