[KS] DB of Korean Classics
cmuller-lst at jj.em-net.ne.jp
Thu Jan 19 22:16:10 EST 2012
On 01/20/2012 06:59 AM, Frank Hoffmann wrote:
> *1.* Protecting old texts without copyrights (from being downloaded,
> possible being republished elsewhere), THAT was really NOT the issue
> in the earlier emails. The protection issue we had there was about a
> website that has done something with such texts ... right? These
> texts do not just march all by themselves from various libraries and
> private collections to some server's data base? Those texts are
> originally not electronically searchable. Those texts could
> originally not be copied as 'text' but just be viewed on paper. The
> institute had someone type the texts of all those documents, then,
> over years, produced translations into modern Korean language as
> well (at least of the documents I saw), then created various other
> helpful tools--e.g. texts by year search. All that is a lot of work,
> even for one single document.
It is extremely rare, nowadays, to see someone point this sort of
thing out on a scholarly discussion list, and I applaud Frank for
doing so. This is timely, as the SOPA debate rages on both the web
and in printed media at the moment.
Based on my relatively long experience with Web publication, I have
to say that I tend to lean in the direction of those who would like
to enforce more stringent rules on Wikipedia, Google, YouTube, and
so forth regarding their responsibility for their content. For the
"end-users" (in this case "most scholars" the "99%") who simply want
access to as much data as possible, and want that data here and now,
without restrictions, it doesn't matter whose work is copied to what
site and made available for free. And it doesn't matter to
Wikipedia, Google, YouTube, and so forth where the data on their
site comes from or to whom it originally belonged. Or, as Frank
points out, who made the effort to collect, digitize, edit, and
publish the data on the web.
Since the arrival of Wikipedia, I have had continuous problems with
Wikipedia writers copying material from my online reference works
without citation. And when I have written to Wikipedia about it,
they treat me like an insect. They tell me:
(1) Under the third-party rule, Wikipedia has no legal
responsibility for anything copied to its pages.
(2) It is up to me to track down the guilty parties and that I am
obliged to enter into discussions with the editors of the Wikipedia
pages in question (who are mostly anonymous) about the infraction.
But as a busy scholar, I certainly cannot take the time and energy
to do this. And the government will not put pressure on them to take
responsibility, so have no recourse but to surrender.
And then there is the matter of the PDFs of my books that are
distributed all over the web before my publisher has sold ten copies
of the book. And quite often, I find that such PDFs are being
distributed by my own colleagues.
Well, many of my colleagues will tell me "too bad, that's the way it
has to be with the new web."
But I say: It can't work in the long run. It's not sustainable. We
can't say that people who make the effort to create written works,
to edit them, produce them, and distribute them have no right to
make money at it. If we do operate on based on such a principle, we
will eventually put ourselves, our publishers, our editors, all out
Returning to the web site issue. People are continuously trying to
download my entire site. Not only do I dislike the idea that people
think they have right to download my life's work in a minute; site
downloading software often works imperfectly, going into endless
looping sequences that fire several times a second, which end up
preventing access by honest users. Thus, my Webmaster and I do our
best to put mechanisms into place to block the usage of such
programs, and to identify and blacklist those who run such programs.
It's still the Wild West, but it has to change. The current model is
A. Charles Muller
University of Tokyo
Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, Faculty of Letters
Center for Evolving Humanities
7-3-1 Hongō, Bunkyō-ku
Tokyo 113-8654, Japan
Web Site: Resources for East Asian Language and Thought
Mobile Phone: 090-9310-1787
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