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Old 01-02-2018, 03:15 PM   #1
sealbeater
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Torching the Modern-Day Library of Alexandria

https://www.theatlantic.com/technolo...-books/523320/

It's a pretty long article so I won't post the contents but a very interesting read. Goes to illustrate how it's not necessarily the content holders who are holding back access to books.
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Old 01-02-2018, 03:24 PM   #2
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Had read that great article when it came out last year. Certainly hoping the 1923 books will be let out of U.S. copyright "jail" at the end of this year.

I certainly would love to be able to expand my collection of e-books that were originally published in 1923.
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Old 01-02-2018, 03:31 PM   #3
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Personally I'm giving some thought to building a book scanner.

https://www.diybookscanner.org/
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Old 01-02-2018, 04:29 PM   #4
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That's a really interesting situation and a fascinating conflict. The publishers were right in thinking that Googles project could eventually lead to business disaster. Not overnight but if the books became available like that publishers and booksellers would lose a lot of sales and over time a lot more till they eventually became almost irrelevant.

On the other hand it just might have been one of the major cultural milestones in history. I remember reading an article, maybe 20 or 30 years ago, listing the events that changed civilization most. These included, according to that article, agriculture, which lead to cities and government, the discovery that the universe didn't revolve around the Earth, pointing out how unimportant we are, Freud's discovery of the subconscious and the invention of the atom bomb, which told us we could come to an end at any time. I suspect that the internet probably belongs on that list as well but that article was too long ago for that to be considered.

The Google project, in a similar article written a few hundred years in the future, might be on that list and even top it if it had been allowed to proceed. And yet the things that brought it down were very real. That just might be a tragic flaw in capitalism.

Capitalism is greed put to work to society's benefit. Sometimes it doesn't.

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Old 01-02-2018, 09:21 PM   #5
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Capitalism is greed put to work to society's benefit. Sometimes it doesn't.

Barry
I think it would be slightly more accurate to say;-

Capitalism is greed put to work. Sometimes society benefits. Sometimes it doesn't.
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Old 01-02-2018, 10:50 PM   #6
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I think it would be slightly more accurate to say;-

Capitalism is greed put to work. Sometimes society benefits. Sometimes it doesn't.
I think this is a case of an industry protecting itself against progress. There are lots of examples of that but there are far more examples of progress happening. The device you're reading this on, for example.

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Old 01-02-2018, 11:45 PM   #7
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This article makes me very sad. What an opportunity wasted. Another illustration of the way our intellectual property system often no longer benefits the public but a few large "rights-holders" to whose interests the public good has been sacrificed. There is much to be said for the 14 year Copyright duration in the original legislation. I would baulk at this only because I would like to see authors benefit from their work throughout their lives. I would hate to see a travesty where a book languishes during a short copyright period only to later become a blockbuster with the still living author receiving no benefit. I think perhaps a 14 year copyright duration during which the copyright can be licensed or assigned, followed by reversion of the work to the Author and a statutory licence and royalty scheme during the rest of the authors life and perhaps a short period thereafter. Copyright exists for the public good, and benefits to authors are incidental to that purpose. Benefits to non-creative "rights-holders" are yet a further degree remote.

Of course, the prospects of this happening any time soon are just about non-existent. I can only see rights holders pressing for ever more draconian laws as intellectual property laws of all types fall further and further into public contempt and are increasingly disregarded. Which is a shame, since sane and equitable intellectual property laws are very much in the public interest.
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Old 01-03-2018, 01:19 AM   #8
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I think this is a case of an industry protecting itself against progress. There are lots of examples of that but there are far more examples of progress happening. The device you're reading this on, for example.

Barry
Hi Barryem

It depends on how much you have been influenced by the propaganda put out by those who benefit most from capitalism and how you define progress. But this is starting to get political/philosophical so I will shut up. Except to quote the old proverb "it is an ill wind that benefits no one".
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Old 01-03-2018, 01:22 AM   #9
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Copyright exists for the public good, and benefits to authors are incidental to that purpose. Benefits to non-creative "rights-holders" are yet a further degree remote.

Of course, the prospects of this happening any time soon are just about non-existent. I can only see rights holders pressing for ever more draconian laws as intellectual property laws of all types fall further and further into public contempt and are increasingly disregarded. Which is a shame, since sane and equitable intellectual property laws are very much in the public interest.
Hi Darryl

Another nice posting.
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Old 01-03-2018, 11:15 AM   #10
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This article makes me very sad. What an opportunity wasted. Another illustration of the way our intellectual property system often no longer benefits the public but a few large "rights-holders" to whose interests the public good has been sacrificed. There is much to be said for the 14 year Copyright duration in the original legislation. I would baulk at this only because I would like to see authors benefit from their work throughout their lives. I would hate to see a travesty where a book languishes during a short copyright period only to later become a blockbuster with the still living author receiving no benefit. I think perhaps a 14 year copyright duration during which the copyright can be licensed or assigned, followed by reversion of the work to the Author and a statutory licence and royalty scheme during the rest of the authors life and perhaps a short period thereafter. Copyright exists for the public good, and benefits to authors are incidental to that purpose. Benefits to non-creative "rights-holders" are yet a further degree remote.

Of course, the prospects of this happening any time soon are just about non-existent. I can only see rights holders pressing for ever more draconian laws as intellectual property laws of all types fall further and further into public contempt and are increasingly disregarded. Which is a shame, since sane and equitable intellectual property laws are very much in the public interest.
At this point Disney owns something like half the world. I don't see them leaving copyright laws alone any time soon.
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Old 01-03-2018, 12:06 PM   #11
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Personally I'm giving some thought to building a book scanner.

https://www.diybookscanner.org/
Wouldn't it be simpler to just buy a scanner and use that? Some can extract text to doc files now and there is the pdf file which can then be converted to epub, html, or kindle format.
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Old 01-03-2018, 12:19 PM   #12
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Having seen the quality of the Public Domain books produced by Google, I wouldn't have thought that similarly produced ebooks (that cost money!) would have stolen too many consumers from properly produced ebooks.
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Old 01-03-2018, 02:05 PM   #13
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This article makes me very sad. What an opportunity wasted. Another illustration of the way our intellectual property system often no longer benefits the public but a few large "rights-holders" to whose interests the public good has been sacrificed. There is much to be said for the 14 year Copyright duration in the original legislation. I would baulk at this only because I would like to see authors benefit from their work throughout their lives. I would hate to see a travesty where a book languishes during a short copyright period only to later become a blockbuster with the still living author receiving no benefit. I think perhaps a 14 year copyright duration during which the copyright can be licensed or assigned, followed by reversion of the work to the Author and a statutory licence and royalty scheme during the rest of the authors life and perhaps a short period thereafter. Copyright exists for the public good, and benefits to authors are incidental to that purpose. Benefits to non-creative "rights-holders" are yet a further degree remote.

Of course, the prospects of this happening any time soon are just about non-existent. I can only see rights holders pressing for ever more draconian laws as intellectual property laws of all types fall further and further into public contempt and are increasingly disregarded. Which is a shame, since sane and equitable intellectual property laws are very much in the public interest.
I agree. Copyright terms have gotten ridiculous and the publishers want to tighten things up even more. It's in their interest sometimes to work against the public interest. Capitalism is far from perfect but I'm sure glad we have it.

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Old 01-03-2018, 02:10 PM   #14
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But this is starting to get political/philosophical so I will shut up. Except to quote the old proverb "it is an ill wind that benefits no one".
It's a philosophical and political topic by it's very nature. If we don't discuss it in those terms there's not much else to say about it.

Churchill's said "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others." I think that works just as well for capitalism.

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Old 01-03-2018, 03:22 PM   #15
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Wouldn't it be simpler to just buy a scanner and use that? Some can extract text to doc files now and there is the pdf file which can then be converted to epub, html, or kindle format.
I think the idea is to automate it. I've use scanners and it can be troublesome aligning the page and whatnot. I saw an automated scanner that was built using legos. I dunno, it's a start but I like the idea of having a dedicated scanning section. I have a lot of old books I wouldnt mind having as digital. Even if I have to do OCR and error-correction, I don't mind depending on the books.


I have a series of 1930's era technical and engineering books I would love to have on my reader.
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