NEWS BULLETIN SIGN-UPS AND MESSAGES SENT VIA THE CONTACT FORM
Privacy is a major issue for me personally, so I practice what I preach. My mailing list is solely for the purpose of sending you information and – very occasionally – asking for your views. It'll never be shared with third parties or used for any other purpose. All you're consenting to is receiving e-mails: not direct mail, targeted advertising, or anything else.
Any e-mails you send me via this contact form will not be used for marketing purposes. I don't harvest contact details from them because I assume that you just want to speak to me about something. If you wanted to be on my mailing list, you'd opt in. I file messages received via the Contact Me web form purely so I can check whether I've responded to you before, because otherwise I might repeat myself and bore you senseless. Those messages are securely stored on my own system and are not accessible by anyone else.
I only collect e-mail address, name, and country from the sign-up form. I need to know which country you're in because that affects what I need to do by law in terms of data handling. I need your name so that I can identify your subscription in the event of someone with a similar name asking to be unsubscribed manually. I don't need your street address, age, gender, or any other detail, because while it's very useful to have general statistical data on who's reading my books, privacy is way more important.
You can unsubscribe from the newsletter at any time by clicking on the Unsubscribe link in the message. If you unsubscribe but you still get messages from me, it means that something has gone wrong at a technical level, so e-mail me via Contact Me or via the message itself, and I'll remove you from the list personally.
If you find yourself on my mailing list and you don't recall subscribing, check that you haven't signed up to another mailing list that shares contacts with a group of authors – it's rare, but sometimes I do take part in joint promotions with other writers to build our subscriber lists. Those sign-ups will always tell you that your e-mail is being shared and who it's being shared with before you click on the consent button. And you can still unsubscribe from those any time as well, because that's your legal right.
Privacy matters. Way too many organisations keep far too much data on us. I'm a bit exercised about this. If in doubt, don't give your data to anyone, and if you have to give it, keep it to a bare minimum. In a world where everyone wants to milk your data, that might sound odd coming from a business like mine that really could do with lots of your information. But I just don't want to be part of the cataloguing and tracking of my fellow citizens. It sucks. I didn't realise just how much it sucked until I started researching it for the Ringer series. So there you are. I just want to tell you when I've got stuff to sell you, and answer your questions if you contact me.
Everything on this website is copyright, and that means you can't copy it and use it elsewhere without written permission. It's that simple. It's a good idea to read this because you'll find it applies to everyone else's site, too.
Most of the content of this site is my copyright, and other stuff belongs to companies like Lucasfilm (absolutely everything here that's Star Wars) Epic Games, Del Rey, Tor, 343i, Microsoft, DC Comics, IDW, or HarperCollins. Copyright isn't a request or a suggestion: it's international law. So please don't break it or you might find yourself having problems. I protect my copyright. So do those much bigger companies, and their lawyers are proportionately bigger too. Check their copyright statements separately - and remember how much it costs to keep a lawyer in Armani suits.
I might not be a huge corporation, but I do have a fancy NYC lawyer, and I'm still alive and kicking, which means you'll have to wait until 70 years after I'm dead for any of my copyrighted material to become public domain. That's not going to be anytime soon. Copyright is a very complex law, so don't assume you know what it says and means unless you're an IP lawyer, which I'm guessing you're not. If you think that fair use, parody, or "not for profit" absolves you from copyright law, you're wrong, and some lawyer is lurking out there just waiting to show you how wrong.
Here's my basic version of the law, applied to my stuff.
1. You can copy or download stuff - text, images, sound files, whatever - as long as it's used ONLY on your own home computer, by you, and isn't altered in any way whatsoever. You can print it, transfer it to your PDA, copy it to your MP3 player, or store it in any other medium you use - but only for your own personal, private and individual non-commercial use. That doesn't mean it's okay to copy anything and everything you like and share it around because you're not making money out of it - it means ANY reproduction that isn't for your eyes only.
2. If you want to reproduce or copy the material here so that it's used by or visible to other people, you need to ask my permission first, or the permission of whoever owns it. Yes, that includes wiki pages too. (Especially wiki pages, because I hate open source, anonymous, unaccountable "information.") You do not have permission to copy from this site and reproduce material on wiki pages, because wikis are bound by exactly the same law as any other user. They're not a special case just because they have the word "encyclopedia" stamped on them. But by all means link to this site with a summary line.
3. It doesn't matter how you copy it or reproduce it: computer file, web page, printed page, carving in stone, or even projecting it by laser onto the White Cliffs of bloody Dover - it's unauthorized reproduction. That applies to any devices or media in use now and any that some clever bugger invents in the future.
4. "Fair use" means you can use portions - not the whole shebang - of copyrighted work for comment and critique only. The more you use, the more likely you are to be breaking the law. If you want to reproduce (i.e. copy) more than "fair use" amounts of the material here for a public site or publication or anything else other people can look at or listen to, ask me. I'm easy to contact. ASK FIRST.
5. Material is automatically copyright now. Anything here without a © on it isn't fair game. It's all covered.
6. Using material and then telling me afterwards isn't "seeking permission". It's breach of copyright. It's really easy to ask me for permission. Don't guess - ask. If it happens to be another person's or company's copyright, I'll tell you who to contact. I'm normally pretty laid back if I'm asked. I'm not laid back about breach of copyright. So if you use stuff and tell me afterwards, I'll be very, very cross.
7. It doesn't matter if you credit me as the source of the material; you still can't use it without my written permission.
8. It doesn't matter if you're not making money out of it: you're still breaking the law.
This isn't an assault on free speech or free information or any noble heroic stuff like that. It's to stop people stealing the goods that people like me have to sell to survive. This is my intellectual property, with the emphasis on property. This is how I earn a living and eat. No fancy words like "infringement" change the fact that it's stealing, and if you do it, you're just as much of a thief as a shoplifter is, except at least they're getting some exercise and fresh air. If you steal my property, I'll pop around to your house and take your car or maybe your PC. Or your wristwatch, if I like the look of it. That's fair, isn't it?