Pagan News and Views Since 1998
Why I want to create a Common Book of Wicca and Witchcraft?
By Ed Hubbard
I love books and all the wonderful ideas contained within them. I want to be able to give books to my friends and family, as well as all seekers of knowledge. In order to do this now, I have to buy a lot of different books, and that can get expensive very quickly. The main reason for this is because my favorite books are under copyright. These books were written by great authors, and published by companies that took a risk, and they should both be rewarded for this. This does mean however, that I must pay each and every time I want to give a copy of one of those books to someone else. There are also many books that are out of print and the publisher won’t relinquish the rights to those books either. So this deeply limits the number of books I can give, and this bothers me. I don’t feel that I can truly own the words and ideas that are found within the books I read.
Last year, there was a copyright scare in the community when it was revealed that one of our beloved chants was actually under copyright by the original author. That author sought to revoke and limit how the chant could be used, and no derivatives would be allowed. How that legal argument will be settled remains to be seen, but I think it is a preview of what is to come. Copyright protection is no laughing matter; it is a crime that is punishable by harsh fines and even prison sentences. You may think no one in our community would ever enforce these copyright laws and seek retribution, but are you sure? More importantly, how about the descendants of the writers who will own the rights for the next 75 years? Won’t they want to protect their family’s written words also?
For me, the solution is the creation of a Common Book of Wicca and Witchcraft that can be shared with people all over the world. I know thousands of people who would want to read and share this book, and they in turn have their own communities to pass it along to. This idea would allow everyone to share all of the information contained in the book for only the cost of printing. And the best part is that the book could always be given freely, now and long into the future. I see this as the next step needed to provide an anyone, anytime, anywhere education.
I know our community can do this, as there are many fine writers available that can be hired for this important project. I am sure there will be many volunteers as well. Rev. Don Lewis has already written a lot of material that we have been able to distribute for free. I see this as a collaborative work that will be many hundreds of pages long. I also see it being done within a year, because we have such a connected, educated and talented community. When completed with all rights and payments assured, it could then be circulated and printed at will. For me, this would be a dream come true, and one I would gladly share.
I recognize that the creation of this book will have an impact on the community, but I feel that it would be a positive one. It certainly will not harm the sale of books about Wicca and Witchcraft, and I actually expect it to increase the demand for books overall. I pray that it will spark a real curiosity for Wicca and Witchcraft in others, like the one that was lit within me.
Finally, a Common Book of Wicca and Witchcraft would be a wonderful thing to give away at the Parliament of World Religions, along with all the books from the other religions of the world. It would be a great stride forward for Interfaith. I think having this book written, published, and distributed is a very compelling project and the time has come to move forward with it.
Support the campaign at: http://igg.me/at/WiccaBook/x/4481655