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The Brooklyn bookshop saving out-of-print sci-fi, one e-book at a time (Read 918 times)
Webbie
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The Brooklyn bookshop saving out-of-print sci-fi, one e-book at a time
Sep 02nd, 2012, 3:51pm
 
The genre enthusiasts are working with rights holders to preserve great books.

With its dramatic cover art and fantastical story plots, science fiction dared readers to dream of amazing possible futures filled with aliens, robots, and all sorts of gadgetry. Now, ironically, some of the earliest books of the genre find themselves precariously near extinction, never to make it to the future they describe. Until Singularity & Co came onto the scene, that is.

Lawyer Ash Kalb, musician-anthropologist Cici James, stylist-writer Jamil V Moen, and former Gawker media community manager Kaila Hale-Stern are the intrepid crew behind the Brooklyn-based bookshop. Each month, Singularity & CoŚwith the help of its communityŚchooses one great out-of-print or obscure science fiction novel, tracks down the copyright holders and makes that work available in DRM-free PDF, Epub, and Mobi format for subscribers.

Founded in April, after a massively successful Kickstarter campaign that earned them 350 percent of their $15,000 (ú9,500) goal and kudos from authors like Neil Gaiman, Cory Doctorow and Ken McLeod, Singularity & Co hasn't always had the easiest time unraveling vintage sci-fi's copyright issues. "We knew it would be difficult to track down the legal status of the books, but it's simply much harder than we though it would be," said James.

Books get lost along the way for a variety of reasons. There could be no perceived demand for it, publication rights become muddled, or the books are simply forgotten. Sometimes, things get political. "It's really sad because a lot of really great books get lost not because nobody wants them but because people with lots of money who claim they have the rights are stopping people who have the rights from actually doing things. We hope to help these people down the road," said Kalb, the lawyer of the group, who takes charge of helping authors and author estates untangle the copyright mess.

more here:
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/09/the-brooklyn-bookshop-saving-out-of-p...

Sounds like some of the takedown notices of personal works on the net by Disney and others over nothing but a similarity in titles or names. That and fear of hordes of lawyers. Sigh...

The Millennium Copyright act wasn't thought out very well or it was just by the wrong people.
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Jeangoldstrom
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Re: The Brooklyn bookshop saving out-of-print sci-fi, one e-book at a time
Reply #1 - Sep 2nd, 2012, 7:19pm
 

What a super idea! Thanks for the heads-up, Webbie. Cheers for the people trying to keep wonderful literature alive.

-- Jean
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Webbie
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Re: The Brooklyn bookshop saving out-of-print sci-fi, one e-book at a time
Reply #2 - Sep 5th, 2012, 1:51pm
 
Jeangoldstrom wrote on Sep 2nd, 2012, 7:19pm:
What a super idea! Thanks for the heads-up, Webbie. Cheers for the people trying to keep wonderful literature alive.

-- Jean



Old books never die they just fade away from the consciousness of the reading public only to live on in some dusty attic or garage as a treasure for tomorrow.

It's the in between time that we all end up missing out on the fun!  :-/
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