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Old 08-07-2009, 11:16 AM   #46
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I'd agree on the Doctorow front, he basically has his own marketing wing through the popularity of BoingBoing. I'm very interested to see how he'll approach selling his books when the paper trade starts tailing off. As it is he loses nothing at all from giving away his wares, because paper sales make up the bulk of his income. I wonder if he'll turn his coat once the paper sales fall away?
Even if he's still alive by then, chances are he'll be financially secure enough to not have to care.

- Ahi
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:19 AM   #47
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Even if he's still alive by then, chances are he'll be financially secure enough to not have to care.

- Ahi
Do you think it's going to be that long? I'm not so sure. The way everything related to technology is increasing above and beyond Moore's predictions has me thinking we could see radical shifts within ten years. And that's not to mention the rapid, tenfold increase in genetic sequencing over the last couple of years.

Theoretically though, I often wonder what Doctorow's position would be if tomorrow he woke up in a world where paper books were no longer produced. Would all his evangelising and support of 'free culture' melt in the face of his own economic realities?
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:25 AM   #48
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Illegal downloading only makes you look like a criminal to a publisher or author, and a criminal is no one they want to do business with.
Ah, the standard misuse of terminology. I'm surprised you didn't work "theft" or "stealing" in there too.

It's questionable whether downloading itself is actually illegal. Even if it is, it is definitely not criminal. However, using that language does make for a more intimidating way of making your point.

As far as your main point about the civil disobedience, I tend to agree.
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:33 AM   #49
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5. DRM removal - if I do this to facilitate the management of my paid for property, and don't distribute the result to other people, am I breaking the law? I suspect (and hope) that I'm just inside the boundary, provided I don't distribute.
To me, one of the main questions is -- if you're doing it to books you've paid for and it's only for personal use, then how would anyone actually know that you're doing it and why would they care. Whether or not it's technically legal/illegal may not matter. I honestly don't think you're ever going to see anybody brought to trial over it. Doing so would be kind of pointless.
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:44 AM   #50
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Well, I'm in a panel that Cory is presenting on that very topic and he says that he does not feel that the loss of revenue will be noticeable, since he has become quite popular by the whole marketing process of giving it away and that he is actually interested to see where it all goes.
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:44 AM   #51
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Do you think it's going to be that long? I'm not so sure. The way everything related to technology is increasing above and beyond Moore's predictions has me thinking we could see radical shifts within ten years. And that's not to mention the rapid, tenfold increase in genetic sequencing over the last couple of years.

Theoretically though, I often wonder what Doctorow's position would be if tomorrow he woke up in a world where paper books were no longer produced. Would all his evangelising and support of 'free culture' melt in the face of his own economic realities?
Yes, I do. Why do you think it won't be that long?

Japan is years if not a full decade ahead of the United States technologically, and while people might be surfing the web on their cell-phones on the subway instead of reading manga, I don't think their printing industry shows even the most preliminary sign of being on the way out.

The publishing industry (albeit not necessarily individual publishers) in any country will be entirely safe from the threat of obsolescence until the day that eBook readers can display newspapers, magazines, textbooks, and other complex books (that cannot be made to reflow without a serious degradation of quality, for reasons to which there can be no solely technological/automated solutions) in the same quality as the paper editions.

And even once that does happen... the impact will probably still take at least a decade or several decades to be fully realized in any given country/region (and may possibly fail to make headway in the third-world for decades more, where a book printed for $1 is expensive, but a device costing more than $20-$30 may be out of reach for people below middle-class for their whole lives).

- Ahi
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:48 AM   #52
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Well, I'm in a panel that Cory is presenting on that very topic and he says that he does not feel that the loss of revenue will be noticeable, since he has become quite popular by the whole marketing process of giving it away and that he is actually interested to see where it all goes.
Cool. I'd love to hear more about that. Is there going to be a transcript or a video of the event anywhere?
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:52 AM   #53
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This is WorldCon. No taping officially. But I am going to try to digest it in the LIve from WorldCon Thread.
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:57 AM   #54
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Japan is years if not a full decade ahead of the United States technologically, and while people might be surfing the web on their cell-phones on the subway instead of reading manga, I don't think their printing industry shows even the most preliminary sign of being on the way out.
I know it's just one datapoint, but:
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In 1982, Weekly Shōnen Jump had a circulation of 2.55 million. By 1995, circulation numbers swelled to 6.53 million. The magazine's editor-in-chief Masahiko Ibaraki believes this was due to the magazine including "hit titles such as Dragon Ball, Slam Dunk and others." After hitting this peak, the circulation numbers began dropping again. By 2007, circulation was at 2.7 million.
From what I hear, the circulation of pretty much all manga magazines is going down and they're closing left and right, while digital manga is growing very fast.
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:57 AM   #55
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This is WorldCon. No taping officially. But I am going to try to digest it in the LIve from WorldCon Thread.
Thanks Looking forward to the 'digest'
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:21 PM   #56
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I know it's just one datapoint, but:

From what I hear, the circulation of pretty much all manga magazines is going down and they're closing left and right, while digital manga is growing very fast.
And this sort of thing is precisely what I alluded to...

... but manga are essentially comic books.

Is the lessening popularity of comic books really a harbinger of the death of the publishing industry and paper books?

And if it is, does the recent increase in North American interest in comic books and manga an indicator of just the opposite? Surely not.

It should also be pointed out that Manga is easy to digitize... due to its inflexible formatting, people do not delude themselves into thinking that it may be ad-hoc reformatted to accommodate the short-comings of eBook reading devices. In other words, if you have a big enough screen, or you have artists use relatively uncomplicated and sequential (non-interacting) "boxes" (don't know the technical term), they can easily be the same quality on an eBook reading device as on printed paper.

I agree that paper books will one day all but disappear... but I am not certain I will live to see that day. The most I expect in my lifetime is that eBook readers become broadly and widely used in the West (and probably not globally), but without the downright demise of either the publishing industry or paper books.

- Ahi

Last edited by ahi; 08-07-2009 at 12:27 PM. Reason: fixed mangled sentence
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:51 PM   #57
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Yeah, Manga is easy to digitize. Generally all the same page size, almost never any multipage spreads, almost always black and white (except for covers).
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Old 08-07-2009, 02:01 PM   #58
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Yeah, Manga is easy to digitize. Generally all the same page size, almost never any multipage spreads, almost always black and white (except for covers).
Yes, Manga is easy to digitize.

No OCR and thus no proofreading is required.

Colour pages can be readily converted to grayscale.

Page sizes can be enlarged or reduced in simple and automated ways.

Multipage spreads can be automatically split (by software) into two pages without rendering their message incomprehensible.

And then...

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Originally Posted by ahi View Post
if you have a big enough screen, or you have artists use relatively uncomplicated and sequential (non-interacting) "boxes" (don't know the technical term), they can easily be the same quality on an eBook reading device as on printed paper.
I'm actually not sure whether you were being serious or sarcastic, or for that matter what you were trying to say or imply, Hellmark.

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Old 08-07-2009, 04:40 PM   #59
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Ahi, that last quote wasn't from me.
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Old 08-07-2009, 04:47 PM   #60
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Ahi, that last quote wasn't from me.
What?

The second quote is from my earlier post to which you initially replied.

It was my attempt to point out that I've already acknowledged the factors that could "break" manga-reading on eBook devices.
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