Monday, November 23, 2009

Daily Thoughts 11/23/2009

The library in the Kirby Hall of Civil Rights building at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, United States.. April 1, 2005. Benjamin D. Esham for the Wikimedia Commons.

Daily Thoughts 11/23/2009

I am reading more of Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars by William Patry. The last section I was reading was about metaphors and copyright. There are quite a few different metaphors described; people being pirates, birthing intellectual property, lawyers being sharks, copying works being thievery, and many others. The language is very charged, entertaining, and pointed.

You sometimes have to wonder about certain aspects of copyright. From what I have seen a typical book lasts about a month or so in the bookstore where it sells for a while, then the older copies are sent back to the publisher to be remaindered and sold at a discount. In a library, the library keeps the book for about a year or two, then checks the amount of time which the book has been circulated. If it has literary merit, they might keep if it has low circulation, otherwise it is likely to be deaccessioned. Not a whole lot of books make it past three or four years let alone seventy.

In Moral Panics and the Copyright wars, the author, William Patry says approximately 1.7% of books are still in print after 70 years. This is not a huge amount of books. In my mind, most of them go to that imaginary place, the library where all the forgotten books are in endless rows to be never found again. You also have to question this, with print on demand, as well as book scanning technology, it is not that hard to get a book printed again. Out of print is a fuzzy term these days.

Maybe, things will change, and many of the books in the libray of forgotten books will fade away and enter Google Books search to be found as digital ghosts that slowly make it back into existence as people look at them on the internet. They may even rematerialize completely through the magic of print on demand. The Espresso Book Machine has partnered with Google Books to make its content easily available. I can imagine whole isles of books disappearing from that imaginary underground repository as I write.

I spent some time during the last few days cleaning up and consolidating my keywords for my blog. I still have to do it again to eliminate even more phrases, but I have made an initial pass for spelling, duplicate style entries like professional books and professional literature, extra punctuation, and other mistakes. Google limits the total number of keywords allowed.

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