Brooklyn Author Lethem Into Free Love, Zany Licensing

lethem_jane.jpgAuthor of everyone’s favorite book circa 2000, Jonathan Lethem, chatted up his girl Jane yesterday via the mag’s message boards, taking users’ questions for an hour. His foray into conversation with Jane‘s commenting masses appears to be just one part of a larger plan for digital buzz-drumming for his newest novel, You Don’t Love Me Yet, as Publishers Lunch reported yesterday, which the author himself bills on his personal Web site as “Free Love“:

On May 15th I’ll give away a free option on the film rights to my novel You Don’t Love Me Yet to a selected filmmaker. In return for the free option, I’ll ask two things:

I’d like the filmmaker to pay (something) for the purchase of the rights if they actually make a film: two percent of the budget, paid when the completed film gets a distribution deal. (I’ll wait until distribution to get paid so a filmmaker without many funds can work without having to spend their own money paying me).

The filmmaker and I will make an agreement to release all ancillary rights to the film (and its source material, the novel), five years after the film’s debut. In other words, after a waiting period during which those rights would still be restricted, anyone who cared to could make any number of other kinds of artwork based on the novel’s story and characters, or the film’s: a play, a television series, a comic book, a theme park ride, an opera — or even a sequel film or novel featuring the same characters. For that matter, they can remake the film with another script and new actors. In my agreement with the filmmaker, those ancillary rights will be launched into the public domain.

Why? Because Lethem says he’s “become fitful about some of the typical ways art is commodified.”

  • The You Don’t Love Me Option [Jonathan Lethem]