Re: How open is the Open Content Alliance?
- From: "Kent S. Larsen II" <kent@[redacted]>
- Subject: Re: How open is the Open Content Alliance?
- Date: Thu, 1 Nov 2007 22:34:03 -0400
At 9:47 PM -0400 10/31/07, David Starner wrote:
>On 10/30/07, Klaus Graf <klausgraf@[redacted]> wrote:
>> Asks Peter Hirtle
>I found this statement interesting:
>> It doesn't seem fair that everyone associated with the production of
>> printed public domain books (On Demand Books, the maker of the
>> printer; the bookseller where it is located; and for all I know the OCA
>> itself) might make money on the arrangement, but the library that
>> provides the content that drives the system only gets to pay to have
>> it digitized in the first place.
>I'm not entirely unsympathetic with this, but certainly the printer
>and the bookseller
>have real, ongoing costs associated with producing physical books,
>whereas all the library's expenses were one-time. And this is part of
>a public library's job; to provide free access to information to the
>There's no way for the library to force users of the material to pay a
>fee to them, given that the Internet Archive posts it for free on
>their website. I assume that users of large masses of material like
>this find it easier to work with the Internet Archive rather than
>trying to download it all themselves, but the Internet Archive doesn't
>sound like a place that wants to get into the per-use fees.
There is one, rather distant possibility -- charge the fee to anyone that
wants to purchase the text from you.
Something like this does happen with archival images. Libraries and Art
Museums do collect a fee from those that want scans of artworks -- even
those that are hundreds of years old and clearly in the public domain.
Of course, I've been told that the copyright law supports this requirement,
because each new scan/photo is a new work in some sense that I don't fully
In this way, I assume the scans of books are a new work in the same way,
while the text itself isn't.
Of course, that may mean, pushing the logic hear to the limit, that
applying any kind of markup language to a text (adding italics, or
indicating that a word should not be hyphenated, in an rtf version of the
work) creates a new work.
I wouldn't want to take someone to court with that argument. But perhaps
libraries could use this kind of logic for charging modest fees, just like
they do for images.
No doubt someone with a deeper understanding of copyright law will set me
straight on this. If not, then maybe Libraries do have a way of recouping
some of their storage costs.
[Moderator: Note that copyright law varies in different countries.
In the US, cases like Bridgeman v. Corel reflect a doctrine that a literal
scan of a book or picture is not copyrightable in itself. But the law may
be different in different jurisdictions (and I'm not a lawyer). - JMO]