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Old 12-01-2010, 01:34 PM   #16
tubemonkey
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FYI - per request from a mod, I'm not answering any replies to my statement. If someone wishes to start a different thread, I'll answer there.

Last edited by tubemonkey; 12-01-2010 at 02:04 PM. Reason: spelling error
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Old 12-01-2010, 02:01 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
Copyright length should be long enough to encourage people to create, and no longer.

...

Copyright should last at least the lifetime of the author.
Lifetime is not about encouragement, it's about control.
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Old 12-01-2010, 04:58 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
Oh - and PG dO NOT consign works to the public domain. Works are either in the public domain or are not in the public domain. It's just that working out into which category some works fit is harder than is ideal.
My apologies. That was an inaccurate way of putting it.
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Old 12-01-2010, 04:59 PM   #19
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Amazon charges Kindle users for free Project Gutenberg e-books

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fas..._users_fo.html
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:08 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by nyrath View Post
Amazon charges Kindle users for free Project Gutenberg e-books

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fas..._users_fo.html
I ran into that story on another forum. It's essentially bottom-feeders putting up public domain books for sale through Amazon's self-publishing thingie (I'm pretty sure about this but not 100% - couldn't figure out a way to see how some of these books are published for the few examples I found - it said "Amazon digital services" for publisher ).

Same thing's happening to B&N's pubIT (I'm on firmer ground there). Several regular B&N customers are not happy about that - they say (loudly on the forum) that it clutters up their new release browsing on the nook and on the site and also go on to demand that there be a filter to weed out all pubIT books (since they apparently overwhelm any attempts at getting reasonably long lists to browse through). Plus, as you can imagine, the signal-to-noise ratio is pretty pathetic in the self-published works (not because indie authors are incompetent - far from it - but because of the bottom-feeders I alluded to before).

Mind you, that doesn't mean either of them are in the clear over this. They are ethically bound to filter out stuff like this before allowing someone to self-publish.

Edit: Just saw another thread on this exact story - http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=109414

Last edited by thrawn_aj; 12-01-2010 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 12-02-2010, 03:25 PM   #21
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The best way to avoid paying for Project Gutenberg public domain books is, of course, to download them directly from PG itself. Alternately, use a generic search site such as either AddALL or Inkmesh or ebookprice.info to check for lowest prices. The listing are sorted from low (free) to high so you don't pay someone else for public domain books.
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Old 12-02-2010, 05:17 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrawn_aj View Post
I ran into that story on another forum. It's essentially bottom-feeders putting up public domain books for sale through Amazon's self-publishing thingie (I'm pretty sure about this but not 100% - couldn't figure out a way to see how some of these books are published for the few examples I found - it said "Amazon digital services" for publisher ).
Actually, I think what you're seeing is "Sold by: Amazon Digital Services" - that's listed for every Kindle book in the Amazon Kindle bookstore. And in fact Amazon loaded, by agreement with PG I believe (though I only have that via hearsay, so I might be wrong), thousands of PG ebooks into the Kindle store, priced at $0.00, when they first started it up. They're all still there, and available to Kindle users alongside the other versions of public domain books, uploaded by third parties via Amazon's DTP interface.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thrawn_aj View Post
Mind you, that doesn't mean either of them are in the clear over this. They are ethically bound to filter out stuff like this before allowing someone to self-publish.
I'm not sure why they should be held responsible for doing that. What criteria should they use to decide "this one gets through, this one doesn't"...?

In general, it seems to me they try to remain neutral regarding what does and does not get into their online store, and that feels right. I don't demonise Amazon the way some here do, but nor do I want them to become some sort of gatekeeper, except in terms of what is or is not legal to sell. They're already limiting the publication via their DTP interface of further versions of PD titles where there are already many other versions available. It's already reaching a point where even those who have spent time and effort translating PD works from English into other languages are having difficulty publishing the translated version via DTP because of Amazon's growing reluctance to accept further PD titles.

- Donna
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Old 12-02-2010, 05:43 PM   #23
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Well, personally, I think the old way copyrights worked was better (small fixed amount, then having to re-new for another small, reasonable amount).

I mean, if you didn't re-new it, there was probably a reason for it. No one was really interested in paying to read it.

And so a lot of stuff that people would never pay to re-read eventually finds a new audience, people who are well, cheap and want to read for free.

It does no good for anyone to have their work lost forever. Not in print because no one wants to buy it, not available online because ridiculous copyright laws.

This is a good case. Poul Anderson is still remembered, but probably only for his Flandry and whatever league stuff. His other works (like this), not so much. Especially as this was the original form, serialized, not the novel version. Often there is a difference.
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Old 12-02-2010, 05:44 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by thrawn_aj View Post
Mind you, that doesn't mean either of them are in the clear over this. They are ethically bound to filter out stuff like this before allowing someone to self-publish.
[/URL]
Ethically bound to prevent something that is completely legal? Books in the public domain are exactly that: public.
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:41 PM   #25
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...people who are well, cheap and want to read for free.
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:14 PM   #26
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Copyright law get both vague and subtle. The PG loophole, that they have been exploiting boils down to the pre-76 copyright law, which 1. requires renewal to maintain copyright (for pre-1964 works) on or about 28 years after publication and 2. (and here's where it gets subtle) that the renewed or re-copyrighted work is the same content. For example, An author wrote a novella of 100 pages in a magazine. The magazine does not renew the copyright. The author expands the work to 160 pages for a paperback and copyright the 160 page version, but does not renew the copyright on the old 100 page version. Voila, the 100 page version fell into PD due to non-renewal, while the 160 page version stays under copyright. This was plugged by the 1976 copyright revision (which took effect in 1978) which grants all work, after 1964, automatic renewal (and endless extensions).

However if the work was not modified, just republished then the copyright is consistent for both (or many publications).
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:41 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tubemonkey View Post
Just how long should a copyright last?

I see two time frames - forever or death of author. Justifying anything in between is quite arbitrary and makes no sense. Personally, I lean toward forever.
LOL, some distant relatives stand to collect big on stuff like the Iliad, the Bible and the Quran....

Forever?!!! Wow!
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:47 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
(All IMO)

Copyright length should be long enough to encourage people to create, and no longer.

Most works should have about the same length of copyright from creation.

Copyright should last at least the lifetime of the author.

Whether a work is in copyright should be easy to determine.


Combining these four, mixing in human lifespan and the age at which creative people start creating worth-while works, I'd suggest that 50 years or the life of the author, whichever is longer, would be a good length.

With this rule, most works would be in copyright for 50 years — ample time to get paid for the work. Some early works by long-lived authors would be in copyright for a bit longer, but not many and not by much.

By having (lengthy fixed term) or (life of author), whichever is longer, the variation in the length of copyright of any work is minimal.

Unfortunately, the Berne convention established the "lifetime + fixed term" rule, and it seems very unlikely that any international agreement will be reached to change this.
Personally, I'd be happy enough with 70 years from the date the copyright was first granted/given. That way even if the author dies, the work can still generate income for the remaining family if it's not yet 70 years. That would be much better then death+70 in the USA. And long enough to get all that's going to be gotten from it.
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:04 PM   #29
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Lifetime is not about encouragement, it's about control.
What is going to happen is that when Mickey Mouse is yet again almost due to lose copyright, Disney is going to be there to insure that copyright is once again screwed all to hell in the USA so they can retain control of the mouse. They don't give a damn that it's causing nothing but trouble. And they will pay off the government to get their way yet again. It's all about the mouse, not the good of the people.
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Old 12-03-2010, 03:02 AM   #30
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Changing copyrights to forever would bankrupt Disney, so doubt that happens.

Do you think someone could steal Walt's frozen head, to make them deal?
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