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decentralized ebook/etext sharing system
(+4, -4)
  [vote for,

Think what napster did for musicians Bookster could do for writers. It would allow you to share e-texts like those on project gutenberg in a napster-like fashion. New writers could get distributed fast instead of having to find a publisher. I am putting out some PERL beta code for anyone who cares. I might also name it e-literate (pun intended) as oppose to Bookster. -\:-)
beretboy, May 01 2001

http://www.halfbake...creativecommons.com Successful P2P translation project [beland, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

DW artticle on above site http://www.dw-world..._913160_1_A,00.html
[beland, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

CNN article on above site http://www.cnn.com/...ermany.potter.reut/
[beland, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]


       Uh... no.   

       Just put your book on a Web site, dummy!   

       Napster, and other "file sharing" systems, exist only to violate copyright law (and to a lesser extent other laws). They *do not*, no matter what their advocates might tell you, represent any kind of revolutionary new distribution mechanism.   

       Even if you want to enable people to conveniently violate copyright and distribute books (this would bring new meaning to the term "ripped"!), you do *not* need to create an entirely new decentralized peer-to-peer file sharing network from scratch! Most file sharing networks allow you to transfer any type of file, including electronic texts. You can even use Napster, if you use a hack like Wrapster to turn your content into something that superficially resembles an MP3.   

       New writers can already get "distributed fast without finding a publisher". Just put it on a Web page, mail it to your friends, post it to Slashdot, whatever you want. Getting paid is another issue, but you seem to be overlooking this point.   

       If I've been trolled, it wasn't a very artful troll. "Don't you get it? It's a JOKE" -- quite likely, but if so, it's a pretty lame joke.
egnor, May 01 2001

       <depressed sigh>
DrBob, May 01 2001

       I'd vote for this except that we all know that the book publishers would gang up to sue it out of existence. The very thought of that would scare the Dickens out of any would be investors.
sirrobin, May 01 2001

       It would probably have scared the investor out of Dickens, too.
angel, May 01 2001

       I'll never need this so long as I can say to publishers' sales reps in a really obvious kinda tone "I would really like to read that new Neil Gaiman novel, if only someone would give me a review copy."

It's one of the few things I still like about my job.
sirrobin, May 01 2001

       Kind of a digital library then....   

       How is a library copyright violation?????
davros42, May 02 2001

       Baked, baked, baked! The Oxford Text Library, The Athena Project, Project Gutenberg, The Electronic Text Center, The Mitchigan Humanities Text Initiative, CETH, CEDRIC, ARTFL, CELT etc. Books are available in all sorts of formats, and most of the above provide mechanisms to submit texts - so long as they are out of copywrite.
mcscotland, May 02 2001

       egnor's "just put it on a web page" solution ignores the publicity a centralized book-sharing system would automatically garner my Great American Novel. Of course, the problem is one of centralization/compatibility, and indexing, not distribution (which, as others have pointed out, has already been solved to some degree in several P2P systems).
beland, Aug 31 2001

       An interesting (and legal) Bookster alternative would be widespread site-licensing for books by public libraries.
beland, Jun 12 2003

       Copyright. Schmopyright. Writers, singers, etc. etc. etc. can still make a living while "allowing" people some "free use". This plays on the vanity/exclusivity of human beings. If you just want the material -- it's free. If you want a nicely packaged and pre-packaged at that option -- then the level of packaging and amount of work done for you are progressively greater as the price increases from zero to ... the sky's the limit (see, I don't hate capitalists -- just venal, monopolistic scum).
thecat, Jun 16 2003

       Some public libraries offer e-books.
mrthingy, Jun 17 2003

       It's called "fair use," [thecat], not "free use" and it's a legal doctrine (in the U.S.) under which limited copying of copyrighted works without the permission of the owner is allowed for certain teaching and research purposes.
snarfyguy, Jun 17 2003

       [snarfy] Fair use IS free use and I -think- it goes a little beyond just research and teaching. My idea (Copyright/Schmopyright) just takes it to the idea's proper (free, ahem fair) conclusion.
thecat, Jun 23 2003

       Fair use doesn't oblige the user to pay, but its applications are very limited under U.S. law, [thecat]. Look it up. It doesn't mean you are free to do whatever you want with the work.   

       I'm just telling you what the law says. Your "idea" (which certainly did not originate with you, in any case) has nothing to do with it.
snarfyguy, Jun 23 2003

       Well, I should have said legal, for works under copyright protection that don't have the author's permission to be distributed this way. A central index for no-cost e-books would be useful. (P2P aspects might help with storage and distribution, and I assume that participation in the index would be public.) For-payment e-books might also be listed, I suppose.   

       There is already a standardized way for authors to give legal permission for such distribution; see creativecommons.org.
beland, Jun 24 2003

       [snarfy, snarfy, snarfy - sigh] you are confusing my "liberal" -SOCIO-capitalistic- ("ethical socialism")interpretation (and isn't all law just "interpretation" -- usually mean-spirited typical b & w conservative or occasionally mushy, mindless typical b & w liberal interpretation) of fair/free use-s- with the upgrade aspect of my amendment to beretboy (love the name) 's idea.   

       It's nice to see you becoming more reasonable though, snarf. One thing that remains to be cleared up though is this hb silliness that says the idea did not originate with the poster. Pish tosh I say. IF my version of the idea was the product of my conclusions reached independently and from a vast array of source info from all areas (devouring info from all media/disiplines then IT --IS-- MY IDEA! The details not only make the difference, they ARE the difference.   

       I see us bridging a gap here, snarf. Today you and Bungston. Tomorrow (relatively speaking, of course -- and another sigh)...squeke, etc. Then the world! Thanks for helping me refine my ideas. Heat (controlled) is effective for that, no? (As I have often said "I'm no scientist, Jim").   

       Love & Kisses, the cat
thecat, Jun 24 2003

       I just added a link to a site where German Harry Potter fans get access to a complete piecemeal translation of the fifth book after translating a part themselves. The book hasn't come out in German yet; the German publisher is OK with this site because it's "private", but they got an injunction preventing the site from posting a public translation of the fourth book.
beland, Jul 13 2003


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