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Re: <nettime> aaaaarg lawsuit digest #ANON
tomislav medak on Thu, 14 Jan 2016 16:22:59 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> aaaaarg lawsuit digest #ANON


   Aaaaarg complied with the take-down request for the scan of the book in
   question. It was after a while re-upped and again taken down. For the
   total time it was up, it was downloaded a small number of times,
   nothing that would, even if each download would convert into a lost
   sale, help the publisher sell any significant portion of a print run.
   As the download-to-sale ratio can reasonable be assumed to be much
   lower -- one in three, one in five or one in ten, whatever number you
   want to choose, the damage is small to negligible.

   It's an open debate how much piracy hurts small publishers, likely it
   does. However, what hurts them much more is the system of publishing
   dominated by the dynamics of large commercial publishing houses,
   distributors and vendors. In short, the publishing in the web of C. For
   example, in our small neck of the wood, large commercial publishers
   dominate the entire production and distribution chain, and we as a
   small publisher rarely see any money from our books that actually sell.
   Making our books available in parallel for download
   (http://monoskop.org/Mama) has at least helped us land them into the
   hands of readers who speak our 'quaint small language' around the
   Balkans. I assume though that things look different in the
   English-speaking world.

   Which brings me to another anecdotal argument. When I was studying in
   Zagreb in the mid 90s, the selection of books and journals I had access
   to in the university or public libraries was ridiculously antiquated
   and sparse. There were so many books I've heard of, I needed, and had
   slim chances of getting my hands onto. Twenty years down the line,
   things look radically different for my younger colleagues. They neither
   have to be at an academic institution nor at a rich academic
   institution to be able to access much of what is published worldwide
   and relevant to their work. Now, this obviously breaks some things,
   a.o. the academic privilege, the economic domination of universities in
   the global north, the interests of academic publishing oligopoly --
   which is fighting back tooth and claw (see Elsevier v Sci-hub).
   Doug's previous book has been an important acquisition in the small
   public library that we run at mama. I hope that they keep coming and he
   continues writing them. The question is, as Brian suggests, that we
   have to start somewhere if we wish to see something else in this world.
   Sure, not letting things break that we don't want to get broken, but
   rather focusing on things that need breaking -- given the world of
   commercial academic publishing and the world of privilege to education,
   that's certainly not the small publishers.

   Best,
   Tom

   On Thu, Jan 14, 2016 at 10:20 AM, Balazs Bodo <[2]bodo {AT} uva.nl> wrote:

     The public, selective, and strategic application of copyright infringement
     is a political tool. I learned that to preserve the collection some
     'guardians' are inclined to struck ad-hoc deals with authors wishing to have
     their works taken down. It is a small sacrifice to preserve something of a
     greater value, _and_ making the right political point. Without knowing the
     circumstances I was wondering whether it would make sense to judge
     individual removal requests, such as this guy's, in the light of the
     potential costs of non-compliance, and the potential loss of not having this
     particular piece.

     Cheers
     b.-
 <...>

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