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Old 08-29-2012, 02:47 PM   #1
Iznogood
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All books published between 1900 and 2000 freely available on internet

The Norwegian National Library has for some years been working on a project called The Digital Book Shelf (loosely translated to English), a web site where a lot of books from 1790, 1890 and 1990 has been digitized and made available online. As of today, there are about 50.000 books available there. In the years to come, the digitizing of the national library will continue by digitizing and making all Norwegian books published between 1900 and 2000 available. About 250.000 Norwegian books will be digitized, and with a Norwegian IP these will be available. The books that are still under copyright may only be read online (via browser and protected with flash/java/whatever the National Library seem fitting), but books that are in the public domain may be downloaded as pdf and read everywhere.

The director of Kopinor (the Norwegian office which deals with copyright) says that this is an agreement that is unique for Norway:
Quote:
This is a groundbreaking agreement, also internationally. I don't think any other countries has the mans to make books available in this scale. This shows that with a well-functioning copyright arrangement and rights holders organizations, results can be achieved.
The quote is loosely translated by yours truly.

The national library will pay about 6 cent per page that is digitized, and the money will be distributed among authors and publishers by Kopinor. Also the copyright holders may withdraw a book from the project if the book is "commercially interesting" (whatever that means; all books are in a way commercially interresting).



Personally, I find this to be very good news! It will take time, many books will be kept away from the project by copyright holders, but a lot of books now only available in the national library will be made available to the public. The biggest threat to some of out cultural heritage is not pirating or that the contents is being used without paying for it, but to a large degree that authors are forgot, their thoughts and ideas forgotten, and now only available in a few dusty volumes stored in the national library. It's about time to bring out all these riches and glorious books and make them available again.

Sources (in Norwegian, but Google Translate can help here):
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:53 PM   #2
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I am told that Google Chrome supports translations from Norwegian to english thus english sepakers should be ok on the site.
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:16 PM   #3
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There is a button for English version if you hit the red book bottom right
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Old 08-29-2012, 06:19 PM   #4
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Gosh - that's very interesting, how do we sign up/investigate etc.... ?
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Old 08-30-2012, 01:02 PM   #5
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PDF is the bane of e-reading. It's a format for print only or fraggin' tech geeks reading on their basement desktops.
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Old 08-30-2012, 01:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Namekuseijin View Post
PDF is the bane of e-reading. It's a format for print only or fraggin' tech geeks reading on their basement desktops.
Hey, I'm a geek, but I don't read pdf in my basement., hahaha, actually I have no basement at home.

But you're right. PDF is not an ebook format.

It would be great news if at least, they start using epub.
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Old 08-30-2012, 02:26 PM   #7
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It's not ment for e-reading. It't ment for researchers and of course for making the books available. The goal is to make digital facsimile editions of print editions. For that pdf is suitable. In order for the epub format to make sense you need to use sensible markup and a thorough proof reading. That's not going to happen with 250.000 books. It's simply impossible.
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Old 08-30-2012, 03:51 PM   #8
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PDF is great for books that shouldn't be reflowed. I am a tech geek, and I read a lot of PDF (and djvu), but more on my Story HD than on my basement desktop.
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Old 08-30-2012, 04:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Namekuseijin View Post
PDF is the bane of e-reading. It's a format for print only or fraggin' tech geeks reading on their basement desktops.
Happens to work fine on a tablet and is a lot better than epub for high graphics/photo content books as well as enabling the rapid digital conservation/conversion of paper... epub etc are great for predominately text items AND if you have the people/money to do the OCR/edit/proof before completion... can you cover the costs a quarter of a million plus titles???

Once you've got the stuff digitised then you can worry about out formats for specific devices but if you don't get it digitised in the first place then the whole discussion becomes moot... perfection is nice but reality isn't always perfect.

And without the "fraggin' tech geeks" then you wouldn't be having this thread/forum at all... or even computers, ereaders etc...
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