One thing that really bugs me...

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Jeff Tirey
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One thing that really bugs me...

Post by Jeff Tirey » Thu Nov 04, 2004 5:42 pm

is seeing outside sites rip off Textkit's content.

http://folk.uio.no/
http://folk.uio.no/lukeb/books/nt_greek ... tshell.pdf


No respect for our hard work.

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Post by mingshey » Thu Nov 04, 2004 6:31 pm

It looks like a university site. First they are unthankful to your work. And the next they are shameless for a public institute that is supposed to be honorable. Third, they have put a wrong link name to Textkit, to say, they got "TxtKit" for the link! It's the most unforgivable mistake.

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Post by Jeff Tirey » Thu Nov 04, 2004 7:47 pm

I can't read the text, so I don't know what the page is about. Can someone say what kind of site this is?

Actually, this happens more than you think but I'm tired of being quite about it. I'm hoping public shame can turn some heads. I run automated queries that search for specific mentions of our site, author names and titles.

Some people think since our files are free to download they must be free for posting elsewhere. While I prefer to keep the exact numbers private, the Textkit project is extremely expensive. It takes quite a bit of software, hardware, book purchases, office supplies and web hosting to keep this site running. And I can't even begin to estimate the time of its volunteers. So it's a disappointment to see our content lifted.

In every case the outside site posted our NT content and that's also why I have stopped developing new NT files and content.

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Post by Jeff Tirey » Thu Nov 04, 2004 7:54 pm

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Post by ingrid70 » Thu Nov 04, 2004 7:56 pm

I don't know any Norwegian, but from what I can read (German/Dutch similarities), this is the place where the personal websites of students and staff of the University of Oslo are hosted. I think it even says that the university is responsible for content. If I were you, I'd write the webmaster.

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Post by Jeff Tirey » Thu Nov 04, 2004 8:03 pm

Oh, that's the first thing I did. But sadly I had to write my email in English. I don't want to perceived as one of those Americans who says, "Why don't you speak English?"

It looked like a university site so we'll see.
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Post by Emma_85 » Thu Nov 04, 2004 8:10 pm

this folk.uio.no is like a webservice for personal webpages for the students and personell of that university. So the page probably belongs to a professor or a senior student there. If you want to complain then you could to it to the guy who's website it is or to the university who are hosting the site.
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Post by Emma_85 » Thu Nov 04, 2004 8:13 pm

Oh, hehehe someone has already replied.
But I can't help you to write an email in Norwegian, I think English will be fine, I doubt they'll be offended at you writing to them in English... they are the ones who offended you really anyway.
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Post by Episcopus » Thu Nov 04, 2004 8:34 pm

folk.uio.no er Universitetet i Oslos webtjener for personlige nettsider. Alle studenter og ansatte ved UiO kan opprette sine egne nettsider.
I think this says 'folk.no is the university in oslos web server for personal sites, all students and staff by? UiO may make his own website

then Universitetet i Oslo har det overordnede redaktøransvaret for de personlige hjemmesidene

"the university in oslo has the superior editor...software for personal sites"

The next part is something about laws, I'm not entirely sure with my shocking guesswork and some words are unfamiliar:

Det innebærer at den enkelte bruker må påse at innholdet ikke er i strid med norsk lov, ikke bryter med UiOs IT-reglement, gjeldende lover og regler og vanlig skikk og bruk

The carryer in/importer...simple/single uses...not ? with norweigan law, not violating UiOs IT rule, (breaking?) laws and rules and uses

Ow my head. Hey jeff if you want some one to email them perhaps ask Dingbats, most Swedes know well norweigian...
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Post by Jeff Tirey » Thu Nov 04, 2004 8:39 pm

thanks for the translation.. I'm always so impressed by the language skills of most Europeans.
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Post by ingrid70 » Thu Nov 04, 2004 8:45 pm

[quote="Episcopus] Universitetet i Oslo har det overordnede redaktøransvaret for de personlige hjemmesidene

"the university in oslo has the superior editor...software for personal sites"
[/quote]

I think they're saying here that they are 'answerable' (ansvaret) for the content. Short on-line dictionary search gives liable for ansvarlig.

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Post by Episcopus » Thu Nov 04, 2004 8:52 pm

:oops: oops I saw a word I thought was editor then got carried away...you're bound to embarrass yourself when you guess from swedish, however closely they are related :?
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Post by ingrid70 » Thu Nov 04, 2004 9:12 pm

In Dutch a 'redacteur' is an editor. That did help :).

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Post by Emma_85 » Thu Nov 04, 2004 9:22 pm

Well, all European languages are somehow related to each other. Maybe it's reading the outside of drink cartons and things like that when you're bored that helps too :wink: (you'd be amazed how many different spellings/words there are for 'good morning shaving foam' in Europe.)
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Post by Jeff Tirey » Thu Nov 04, 2004 10:44 pm

haha! you guys are cracking me up. Only at Textkit does a rant thread about copying content turn into a language discussion :lol:
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Post by Bert » Thu Nov 04, 2004 10:58 pm

jeff wrote:haha! you guys are cracking me up. Only at Textkit does a rant thread about copying content turn into a language discussion :lol:
It is good to see that you can smile again.
jeff, would it be a good idea if I (and others) e-mail them, to let them know how disrespectful this practice is?

Is this practice only disrespectful and rude or is it also illegal?

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Post by Geoff » Thu Nov 04, 2004 11:35 pm

Bert wrote:It is good to see that you can smile again.
jeff, would it be a good idea if I (and others) e-mail them, to let them know how disrespectful this practice is?

Is this practice only disrespectful and rude or is it also illegal?
Jeff, please provide those of us who are ignorant about exactly how this hurts textkit. I too would be open to emailing any sources stealing content.

Before reading a similar discussion (remember Lex?) I used to hand out CD's, but now I direct people to the site itself.

If those who actually use textkit can help then by all means, don't be bashful about posting sites who steal content.

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Post by Jeff Tirey » Fri Nov 05, 2004 1:04 am

Geoff wrote:
Bert wrote:It is good to see that you can smile again.
jeff, would it be a good idea if I (and others) e-mail them, to let them know how disrespectful this practice is?

Is this practice only disrespectful and rude or is it also illegal?
Jeff, please provide those of us who are ignorant about exactly how this hurts textkit. I too would be open to emailing any sources stealing content.

Before reading a similar discussion (remember Lex?) I used to hand out CD's, but now I direct people to the site itself.

If those who actually use textkit can help then by all means, don't be bashful about posting sites who steal content.
I'll reply to both your questions.

It's incredibly rude, it's stealing and it hurts Textkit in many ways. If someone with and outside website appreciates our content, then link to our details page where a vistitor can download the file. Anyone who downloads files from an outside server has been denied the chance to see what else we have to offer them. We lose the chance to establish a new visitor who might return here again. Lets face it, if websites had no visitors what's the point in building them. Having visitors is our payment and reward for creating this content. With visitors, we can do new things tomorrow that we can't do today, such as the Vocabulary Tool.

So naturally, it's not appreciated when our content gets lifted and placed elsewhere.

And I don't mind the distribution of our files on CD-ROMs IF it is used by learners with no internet connection. The whole point here is to distrubute learning material. But if it's a download, let it be here at Textkit.
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Post by mingshey » Fri Nov 05, 2004 5:35 am

Geoff wrote:
Bert wrote:It is good to see that you can smile again.
jeff, would it be a good idea if I (and others) e-mail them, to let them know how disrespectful this practice is?

Is this practice only disrespectful and rude or is it also illegal?
Jeff, please provide those of us who are ignorant about exactly how this hurts textkit. I too would be open to emailing any sources stealing content.

Before reading a similar discussion (remember Lex?) I used to hand out CD's, but now I direct people to the site itself.

If those who actually use textkit can help then by all means, don't be bashful about posting sites who steal content.
Count me in.

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Post by Bert » Fri Nov 05, 2004 11:35 am

jeff wrote:
In every case the outside site posted our NT content and that's also why I have stopped developing new NT files and content.

Jeff
Mounce makes an answer key available to his workbook. In the preface to this answer key he says that the key should only be used with the permission of the teacher, because studying Biblical Greek while engaging in God dishonouring dishonesty is worse than useless.

In line with this thinking, I find it especially shocking that sites will resort to stealing content in order to make Biblical Greek resources available.

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Post by Jeff Tirey » Fri Nov 05, 2004 12:03 pm

I heard back from the University of Oslo and they were very helpful in removing this content. Thanks Oslo!
Last edited by Jeff Tirey on Fri Nov 05, 2004 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Jeff Tirey » Fri Nov 05, 2004 12:48 pm

Bert wrote:
jeff wrote:
In every case the outside site posted our NT content and that's also why I have stopped developing new NT files and content.

Jeff
Mounce makes an answer key available to his workbook. In the preface to this answer key he says that the key should only be used with the permission of the teacher, because studying Biblical Greek while engaging in God dishonouring dishonesty is worse than useless.

In line with this thinking, I find it especially shocking that sites will resort to stealing content in order to make Biblical Greek resources available.
It's certainly ironic. When I see sites like this: http://www.ccel.org/whats-new.html

http://www.ccel.org/c/conybeare/septuagint/htm/i.htm

take our hard work and turn it into their own, I'm not inclined at all to develop NT content further. That book in particular had special value for me because for one thing it was a truly excellent book that could not be found elsewhere. Also, I searched around hard to find a copy and I had to erase pencil markings on almost all pages. This group it seems is in the process of converting all of our NT files.

Maybe this is what I should do with Textkit content:
http://www.ccel.org/cdrom/ccelv4.html Since that's the direction our files are going.
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Post by tdominus » Fri Nov 05, 2004 12:57 pm

Jeff,
I feel that you need to be much more explicit on the download pages about what usage is allowed. Of course, by default the copyright is yours, but in my experience very few average joes understand the complexities of copyright law.

You do mention that "All Greek & Latin grammars and language learning books are developed by Textkit and they are intended for personal educational use only. The redistribution of Textkit files and content is prohibited. " but this is only mentioned at the bottom of the page in tiny writing which most people would overlook anyway. Saying "all rights reserved" is legally valid, but in my experience most people do not know what it means.

I suggest you add in clear writing above the download, "you may download this file for your own private use only. This file may NOT be copied onto another site or distributed in any way."

Since you are in the US you may wish to look into sending DMCA notices to web hosts hosting your copyrighted material. Personally, if I caught anyone unlawfully profiting from stealing and selling my software, I would strongly consider legal action. You'd be well within your rights to do so.

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Post by Jeff Tirey » Fri Nov 05, 2004 1:08 pm

It might just have to come to that. It is sad however, because it will place more hoops that visitors will have to jump through before they reach the download. One thing that you might have noticed, and hopefully like, about Textkit is its incredible directness with delivering content.
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Post by harry » Fri Nov 05, 2004 2:24 pm

I'm sorry that you feel that your rights have been violated. However, copyright applies to literary productions, things that require creativity to produce. You don't get a copyright on page images just by virtue of scanning them, which is a mechanical process.

However, if you would seriously like to try to prevent others from using the scanned images, even though the law doesn't give you that right, I'll consider your request. Of course, others may use the images.

By the way, I did give textkit credit for the images; are you afraid this other use will detract from your work somehow? I take the other perspective and let everyone use the works on ccel.org freely, figuring the more use that is made of my work, the more people it benefits, the better. This strategy results in all sorts of unimagined uses of these works, commercial and non-commercial, and they reach many thousands or even millions of people this way.

If you're afraid that people are making money from your work, don't worry about it from my perspective at least. I've never received any financial benefit from my 10 years' work on the CCEL apart from my normal salary. Income from CD-ROMS goes into further development of the CCEL.

I do apologize for using the images without asking permission as a courtesy, which I should have done. I assumed that since it is public domain material, posted without a copyright notice that I saw, you wouldn't mind. I know I get dozens of "copyright" requests that I'd just as soon not get, even though the web site explicitly says that you can use these works for any purpose, etc.

Blessings,

Harry Plantinga

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Post by Timothy » Fri Nov 05, 2004 3:00 pm

From http://www.ccel.org/info/governance.html

"A board of directors, which is a part of the Calvin College governance structure,
governs the CCEL. The members of the board are

Harry Plantinga, Professor of Computer Science, Calvin College
Janel Curry, Dean for Research and Scholarship, Calvin College
Britt Dennison, Product Manager, New Media, Zondervan Publishing House
Glenn Remelts, Hekman Library Director, Calvin College
Lugene Schemper, Librarian, Calvin College
Thomas Scofield, Professor of Mathematics, Calvin College
Thomas Thompson, Theologian, Calvin College
Calvin College has supported the CCEL with a network

From Calvin College web site People search:

Harry Plantinga,
Janel Curry,
Glenn Remelts,
Lugene Schemper,
Thomas Scofield, Thomas Thompson,

Jeff, what we need now is the applicable copyright basis for the material.

The I propose that every member send them email asking them to remove the material from their pages and CD's, etc.

I've already asked Mr. Plantinga to remove the material and this seems to be his reply.

Tim

|Edited - Removed email addresses|
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Post by Jeff Tirey » Fri Nov 05, 2004 3:24 pm

Hi Harry,

Thank you for posting. All too often I get no response to issues like this.

Well I certainly disagree with your position and according to your university's copyright infringement notification link a letter outlining our position is on the way.

There's a tremendous amount of creativity which goes into producing these PDF files. Our PDF files were certainly unique in their presentation, format and navigation scheme. All of which was stripped out so that you could lay claim to public domain. I would like to know too what software or methods your group used to unlock an encrypted Acrobat file?

I'm also not accepting nor satisfied with your justification for lifting our content. I'm simply not interested in how you are rationalizing your group's action. Our user agreement is quite clear and found in the footer of all pages. By convention it's in the footer where everyone looks to learn more about a site's restrictions, guidelines and legal policies. So the idea that we're vague about our user agreement and that our vagueness is somehow equal to being a sign of not caring about the ownership of our content is flat out ridiculous. Also, taking the steps to circumvent our PDF file security should have been a clear enough signal that we wish to protect our content.

As for credit. What credit? I see the text "textkit.com" on your what's new page. Which didn't even rise to the courtesy of a direct link. There is no mention where your visitors will use and consume our images and there is no credit given for other content such as here: http://www.ccel.org/s/smyth/grammar/png/index.html Once again, these are our images stripped from our PDF file.

I'm asking you now to please do the right thing and remove this content. It's rude, violates our copyright ownership and it undermines all the hard work that goes on here.

Also too, please take pride in being the prime motive for our new policy of not producing any new New Testament content since it will certainly go from our site into yours. Your actions are the perfect example of how respect for others' hard work and property is simply ignored on the Internet.



Jeff
Last edited by Jeff Tirey on Fri Nov 05, 2004 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by harry » Fri Nov 05, 2004 4:17 pm

I'll remove the images. Sorry to have offended.

To answer your question about getting the images out of the PDFs, I didn't even notice that they were protected. I loaded the PDF into ABBYY FineReader Pro and saved the images and the OCRed text.

Would you please remove the email addresses posted above? We already get enough spam...

Blessings,

Harry

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Post by Geoff » Fri Nov 05, 2004 8:33 pm

Aside from copyright issues. The most important things when it comes to personal websites are respect and longevity. As content theft demonstrates, there are more than enough outlets willing to distribute free material.

Obviously, distribution alone is not the sole purpose of establishing a website like this one. This site is well run, and maintained. Content is not the genious and charm, but the drawing power. If you circumvent the site by providing the content, then you undermine the motivation. Visits and downloads mean better ratings. Better ratings translate into more traffic, more activity in the forums, more volunteers, possibly donations, more oppurtunities (such as the Amazon support), etc. The end product is a good site getting better and more oppurtunities for the little guy (me).

This website presents a unique enviroment for discussion of language. It has been one of the best resources for my study of Greek in a number of different ways. Unfortunately, the traffic from students of Koine is relatively low. Content theft helps explain why. There is no motivation to generate koine content if it does not translate into increased koine student traffic.

A simple email to Jeff hoping to strike a deal to provide the NT material could have avoided all these troubles and saved the reputation of another great website like CCEL (just one example). Even posting to the forums and asking for ideas on how to enlarge the contents availability could bring about some great ideas to this end without jeopardizing the traffic to the site.

All these great sites represent investments of time, labor and money. At least patronize that motivation by directing people to the site rather than open distribution and minimal recognition.

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Post by harry » Fri Nov 05, 2004 9:18 pm

Geoff,

Thanks for the thoughtful reply. You raise some interesting ethical issues.

I agree that it would be great for me in some sense if no one else were allowed to post classic Christian books on the web. Or would it? Come to think of it, it might help my access rate, but it wouldn't further my mission, which is to distribute these works and build up the church. Businesses would like to have monoplies, but the government generally doesn't allow it, because they say it would be bad for the consumer.

Copyright law is a carefully crafted trade-off between giving exclusive rights to the content creator and giving rights to society as a whole. The 'fair use' provisions, for example, codify the limitations on monoply rights of copyright holders.

In this case, copyright law is clear: you don't get a new copyright on a work just by scanning it. So you're presumably positing another ethical principle besides obeying the law, namely respect for the effort people have put into creating something.

Now that sounds good, and it is good in many circumstances. But suppose people were to follow those guidelines -- what would happen to society? If book authors were to request it, books would NEVER go into the public domain. If music producers desired it, you wouldn't even be able to whistle their songs in public. They'd love to keep all rights! There would be no balance between the good of the content creators and the good of society, because the content creators would keep all rights for themselves.

The only reasonable ethical guidline I can see is to respect the law, since it was carefully crafted to balance the good of authors and society. Though in this case I took the images off just not to cause hard feelings, I guess.

-harry

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Post by tdominus » Sat Nov 06, 2004 12:55 am

harry wrote: In this case, copyright law is clear: you don't get a new copyright on a work just by scanning it. So you're presumably positing another ethical principle besides obeying the law, namely respect for the effort people have put into creating something.
Nope. The scanned, formatted, edited, work is considered a derivative work, and is protected by copyright. Speak to a lawyer if you don't believe me. It is the courts, not you, that make the demarcation of what is considered a creative work.
harry wrote: Now that sounds good, and it is good in many circumstances. But suppose people were to follow those guidelines -- what would happen to society? If book authors were to request it, books would NEVER go into the public domain. If music producers desired it, you wouldn't even be able to whistle their songs in public. They'd love to keep all rights! There would be no balance between the good of the content creators and the good of society, because the content creators would keep all rights for themselves.
Not true. An author can specify his own terms of distribution. If an author wishes for his work to be redistributed, the law allows for that, and many authors do indeed release their work under such terms - but they do so out of choice, not from the rationalisations of someone not involved in the creation of the work.

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Post by harry » Mon Nov 08, 2004 1:55 pm

Yes, formatting and (especially) editing can result in a new copyright, but not scanning of page images--which is all that I used. We did in fact ask an intellectual property lawyer, and she agreed.

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Post by Timothy » Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:50 pm

To the best of my knowledge, there are no raw scanned images on TextKit. All the
book scanned images appear to have been laboriously cleaned, enhanced, marked,
sized, ordered, and formatted into a PDF file. The contents of the PDF are marked
on the very first page with the TextKit address. There are no faded pages, There
are few or no pencil or pen marks, or notations. There are no page tears, "dog ears",
rips, folds, stains, or smudges. The characteristic page background gray of scanned
pages has been removed or reduced.

In short, a significant amount of manual labor has been applied to the raw scanned
images that is obvious to anyone even casually familiar with the process. As such,
they are marked as TextKit property and the material is copyright material.

As far as I know, whether or not there exists newer software to do all of the above
does not affect the amount of labor and effort put in to creating this particular
material.
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Post by Jeff Tirey » Mon Nov 08, 2004 5:52 pm

Harry doesn't want to acknowledge that. He keeps going back to 'images' but is overlooking that those images were removed from encrypted PDF files which all show original workflow, authorship, editorial, navigation and layout decisions. Copyright issues aside, their group is distributing copies of our hard earned property. Those are copies of our files which are being distributed against our site's terms of use policy.
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Post by harry » Mon Nov 08, 2004 8:31 pm

Last friday I said I would remove the images from the server, and I did later that day. So it's no longer true that I am distributing those images as far as I know.

It _is_ true that copyright law sometimes allows people to distribute someone's hard work in ways that they don't like -- for example, making backups of CDs. Music companies might not like it, but it's probably legal under fair use.

Content producers have tried to prevent many uses that have since become encoded as exceptions to copyright in the past. For example, the first "records" had a notice on the cover that said "licensed for use on only one victrola" -- i.e. you may only play this disk on one player. If you have two players, you need to buy a second disk. The supreme court later ruled that "fair use" permits you to play records you purchase on multiple players. Other publishers tried to prevent people from reselling books. Fair use eventually established that the right of resale is not a right granted to the author under copyright. Hollywood was terribly upset when sony started selling VCRs, thinking that it would be the end of the movie industry. The supreme court ruled that taping off the air is legal because private, non-commercial copying is presumed legal unless shown to harm the market.

These limitations were instituted for the good of society. Let me just suggest how in this case your desire to restrict the use of these images over and above what copyright law provides may not be for the good of society. I had put the images into a "digital facsimile editing" system which makes it possible for volunteers to view the page image and correct the digitized text. In a couple of years, it's likely that these texts would have been available in proofed digital form, for anyone to use, including you. Digitized texts take less space, are searchable, may be rendered more crisply, etc. So there would have been significant advantages for users of these texts if I had left them on the CCEL.

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Post by Emma_85 » Mon Nov 08, 2004 8:55 pm

Harry, you could just have put a link the Textkit content though. That way people would have had the benefit of proper pdfs to help them learn, textkit would have got it's visitors and you would have been providing the link to the material.
And you just should have asked Jeff. An improved digital text might be better, but what you did does not seem right to me, I'm sorry to say.
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Post by Jeff Tirey » Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:06 pm

Hi Harry,

I like to think that full and free downloads for personal educational use is just about as good for society as it gets. We don't want to see our content migrate to outside sites or end up on Ebay Cd-Roms and I think that's a fair position considering the time and expense that it takes to create it.

We didn't say anything about digitizing text. We're asking that you not place our images and files on outside servers or use our images and files as your own content. Or sell our images and files on CDs.

I have not check today, but I see:

But I'll look here:
http://216.239.41.104/search?q=cache:ZR ... ccel&hl=en
Textkit Founder

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Geoff
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Post by Geoff » Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:23 pm

harry wrote: It _is_ true that copyright law sometimes allows people to distribute someone's hard work in ways that they don't like -- for example, making backups of CDs. Music companies might not like it, but it's probably legal under fair use.

These limitations were instituted for the good of society. Let me just suggest how in this case your desire to restrict the use of these images over and above what copyright law provides may not be for the good of society. I had put the images into a "digital facsimile editing" system which makes it possible for volunteers to view the page image and correct the digitized text. In a couple of years, it's likely that these texts would have been available in proofed digital form, for anyone to use, including you. Digitized texts take less space, are searchable, may be rendered more crisply, etc. So there would have been significant advantages for users of these texts if I had left them on the CCEL.
No one here is suggesting backups are unethical. Back up is not distribution, there is a vast difference. Any time software companies, music, et al, attempt to deny the consumer from protecting their investment those companies should be taken to task. However, taking one's work and distributing it is not the same.

Furthermore, (Perhaps I speak out of order) most people here would love to see the texts in question digitized. Furthermore, being a part of that work in some way would be considered a service to society. However, when using a copyrighted work representing considerable labor and financial investment, a simple inquiry about the best arrangement is certainly befitting the Christian ethic, and courtesy if not for legal reasons too.

Any individual interested in participating could be directed to textkit and given directions to download the work for themselves thus not undermining the intent of the work. Still, no one has said they are alltogether opposed to the project, but no one has asked the important question, "What is the best possible arrangement to make these texts available to the world without hindering the growth of either site?"

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Timothy
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Location: Baltimore

Post by Timothy » Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:41 pm

Why is this so hard to understand?

You didn't do the work, why try to take credit for it?

If not for money, why is it so important that you distribute it?
phpbb

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Geoff
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Post by Geoff » Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:51 pm

Website Growth is important. Perpetuating the work is a motivation. Nothing wrong with that, but there are good ways, better ways and "best" ways.

http://www.dhq.nu/ccelforums/forum_post ... ID=14&PN=1

If Harry can accomplish becoming fully supported to give more attention to CCEL or find other workers so he can return to more teaching (whichever is his goal) then bravo. There is nothing wrong with either of those aims. Neither of them is likely to be acheived if everyone set up sites like his, there was nothing distinct about the work and no one visited the site. That would make the very thought of advertising obsolete.

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