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The IMDB of publishing?

The Los Angeles Times reports on a beta website, filedbyauthor.com, which aims to create Web pages (1.8 million so far) for just about every author who’s ever existed, including a bio, links, and a list of their work. The site is similar to the Internet Movie Database “ except authors must pay $99 to $399 if they want to be “verified,” i.e. have the ability to add more than two links or take advantage of the site’s blogging software. Otherwise, unlike IMDB, users have no control over content.

As the L.A. Times notes:

Shakespeare is in the FiledBy army. So are Fitzgerald, Alexander Pope, Charlotte Brontë and lots of other dead authors who can’t do a thing about their pages. The pages don’t link to definitive biographical information or the public domain work made available on Project Gutenberg for free. And if there is no one charged with minding the literary heritage of an author who’s shuffled off this mortal coil, who will polish the pages of our deceased literary greats?

This Quillblogger approves of the idea of an author community site, but not one which so blatantly attempts to make money off the very people it claims to be promoting, rather than by providing a hub of information for what is already a small and central database-deprived audience.