Saturday, April 3, 2010
Shows just how little I know about publishing.
I saw this Op-Ed in the New York Times today about copyright problems for digital books. Being a naive academic, I would have assumed that rules similar to academic rules regarding citations and proper attribution would have prevailed. While I'm unclear about the exact limits on usage, from this op-ed it sounds like the actual rules used by publishers are far different from what I was trained to do in academia. It wouldn't have even occurred to me that if I ever finish writing a book that I may have to worry about using a short line from a song or snippet of poetry. Same would go for artwork used. If it is an ancient painting or image why would there be a worry about publishing it? This really needs to be addressed since these rules don't seem to be appropriate to the digital age. It seems crazy that I couldn't say, imbed an image of a famous work of art and link through to the museum where the physical painting is located in a hypothetical e-novel or work of non-fiction (It's not clear to me from the op-ed whether or not I could do this without paying, though my reading of it leans towards this not being allowed). Though since I have basically no background in this area I may very well have an exaggerated sense of the limitations from this single op-ed.