Getting a little bit back from Elsevier

The British-Dutch mega-publisher Reed Elsevier spent more than 3 million dollars in bribes lobbying fees in the US last year. What the publisher hopes to get back for this money? It probably won’t be a more balanced and more honest form of copyright. The US politicians that were bolstered by this “support” have been bullying … Read More

My first plagiarism

I’ve been plagiarized! Yes, I know. What happened is that Expactica, a website for expats… Wait, I first have to explain to you what expats are, in case you need to have this explained to you. Expats are people that move to another country. But they are not emigrants. As the name implies, they frame … Read More

Question: copyright on text adventure walkthroughs

I am getting lazier every day; I have done absolutely nothing to find the answer to the following question (the sixth in a series) myself. 6. Can there be a copyright on a text adventure walkthrough? (And: who owns this walkthrough?) First, some definitions. A text adventure is a type of video game. Specifically, it … Read More

The goal of copyright law is to stimulate creation

Copyright law is based on the wisdom that “you cannot compete with free”. If an author creates a work, and others give that work to readers for free, the author is likely to have a hard time making money with the work. (Or so the theory goes. There are many authors who do exactly that; … Read More

Question Copyright: what’s the purpose?

Question Copyright (dot org) asked a number of people in Chicago (on what looks like a university campus) what the purpose of copyright is. The film takes a little under 11 minutes and is titled “Interviews, Chicago 2006.” The answers varied somewhat.

Distributed translation experiment, conclusions

A couple of lessons I learned from my distributed translation experiment: 1. Don’t worry about volunteers showing up. Initially nobody seemed to be interested in participating, but after a while somewhere from ten to twenty people turned up, which was more than enough for my purposes. I had advertised my experiment in four places: this … Read More

Dutch e-books from Project Gutenberg, DBNL and Project Laurens Jz Coster

About a month a go I promised I would blog a bit about the difference between the major Dutch projects for public domain e-books. I’m talking about: books in electronic format with the copyrights expired in Dutch available for free over the internet in a format that allows mix, rip and burn. That’s a pretty … Read More

Distributed translation experiment, two years later

Summary: two years ago, I asked people on the internet to help me create a public domain translation of a public domain source text, Poe’s The Tell-tale Heart. The goal was to help establish whether it was possible for a disparate group of translators to create a literary translation. You will find both a description … Read More

F.A.S.T. wants to swap courts for ISPs

The British “Federation Against Software Theft,” a sort of RIAA for software, wants ISPs to determine whether their paying customers are file sharers. Until now F.A.S.T. had to go through that most horrid forms of mediation: the legal system. The organisation’s boss John Lovelock thinks that to “go through the courts and get a court … Read More

Joep’s wonderlijke avonturen

Joep’s wonderlijke avonturen When I first read Herman Heijermans’ “Joeps wonderlijke avonturen” (Jack’s Wondrous Adventures) I was pleasantly surprised for two reasons. The first was that it was by far not as bad as I had expected based on what little I knew from Heijermans, third hand knowledge I had about his play “Op hoop … Read More