The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.1061  Wednesday, 29 November 2006

From:         Michael Best <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         Tuesday, 28 Nov 2006 15:33:27 -0800
Subject: 17.1056 Licensing and Public Domain
Comment:     Re: SHK 17.1056 Licensing and Public Domain

Sean Palmer asks,

 >Perhaps someone on here is affiliated with and would be happy to
 >discuss the licensing conditions of these texts?

and comments that limiting the licence to educational, non-profit 
purposes is "absurd for the original spelling versions."

I can indeed comment, on behalf both of the Internet Shakespeare 
Editions as a non-profit organization, and of our team of editors.

The main reason we have taken our present position on copyright is to 
protect the interests of our editors, who labour for many hours making 
the texts as accurate as possible; those fully edited are peer-reviewed, 
and become the intellectual property of the editor rather than the site. 
(In this we are unlike many scholarly publishers, who retain copyright.) 
In addition, the old-spelling texts you see online are just the tip of 
an iceberg: at a deeper level our editors mark them up in such a way 
that they record all Early Modern type-forms (the long-s, and the 
ligatures the compositors used), and many other features. As yet, 
browsers do not display this information, but it's there when they do, 
and in the meantime the texts are available for rich kinds of searches.

There are, however, some arguments in favour of making scholarly texts 
available in the public domain, and we will certainly be discussing 
these alternatives as the site matures further.

Michael Best
Coordinating Editor, Internet Shakespeare Editions
Department of English, University of Victoria
Victoria B.C. V8W 3W1, Canada.

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