Well Done El Reg
Though I suspect its more cockup than conspiracy on this one.
Contributors to the iconic feminist magazine Spare Rib, which ran from 1972 to 1993, have been warned not to sign away their rights. Last week the British Library contacted over a thousand former contributors giving them just seven days to give their consent to what it described as a "digitisation project". If authors …
"while the call was first put out in November, the letter was only sent out this week..."
Cock-up indeed. Probably something along the lines of 'what do you mean none of the contributors happened to look at our website, this project needs approval next week, shit, better send some letters out'.
" ...You hadn't exactly gone out of your way to call attention to them had you? I mean like actually telling anyone or anything."
"But the plans were on display..."
"On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them."
"That's the display department."
"With a torch."
"Ah, well the lights had probably gone."
"So had the stairs."
"But look you found the notice didn't you?"
"Yes," said Arthur, "yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of The Leopard'."
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I have a full run of the paper version, so will be donating to some other library (if any want them as a snap-shot of feminism in the Good Old Days) that understands its job to be the preservation and guardianship of all printed information, and not the monetising of what they were given for free and for which they get tax money to care for. The BL has made many appalling decisions over the past years -- chucking out hard copies of newspapers from the 1700s and 1800s, even though they knew their poor-quality microfilm copies were decaying, trying to get into bed with Google etc who were going to pwn their digitisations and so on. The BL Powers That Be are a mixture of lambs to the slaughter, not understanding what they are signing, and cavalier civil servants who get excited by a shiny toy such as digitisation and who forget that their sole purpose is to hold and preserve in perpetuity all possible print items as they can possibly store. Not to delete, shill or monetise them. They need to resist the modern mentality to make a quick quid, and they have to remember that they don't own what they hold --the authors do, as long as those authors are alive.
"To handle the trolling problem they could change it to a "NoDerivs" Creative Commons licence."
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston provides 150+ hours of CC classical music. Issued under a No Derivatives licence, so I can't release Colin Carr's Bach Cello Sonatas with a drum'n'base backing track. Or if I do, the ISGM laywers will be writing...
I think railroading people into something like this in a short period is a bit daft.
Very easy to criticise but the British Legal Deposit Libraries are tasked to deal with some bloody tricky things with the world against them (in EL Reg) on an ever decreasing (Osborne) budget.
Perhaps we would be better in a world without libraries and access to information. Ignorance really IS bliss (at least around here)
The evil librarians want to make these wonderful works publicly available for no remuneration... That is as opposed to them being publicly unavailable for no remuneration? What's the big deal?
I seriously don't understand why, as soon as anyone is called an "author", they start to believe that the whole world owes them, regardless of what it is they have actually authored?
Articles in these kind of magazines are nothing but a dead-tree version of modern blogs for someone who had a strong opinion on something and wanted to shout about it. This is not very different from this comments thread IMHO. How about all us commentards here retitle ourselves to "columnists" and start claiming rights, lefts and centres?
You do have rights as a commentard. They are limited, because we signed an awful lot of them away when we signed up the el reg t&cs, but they nevertheless exist. Of someone wants to compile a book of the wonderful wit and wisdom of FredCommentard across umpteen fora and print it then they can't just do it...
Hmm, you're right... The Register took my rights away! And they didn't give me 7 days to think about it either... Yes, I remember now - it was just "oh, click this thingy here and you're good"! Do you mean... Oh! A lawyer! Half a kingdom for a lawyer!
But seriously, you are missing my point a bit - yes, these are my comments and opinions and I know that I technically gave some of my rights away for the pleasure of seeing them available online but I also know that if I were to print them, the cost of 1 sheet of paper will be infinitely larger that any potential income I could ever hope to receive from them.
Those Spare Ribbers who think they are being robbed of a lucrative multi-million income stream though the evil BL making their musings available for online research are suffering from the delusions of grandeur. Granted, that may be the mildest of their afflictions, but still... :-)
"According to what they claim, the project will not go ahead if over 10% of contributors do not give their permission. Another way to say this is, it will only happen if over 90% of contributors give approval in the next 7 days, which will clearly not happen."
I got the impression from the article that it will go on unless more than 10% refuse permission. No response will be seen as consent, so 10%+ have to actively refuse.
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