My friend Marianne Paul sent this link to a just-published novel by Charles Bock, which Random House is offering for free download, for a limited time.
Here's a screenshot of the web page. Click on it and it will take you to the actual page.
But here's something interesting. The download is free. It's still copyrighted, of course. Nevertheless, it's free. But in the background, difficult to notice under that messy red "Download" button, there is a further copyright message. It says:
© Copyright 2008. Charles Bock. This is our intellectual property, so kindly don't fucking steal it.
What exactly are the implications of this? I'm not sure. If it's free, you can't steal it. Except by republishing it and claiming it as your own. Would anyone actually go to that kind of trouble?
I just don't know what to make of it. This definitely goes to the whole debate over copyright, digital rights, plagiarism and the Net.