3.777 copyright, cont. (80)

Willard McCarty (MCCARTY@vm.epas.utoronto.ca)
Wed, 22 Nov 89 20:34:41 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 777. Wednesday, 22 Nov 1989.

(1) Date: 21 Nov 89 18:24:18 EST (41 lines)
From: James O'Donnell <JODONNEL@PENNSAS>
Subject: copyright

(2) Date: Wed, 22 Nov 89 00:12:00 EST (21 lines)
From: "DAVID STUEHLER" <stuehler@apollo.montclair.edu>
Subject: Copyright

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: 21 Nov 89 18:24:18 EST
From: James O'Donnell <JODONNEL@PENNSAS>
Subject: copyright

From: Jim O'Donnell, Classics, Penn

First, let me *strongly* urge those who are interested in the topic and
HUMANIST, an excellent discussion (not least because it agrees with what
I said a week or so ago, and offers a useful model for getting past the
roadblocks). All sides should fully agree that the money to pay for
creating and distributing (and maintaining! the latest TLG newsletter
from Irvine has sobering reminders that just putting the latest c. 1989
ed. of a classic on a CD-ROM does not keep you from having to update
that later when a better edition becomes available) machine-readable
texts. The important, indeed ineluctable, point, is that the material
circumstances of information preservation, duplication, and transmission
have changed in such a way that the implicit enforcement methods that
worked well enough with printing presses and hard copies just won't work
any more. The article on the LISTSERV makes the valuable point that
software manufacturers are estimated to be losing 50% of their revenue
to unauthorized copying. That changes the economics forever, and
reliance on law and conscience simply will not work. Imaginative
solutions are required for a radically changed environment. One reason
why copyright should *not* survive as is. One advantage of the
machine-readable text is that it can be altered. You can publish today
your authentic list of all the known socket wrenches to survive from
fourteenth century Galicia. In the old days, I would keep that work up
to date with pencil marks in the margins; now I can take the computer
form of the document and add to it additional entries, reformat old ones
for my own convenience, etc. Something like the value-added concept is
going to be necessary to deal with what happens when my friend in
Catanzaro hears about this and wants a copy of my, substantially altered
and improved, version of the original. Something else will be necessary
to keep the authentic list of said socket wrenches from disintegrating
into dozens of variously inaccurate personally modified copies and to
keep those copies from being disseminated as if they were the original.
We really are back in many ways to the situation that affected medieval
manuscript transmission of information, before the reassuringly solid
and indeed embalming force of print technology came along.
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------27----
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 89 00:12:00 EST
From: "DAVID STUEHLER" <stuehler@apollo.montclair.edu>
Subject: Copyright

So much talk of property in this discussion. If I create
a machine readable text, it is because I want to do something
with it. After I have done whatever it was, I don't care if
someone else wants to do something else with it. My investment
of time is the price I am willing to pay for my project. Of
course, if I had some equipment costs I would be happy to share
them with anyone else interested in the same text, but if the
costs were too high, I simply wouldn't have done the text in
the first place.

On the other hand, if a publisher wants to offer a text for
sale, the price is right, and I can afford it, I would be happy
to pay for it. If the price is too high, I'll do it myself.

Dave Stuehler
Montclair State College