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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: February ::
Books to Buy
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0061  Friday, 1 February 2008

[1] 	From:	Ron Severdia <
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	Date:	Wednesday, 30 Jan 2008 12:42:26 -0600 (CST)
	Subj:	Re: SHK 19.0055 Books to Buy

[2] 	From:	Will Sharpe <
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	Date:	Wednesday, 30 Jan 2008 21:57:33 +0000
	Subj:	RE: SHK 19.0055 Books to Buy

[3] 	From:	Robert Projansky <
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	Date:	Wednesday, 30 Jan 2008 21:11:24 -0800
	Subj:	Re: SHK 19.0055 Books to Buy

[4] 	From:	Joseph Egert <
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	Date:	Thursday, 31 Jan 2008 13:35:11 -0800 (PST)
	Subj:	Re: SHK 19.0055 Books to Buy


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Ron Severdia <
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Date:		Wednesday, 30 Jan 2008 12:42:26 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 19.0055 Books to Buy
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0055 Books to Buy

Gabriel Egan wrote:

 >Those doing the digitization of the papers will claim
 >that although the primary materials are not
 >their intellectual property, they are imbuing these
 >materials with fresh copyrightable value by
 >digitizing them. This absurd argument is the
 >reason that libraries feel entitled to put on their
 >microfilm images the words 'Not for reproduction'
 >even when the image is of a 400-year old book.

I've been over this point in great detail with a copyright attorney. His 
contention is that though the material contained in that book (and the 
book itself) is 400 years old, the images are not. Just like a 
photographer can copyright his/her images, the institution can do the 
same. It's the image that's copyrighted and illegal to reproduce, not 
the work itself.

Ron Severdia
PlayShakespeare.com

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Will Sharpe <
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Date:		Wednesday, 30 Jan 2008 21:57:33 +0000
Subject: 19.0055 Books to Buy
Comment:	RE: SHK 19.0055 Books to Buy

This is an interesting debate indeed, but I do feel that ultimately it 
does come down to a question of black-and-white legality, and not a 
moral perception of the way knowledge should be freer to those who want 
to know. Gabriel says that:

(I might go beyond the permitted limited distribution for the purposes 
of teaching and research, and think we should all push those limits as 
hard as we can.)

To me, however enticing that sounds, it does sound like a belief rather 
than a justifiable expression of absolute right. I am not assuming a 
contrary position because of any moral outrage or differing opinion; 
rather, I think the Copyright, Designs, and Patents Act (1988) makes it 
fairly clear (this is the UK legislation, and I apologise for the 
length, but I have supplied the relevant sections - my emphasis):

16 The acts restricted by copyright in a work

(1) The owner of the copyright in a work has, in accordance with the 
following provisions of this Chapter, the exclusive right to do the 
following acts in the United Kingdom-
(a) to copy the work (see section 17);
(b) to issue copies of the work to the public (see section 18);
(c) to perform, show or play the work in public (see section 19);
(d) to broadcast the work or include it in a cable programme service 
(see section 20);
(e) to make an adaptation of the work or do any of the above in relation 
to an adaptation (see section 21); and those acts are referred to in 
this Part as the "acts restricted by the copyright".

(2) Copyright in a work is infringed by a person who without the licence 
of the copyright owner does, or authorises another to do, any of the 
acts restricted by the copyright.

(3) References in this Part to the doing of an act restricted by the 
copyright in a work are to the doing of it-
(a) in relation to the work as a whole or any substantial part of it, and
(b) either directly or indirectly; and it is immaterial whether any 
intervening acts themselves infringe copyright.

(4) This Chapter has effect subject to-
(a) the provisions of Chapter III (acts permitted in relation to 
copyright works), and
(b) the provisions of Chapter VII (provisions with respect to copyright 
licensing). 17 Infringement of copyright by copying

(1) The copying of the work is an act restricted by the copyright in 
every description of copyright work; and references in this Part to 
copying and copies shall be construed as follows.

(2) Copying in relation to a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic 
work means reproducing the work in any material form.This includes 
storing the work in any medium by electronic means.

(3) In relation to an artistic work copying includes the making of a 
copy in three dimensions of a two-dimensional work and the making of a 
copy in two dimensions of a three-dimensional work.

(4) Copying in relation to a film, television broadcast or cable 
programme includes making a photograph of the whole or any substantial 
part of any image forming part of the film, broadcast or cable programme.

(5) Copying in relation to the typographical arrangement of a published 
edition means making a facsimile copy of the arrangement.

(6) Copying in relation to any description of work includes the making 
of copies which are transient or are incidental to some other use of the 
work.

I know the counter-argument could be mounted on grounds of using the 
work for educational purposes, but the law seems to me pretty clear on 
that front too:
32 Things done for purposes of instruction or examination

(1) Copyright in a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work is not 
infringed by its being copied in the course of instruction or of 
preparation for instruction, provided the copying-
(a) is done by a person giving or receiving instruction, and
(b) is not by means of a reprographic process.

Incidentally, OED defines 'reprographic' as: "The branch of technology 
concerned with the copying and reproduction of documentary and graphic 
material."

Isn't this an open-and-shut case, irrespective of how we may feel about 
the distribution of "knowledge" i.e. if the "knowledge" has a copyright 
logo on it, it can't be distributed in the same way as conveying 
spoken-word "knowledge" which you have written yourself in the form of 
an unpublished lecture to a room full of students? Incidentally, the Act 
can be read in full here (and I hope I haven't breached copyright by 
reproducing the above sections)!!!

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1988/ukpga_19880048_en_1

Best,
Will Sharpe

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Robert Projansky <
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Date:		Wednesday, 30 Jan 2008 21:11:24 -0800
Subject: 19.0055 Books to Buy
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0055 Books to Buy

A day or two ago I said on this thread that Larry Weiss should be 
ashamed of himself for stooping to red-baiting on SHAKSPER. Someone has 
very kindly and gently advised me offlist that I was perhaps ignorant of 
some personal and SHAKSPER history and that Larry's thrust was probably 
not the below-the-belt attack that I took it to be. I was indeed 
ignorant of those facts and I'm sorry I said that.

Bob Projansky

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Joseph Egert <
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Date:		Thursday, 31 Jan 2008 13:35:11 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 19.0055 Books to Buy
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0055 Books to Buy

David Bishop writes:

 >"I somehow doubt that Gabriel Egan begrudges
 >me my pittance, but if he wants to offer my book
 >for free, I wouldn't mind.

David, I was hoping for an outraged defense of an author's rights to his 
worker's wage--only to be frustrated by your commendable generosity. 
Please reconsider.

Gabriel Egan explains:

 >Just to be clear: no,
 >I wouldn't deliberately undermine someone else's monograph sales by
 >distributing large numbers of copies for free. (I might go beyond the
 >permitted limited distribution for the purposes of teaching and
 >research...

But Gabriel, doesn't going beyond the "permitted" limited distribution 
in fact undermine those sales and constitute yet another example of 
"outright law-breaking"?

Gabriel continues:

 >The ownership of ideas generated by people who work for educational
 >institutions is a vexed and unresolved question. Universities rightly
 >think it iniquitous that they pay academics to generate knowledge that
 >is then given (virtually for free) to publishers and thereafter sold
 >back at great cost to the university library. In the digital economy I
 >have been sketching in these posts, universities themselves would retain
 >in their Institutional Repositories the knowledge their staff generated.
 >It is no surprise that publishers are very worried indeed about
 >Institutional Repositories.

But Gabriel, won't universities be tempted to charge for access to and 
use of their Institutional Repositories to cover their overall expenses? 
Would you deny them this right?

Gabriel later cites Genesis: "One might see the story of Cain and Abel 
as the proto-typical conflict between the arable farmer, for whom land 
is property, and the pastoralist for whom that notion is absurd."

But doesn't the pastoralist Abel deem his sheep property?

Gabriel again: "For a simpler illustration of the same point, I ask 
students to imagine the privatization of the atmosphere and consider 
whether they could ever accept the idea that the air can be owned."

But can that air be rented? If I invest in air conditioning for my 
business, say a restaurant, may I charge for mere access to the premises 
in an otherwise polluted area of town?

Gabriel later backtracks: "For the sake of achieving agreement, I'd 
happily leave out of the argument that I'm making for Open Access all 
those writers for whom royalty payments are a substantial proportion of 
their income and confine myself to those writers who are primarily 
employed by the state as educators and researchers."

But Gabriel, who is to enforce if not define "substantial" and 
"primarily"? One more bloated bureaucracy or Commissariat? Will writers 
and independent scholars like David Bishop or Lynn Brenner be better 
served in the land of Gabe? Or will life become even more difficult for 
them?

Gabe concludes: "I'm afraid I don't understand Joe's point and cannot 
respond."

Sorry, Gabriel, for not being clearer. Hope this post helps.

Finally, let me affirm my complete sympathy with the Open Access 
movement for reasons so ably articulated by Gabriel Egan, as long as it 
remains voluntary and not compulsory. There is a larger issue at stake, 
however-namely Gabe's cheery defense of piracy, which will appeal to the 
Oedipal rebel in all of us. Such an antinomian thrust will, in a Burkean 
sense, further unmoor and destabilize society, until Vincentio is forced 
to find his Angelo. The ancient dilemma remains: should Socrates escape 
prison or drink the hemlock?

Regards,
Joe Egert

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