Who Is the Authors Guild and Why Don’t They Want You to Smell Your EBooks?

Earlier today, I was very excited to announce our new Smell of Books product, but now it seems that we have a small problem. An organization calling itself “The Authors Guild” has just sent DuroSport a threatening letter.

I believe that this so-called guild is some kind of government department that oversees the bohemians who write the stories. I am checking with our lawyers to see if we must respond to this nonsense or if I can give the letter to Vladimir to shred.

In the meantime, I would like to let you know that we are doing everything we can to protect your right to smell your electronic books.

Here is the full text of the letter from “The Authors Guild”:

To whom it may concern:

The Authors Guild has recently been made aware of a new e-book related product called “Smell of Books.” This product has allegedly been designed to improve the e-book reading experience by simulating the smell of a real book.

While the Authors Guild supports efforts to improve the digital reading experience, we believe this product represents a significant threat to the development of aroma rights, and as such, will adversely impact the rights of our members.

It is important to note that in the digital era, books, and the smell of books, have been decoupled. In the future, we expect authors to participate in the development of custom aromas for their books. These olfactory rights constitute a derivative right to be licensed separately. The preservation of these rights is essential as authors explore new markets and distribution channels.

Allowing unauthorized third parties to provide the “scent” for a book substantially changes the underlying work to a degree that infringes upon the author’s copyright, not to mention artistic vision.

Today the Authors Guild is calling on the DuroSport Corporation to remove the Smell of Books product line from the market. Furthermore, we are advising our members to refrain from licensing aroma rights until we have more clarity on this issue.

7 thoughts on “Who Is the Authors Guild and Why Don’t They Want You to Smell Your EBooks?”

  1. I can’t believe this. Those guys would steal the pencils out of our hands if they thought we’d use them to write “the,” “or,” or any of the other important writerly words that are already protected and cannot be said out loud!

    Hey, where’s my pencil?

  2. There was a lawsuit a while back where the US Mint sent a cease and desist order to the makers of “The Smell of Money” air fresheners. What is interesting about that is they weren’t suing for the use of the “money” image (you can make play money) but rather, were worried that the makers were implying that the masking scent was actually money (an alternative form of currency with intrinsic worth – scent rather than gold). In effect, this is what I think the Authors Guild is worried about (i.e. clarity) What if people get hooked on a scent that gets branded like “Tom Clancy” or “Danielle Steele” – stories that may smell like expensive red herring, or worse, like the authors themselves.

    Let us hope this gets resolved – I am no fan of air fresheners that merely mask the scent of the bakelite case of the e-reader.

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