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Old 03-05-2021, 06:43 PM   #61
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It would be better to link to the image than to copy it.
In this circumstance, I thought it would be covered by the "fair use" doctrine.

https://www.copyright.gov/fair-use/more-info.html
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Old 03-05-2021, 06:59 PM   #62
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Please post the image into this discussion
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Image copyright is independent of text copyright.
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is the image under question an image, or is it a stylised drawing within the text? And is it a matter of difference


Anything pre 1955 is out of copyright here in Aus
Illustration copyright is independent of text copyright, I used the word image because you did. If you are going to split hairs over image versus drawing, then you sort out which it is.

What matters is that the illustrator holds the illustration copyright.

For better or worse, copyright most of the time depends on date of death, not date of publication. Theodor Seuss Geisel died 1991. He was also an illustrator. If he made this illustration, then the distinction in copyright is moot.
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Old 03-05-2021, 07:07 PM   #63
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Here in Australia, image copyright was the date of the image at the time of original publication of that book, which was 1935 wasn't it

edit:1937

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Old 03-05-2021, 07:36 PM   #64
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Here in Australia, image copyright was the date of the image at the time of original publication of that book, which was 1935 wasn't it

edit:1937
Then ask someone in Australia to post the image to an Australian site.

Mobileread is hosted in the EU and follows EU copyright law.
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Old 03-05-2021, 07:54 PM   #65
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Oh thank heavens the US hosting finished.
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Old 03-05-2021, 09:18 PM   #66
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Regarding the ability of literature to lock children into a POV, I'm old enough to remember the panic over the Heather Has Two Moms sort of book. And thirty years later, rather than the two moms set having taken over, I'm reading Where have all the lesbians gone?

Even if my last link is exaggerated, the earlier campaign against freedom to read gay-friendly children's books failed to understand the role of literature, as does this one.

Did Theodor Seuss Geisel want to convince African-American children that they should move to Africa and become hunter-gatherers? I doubt it. But if he did, he's been wildly unsuccessful.

Suppose the Geisel family finds an unpublished Seuss manuscript titled How to Poison the Non-White Kid in Your Class. Should they seek out an extremist publisher? No. But that's not the range these freedom to read kerfuffles ever get into.

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Old 03-06-2021, 04:30 AM   #67
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I think the problem with that book is that the only picture of a Chinese person is of someone in stereotypical clothing and stereotypical accessories. The problem isn't so much the image on its own, but its context.

There's a white man who's interesting to look at because he has an absurdly long beard, and a white man who's interesting to look at because he is a magician, and a Chinese man who's interesting to look at because he is Chinese.

If the book had also had Chinese people who were interesting to look at because they were driving airplanes, or were firefighters, or were eating an absurdly large cake, and if it also had some white people who were interesting to look at because of their ethnicity (a Scot in kilt playing a bagpipe, a Norwegian in bunad eating lutefisk), or even just a few Chinese people among the extras in the background, wearing top hats and playing instruments, I think the book would have been fine. As it is, it tells children that being Chinese or of Chinese descent is weird and exotic, and being European or of European descent is normal. That's not a great message to give to any child, no matter their ancestry.

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I find all those images inoffensive, and wonder out loud how they've created this storm in a bloody tea cup
Oh, I agree that it's a storm in at tea cup. Publishers and rights owners decide to stop reprinting books all the time, for all kinds of reasons. This has become an issue because some people with a persecution complex have decided that a normal business decision is some kind of attack on their freedom It could also be a shrewd (if somewhat cynical) decision from Seuss' heirs: Some old books don't sell well, so let's tell people we're withdrawing them for ideological reasons, because then the people who disagree will buy out our remaining stock as a political gesture.


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Even if my last link is exaggerated, the earlier campaign against freedom to read gay-friendly children's books failed to understand the role of literature, as does this one.
What do you see as the role of literature?
I see its role as a mirror -- showing us what we can be -- and as a window -- giving us insight into other people and other worlds (and as a source of joy and entertainment, of course). Both the mirror and the window fails us if it distorts some types of people into exotic or weird cliches.

(Your last link seem to promote some kind of transphobic conspiracy theory, and doesn't seem relevant to this discussion.)

Heh, I'm writing quite a lot about this tea cup I'll end with this Goldberg quote:

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"Well, when I was nine years old Star Trek came on," Goldberg says. "I looked at it and I went screaming through the house, 'Come here, mum, everybody, come quick, come quick, there's a black lady on television and she ain't no maid!' I knew right then and there I could be anything I wanted to be."
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Old 03-06-2021, 06:12 AM   #68
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"Seuss himself later revised the 1937 title Mulberry Street, saying that: “I had a gentleman with a pigtail. I colored him yellow and called him a Chinaman. That’s the way thing were 50 years ago. In later editions I refer to him as a Chinese man. I have taken the color out of the gentleman and removed the pigtail."

http://www.theguardian.com/books/202...ishman.”

The article makes clear that the sales of the books are increasing, in the US in any event, which feeds into the theory mentioned by several posters in this thread that that may have been a tactic.

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Old 03-06-2021, 06:54 AM   #69
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*And I disagree with your assessment of King Solomon's Mines. The whole colonial mindset could be called racist, I guess. But for its time, it was fairly progressive.

Out of curiosity, have you read the book?
After the Last time Haggard was slandered I took the time to do a little research and the truth is that Haggard was very enlightened about race 'FOR HIS TIME'.

I know there are some people who will deny this and either refuse to look at the evidence or who will interpret anything he says as racist light. I met such people in college in the mid 80s and their number has increased.
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Old 03-06-2021, 06:56 AM   #70
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Is Dr. Seuss pointing fun at magicians or men with ten foot beards? They seem to be dealt with in much the same way as the Chinese man. I suspect some people may be reading a little too much into the image.
Absolutely right.
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Old 03-06-2021, 07:02 AM   #71
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Oh thank heavens the US hosting finished.
Seconded.
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Old 03-06-2021, 07:22 AM   #72
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It’s not kids’ outrage you have to worry about. It’s the lack of outrage, the acceptance of something offensive, the effect of seeing another race demeaned. The stereotypical image of the Asian man in Mulberry Street offends. Enough to withdraw the book, an important and good book? It’s complicated. As with the Obamas’ love of Seuss. No one’s arguing that he wasn’t a great author, didn’t almost single-handed transform children’s lit for the better. But as time has gone on, it’s obvious he’s not an unalloyed good, either.
Just because _you_ are outraged at something written 50 years ago doesn't mean that children should be outraged, That's just projecting your personal prejudices on them. I read my some of my grandmother's history books when I was a kid, with all the bigotry in them. It wasn't hard for my parents to explain that's just how people thought back then and we don't think that way anymore.

Withdrawing books because you personally find them offensive isn't complicated, it's very straight forward. It's also a very good argument for no copyright if a book isn't available for purchase.

No one is unalloyed good. If that's your standard, then you might as well get the gas out because you are going to be burning pretty much every book written.
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Old 03-06-2021, 07:24 AM   #73
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I think the problem with that book is that the only picture of a Chinese person is of someone in stereotypical clothing and stereotypical accessories. The problem isn't so much the image on its own, but its context...

... it tells children that being Chinese or of Chinese descent is weird and exotic, and being European or of European descent is normal. That's not a great message to give to any child, no matter their ancestry.
That's your interpretation. The quote from Dr. Seuss which Lynx-lynx uncovered suggests that that was not the intention:

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Originally Posted by Lynx-lynx View Post
"Seuss himself later revised the 1937 title Mulberry Street, saying that: “I had a gentleman with a pigtail. I colored him yellow and called him a Chinaman. That’s the way thing were 50 years ago. In later editions I refer to him as a Chinese man. I have taken the color out of the gentleman and removed the pigtail."

http://www.theguardian.com/books/202...ishman.”
The picture is undoubtedly dated. But the Chinese man has the exact same pose as the magician. I don't see that he is treated any differently. Now, running down a street while eating with chopsticks is odd. Just as is running down the street while doing magic tricks.

Should Indians be offended that the Indian figure in the book is riding atop an elephant? Isn't that stereotypical? What about the fact that the elephant is blue? Was Dr. Seuss making fun of the Hindu deity Ganesha who is often portrayed as blue and who has an elephant head?

What should we make of the fact that there were no female characters in the book? Does that tell children that women are not important?
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Old 03-06-2021, 07:27 AM   #74
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No one is "next". Because Dr Seuss was not targeted by anyone. There was no outrage that forced the rights-holders to do what they did. That's what makes this whole tempest in a teapot so silly. A product was voluntarily rebranded by its owners, and it was decided that some of their poorly selling (and potentially culturally offensive) books would no longer be reprinted. Something that happens every day in the world of publishing without fanfare or bleating.
Poor selling? Dr Seuss is poor selling? That's your story and you are sticking to it, hum? Anyone who doesn't think there was some form of outside pressure on the foundation dedicated to keeping Dr Seuss books in print that caused them to remove certain books from circulation is either exceptionally naive or in denial. But yea, nothing to see here, just move along.
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Old 03-06-2021, 08:04 AM   #75
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I think the problem with that book is that the only picture of a Chinese person is of someone in stereotypical clothing and stereotypical accessories.
I have no problem with giving a book a negative review.

However, I do have a problem with withdrawing the book for that reason.

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If the book had also had Chinese people who were interesting to look at because they were driving airplanes, or were firefighters, or were eating an absurdly large cake, and if it also had some white people who were interesting to look at because of their ethnicity (a Scot in kilt playing a bagpipe, a Norwegian in bunad eating lutefisk), or even just a few Chinese people among the extras in the background, wearing top hats and playing instruments, I think the book would have been fine.
When I was a child, at least for a few years, biography was my favorite genres. By the theory that occupational diversity needs to be present in every title, we could stop printing, and stop selling on Ebay, all juvenile biographies, since no one book shows it. Perhaps more were about scientists like George Washington Carver than hunter-gatherers like Geronimo. But both should be known.

In times of moral panic, I wish they would just leave my grandkids books alone.

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What do you see as the role of literature?
Provide a wider perspective. If the librarian finds that almost all of their children's books treat people of color as weird and exotic -- which would mean it was an extraordinarily weird library -- the remedy is to supplement with other kinds of books. But if hardly any of their books show people of color as weird and exotic -- or just to make sure a wide range of perspectives are in their collection -- they should, if they can afford it, buy the withdrawn titles while still available.

If they can't afford it (more likley ), And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street enters the U.S. public domain on January 1, 2033. Even if retail outlets remain limited, I hope for brisk sales to send the message that book suppression backfires.
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