14.0028 data-mining by textbook publishers

From: Humanist Discussion Group (willard@lists.village.virginia.edu)
Date: Sat May 20 2000 - 04:53:20 CUT

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                    Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 28.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

             Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 05:48:12 +0100
             From: Paul Brians <brians@mail.wsu.edu>
             Subject: Data mining by textbook publishers

    Because I've done published some of my translations on the Web, from time
    to time I'm contacted by textbook publishers wanting to reprint them in

    So far, in every case, they've offered no money, though they quickly
    acceded when I asked a modest fee. And in every case the contract they sent
    me had no mention of the fee on it. A follow-up call usually results in my
    being told to just write the fee in.

    Now why would one design a contract omitting any mention of payment unless
    one were hoping to trick the unwary into signing automatically and
    forfeiting payment? Has anyone else encountered this sort of attempt at
    piratical data mining on the Web?

    Then there are the companies that want to sell you public-domain texts at
    low, low prices when they're readily available free on the Web.

    Professors are viewed by some of these publishers as unintelligent cash
    cows, ready for milking.

    Paul Brians, Department of English
    Washington State University
    Pullman, WA 99164-5020

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