richard at tXSLfaDkkida6QGdy4RlZPueWj6JcU34Hegttno5Z4UuzvWVEp8OKBN6Fr7K0kaJ3OR-xbRLvtycKq5s.yahoo.invalid
Thu Jan 22 23:48:10 GMT 2009
Anne Willis wrote:
> Looking at the 'million books' list and the items below on
> e-bay I have a strong suspicion that someone is
> downloading free books onto cd's and profiting by it.
Perhaps I'm reading something into your email that you
weren't intending, and if so, I apologise. But I get the
impression that you believe it is wrong or against the
spirit of the 'million books' project (and some other
similar projects) for people to download these, put them on
to CD, and sell the CDs for a profit.
In many of these projects including the Internet Archive's
'million books' project, many of the scans of the books are
available under a very permissive style of licence known as
the Creative Commons which quite explicitly allows
(encourages, even) people to do precisely what this person
on ebay appears to be doing (provided a few basic
requirements, such as attribution, are adhered to); and
other scans appear to be released into the public domain.
The likes of the Internet Archive gain nothing when someone
visits their site -- there's no advertising there, and they
don't sell things -- indeed, it costs them (or rather, their
sponsers) considerably when someone spends the evening
reading Stahlschmidt's Kent, or Raven's Cambridge, or
whatever on-line. It's done solely for altrustic reasons.
By contrast, if a third party produces a CD or DVD, or a
bound print-out, of these books, the Internet Archive only
have to pay for a single download. So by doing these
things, you are doing them a favour.
(The case of Google Books is rather different: they are a
commercial company who make money from advertising, and, as
far as I know, do not licence the images in such a
I appreciate that this is slightly off-topic, but if people
are to make proper use of the resources available on the
internet, it's as well to be familiar with what is
acceptable and what isn't, especially when it is different
to what is familar from more traditional media.
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