The Technium

Screen Publishing


Mylibrary.jpg

We are becoming people of the screen instead of people of the book. I have been a person of the book, but I am becoming a person of the screen. It is not an easy transition. I write in a two-story library full of books that I love (that’s one part of it above). Few things give me as much pleasure as sitting in an overstuffed chair late at night in my library reading from my books. I especially love my illustrated tomes and art books. They help me dream. I am surrounded by pages. We have floor to ceiling bookshelves in our bedroom as well. In our living room. In our den. In our kitchen. Books everywhere!

But I will get rid of 90% of these books as soon as I can get a digital copy of them. I work with books. I wrestle with them, play with them, mark them, write in them, dog-ear them, talk to them. I use them. But my books on paper, as gorgeous as they look, are usually bimbos. I can’t search them, clip them, cut and paste their best parts, share their highlights, or my marginalia, link them to my other books, or continue our conversation for very long. That’s why I am moving to digital books as fast as I can.

As much as possible I am only purchasing digital books now. And starting this year I will be primarily publishing in digital media. “Digital First.” Paper may come later, but it will be secondary.

The challenge for me so far is: how do you do digital publishing? I know how to do it on the web (you’re reading it here now), but how do you create and publish on an iPad app? What tools should I use? What about an ibook for the Nook? What tools should I use then? What about self-publishing a book on the Kindle? How do I do that? It’s somewhat easy to see how one might do this with an all text book, but what about images? How do you make pages flick on a screen? How do you put in hot spots in an illustration? Where do I do the design of the page?

So many questions! And so much potential. True digital book publishing, with its near-zero distribution costs, would overturn the culture in the same way the web has done with music and newspapers. In many respects the open-ended possibilities and great uncertainties of digital publishing remind me of the early days of the web. It feels like it is 1992 again.

Screen.jpg

What I need is a user group — a screen publisher’s user group. A peer community of like-minded newbies intent of figuring out how to do low-rent independent digital publishing. A place were we can share what tools we have discovered, and which techniques work. So I have started a Bay Area Screen Publishers User Group. The first meetup will take place in March 2011 in my studio in Pacifica. Sign up if you want to come.

I’ve also started a blog for Screen Publishing, especially for those outside of the bay area, where we’ll post what we learn. We’ll cover independent publishing of mostly bookish material to the new media of phone screens, tablet screens, laptop screens, desktop screens, and beyond. Anything that requires screening to absorb.

If you are part of this tribe — people of the screen — and would like to contribute, please join in.




Comments
  • Vladimir Pentovsky

    Ink on paper is permanent, digital is temporary. One blast from an emp or the collapse of the internet and everything you have digitally stored is erased! I have in my house a very large library and book shelves everywhere except in the kitchen and dining room. All the books are perfectly preserved in a vacuum packing AFTER I HAVE THEM RE-COPIED USING ARCHIVAL INK ON ARCHIVAL PAPER AND MICROFILMED SEVERAL TIMES FOR MY PERSONAL USE. Computers usually lasts about 4 to 7 years, 10 to 15 years for the higher quality ones. But books using archival ink on archival paper lasts for 500 to 1,000 years. I have a computer, an old refurbished one, and a hardwired automatic auto-save-on-print program that instantaneously scan, copies, and transfers all comments, searches and their contents, browsings and their contents, websites and their contents, webpages and all of the contents of all of the particular griup of websites in that particular webpages, e-mails, documents, files, etc to an adjunct 5 dot-matrix printer TO BE PRINTED and chronologically dataed and properly titled by the SCT hardwired program (SCT is SCAN-COPY-TRANSFER) besides the quintuple redundant hard drive banks containing 5 multi-raid 1 hard drive banks, and to the raid 1 1TB ram with quintuple back up nickel-cadnium batteries. 2 dot-matrix printers prints continuously until they are finished, while the other 3 are automatic back ups. I the aim is to save everything in print so that if something went wrong with my computer then nothing is lost FOR EVERYTHING IS IN PRINT! Old books, and new books when they become old they automatically become priceless historical archives of vital historical information on how knowledge evolved from the past to the present so that people have the both that sense of certainty because of the physical tangible permanence of a written information and a constant source of reminding reminders of old books constantly showing themselves regardless you need them or not but will constantly remind you of the preciousness of preserving history by preserving all old books BUT ALSO OF THEIR IMPORTANCE AS A CROSS-REFERENCING ARCHIVAL PRINTED INFORMATION SOURCES WHICH IS PERMANENTLY FOREVER. Provided of course that the information is printed on permanent archival paper using permanent archival ink and placed in a perfectly safely library facility inside a house or a public library or an archival historical library like the Library Of Congress.
    Fifteen Reasons Why Books Are Better Than Computers.
    1.) Books don’t take ten minutes to load and, when they’re done, demand you do a full virus scan and reboot.
    2.) Books never crash.
    3.) You don’t have to spend three hours a week backing up your books.
    4.) Books don’t require a plethora of different passwords in order to access them which, after you’ve entered them, you promptly forget, and spend the next three hours trying to recall.
    5.) If books took over the world, the worst you’d be able to say would be that we’d all be incredibly verbose and intelligent. If computers took over the world, we’d only be able to communicate in ones and zeroes.
    6.) A good book is hard to put down, but a good computer is impossible to pick up.
    7.) You don’t need to take a book to the repair shop if you accidentally drop it in the pool.
    8.) From books one can learn of the many subtle beauties of language. On comptrs, u lrn 2 type lk ths. (lol, totes! rofl.)
    9.) Books never download bizarre intercontinental viruses created by some computer nerd in Brazil with a cold heart and way too much time on his hands which, when secretly installed, send you to websites selling tampons and black-market Viagra.
    10.) Dymock’s, Barnes&Noble and WHSmith are all still cheaper than PC World.
    11.) When buying a book you are never bombarded with long, foreign technical words including RAM, processor and disk, by a condescending 16-year old salesperson.
    12.) Have you ever seen a supervillain attempt to blow up the world with his handy paperback?
    13.) Books are still useful after five hundred years. Computers are redundant after five minutes.
    14.) You are never forced to upgrade to a ‘newer version’ of a book.
    15.) You don’t need a thick User Manual, usually written in seventy-six elusive foreign languages – including Swahili and Ancient Tibetan – but not English, to read a book.
    16 Reasons Librarians are Still Extremely Important
    via bookflesh:
    Found this great entry via magical book nerd about why librarians are still extremely important!
    Great little article! Love this stuff :)
    Not Everything is Available on the Internet
    Digital Libraries are not the Internet
    The Internet isn’t Free
    The Internet Compliments Libraries, but Doesn’t Replace Them
    School Libraries and Librarians Improve Student Test Scores
    Libraries Aren’t Just Books
    Mobile Devices are not the End of Books or Libraries
    Library Attendance isn’t Falling, it’s Just More Virtual
    Physical Libraries are Adapting to Cultural Change
    Eliminating Libraries would Cut Short an Important Process of Cultural Evolution
    Wisdom of Crowds is Untrustworthy, Because of the Tipping Point
    Librarians are the Irreplaceable Counterparts to Web Moderators
    Unlike Moderators, Librarians must Straddle the Line between Libraries and the Internet
    Library Collections Employ a Well-formulated Citation System
    Libraries can Preserve the Book Experience
    Libraries are Helpful for News Archives
    Reading Books Is More Important Than Reading Of The Computer
    No description
    by nicole knight on 9 October 2013 118
    Comments (0)
    Please log in to add your comment.
    Report abuse
    Transcript of Reading Books Is More Important Than Reading Of The Computer
    Cont…
    Students who use the computer for nearly everything, experience a decline in their ability to spell and even write by hand.
    Reading Books Is More Important Than Reading Of The Computer.
    1. Kids who read often get widely better at it. Practice makes perfect in almost everything we humans do and reading is no different
    2. Reading exercises our brains. Reading is a more complex task for the human brain. It strengthens brain connections and builds new ones.
    Cont……..
    Reading improves concentration. Again, this is a bit of a no-brainer. We have to sit still and quietly read so we can focus on the story when we are reading.
    If we read regularly as we grow, we develop the ability to do it longer.
    Disadvantages of solely depending on computers.
    While computers can be valuable tools, there are also disadvantages to be considered. when computers are used constantly, we depend on it a lot.
    Importance of Technology.
    Technology and computers themselves have become of great importance to this century. We use computers for everything, doing school work, doing almost every white collar job and for recreational use.
    Importance of reading books.
    Continuation…..
    Cont…
    The use of computers opens students to potential dangers. Students can fall victim to internet predators or become the target of cyber-bullying while on the internet.
    Conclusion.
    Sadly not everyone has a reading card so after this i hope you guys get one and read books.
    •Reply•Share ›
    5 Ways Books Are Better Than Computers
    “So many books. So little time.” – Frank Zappa
    I love books and believe they will be with us forever, regardless of any technological advances past, present, or future.
    In many ways I find books better than computers.
    Books are lessons in single-task focusing and enjoyment. Computers are multi-tasking nightmares.
    Books can be used freely without expensive electricity.
    Books don’t have distracting advertising.
    Books are made of paper and retain the spirit of the trees of which they are made.
    Books are historical documents with a link to thousands of years of the written word.
    This year I will use the computer less, and read books more.
    What books are you reading this week?

  • Vladimir Pentovsky

    5 Ways Books Are Better Than Computers
    “So many books. So little time.” – Frank Zappa
    I love books and believe they will be with us forever, regardless of any technological advances past, present, or future.
    In many ways I find books better than computers.
    Books are lessons in single-task focusing and enjoyment. Computers are multi-tasking nightmares.
    Books can be used freely without expensive electricity.
    Books don’t have distracting advertising.
    Books are made of paper and retain the spirit of the trees of which they are made.
    Books are historical documents with a link to thousands of years of the written word.
    This year I will use the computer less, and read books more.
    What books are you reading this week?

  • Vladimir Pentovsky

    As for the internet and computer, they are not complete no matter how many books were digitized they are still not complete for a computerized system will only show you what you want to see because that is the only thing that you were informed of.
    Whereas a traditional book-based library WILL NOT ONLY SHOW YOU WHAT YOU NEED BECAUSE THAT IS THE ONLY THING THAT YOU WERE INFORMED OF BUT WILL ALSO SHOW THE OTHER THINGS THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE ASKED BUT DID NOT BECAUSE YOU DID NOT KNOW OF THEIR EXISTENCE.
    PLUS A TRADITIONAL BOOK-BASED LIBRARY SYSTEM WILL SHOW YOU OTHER SUBJECTS AND ARTICLES THAT ARE OR MAYBE INDIRECTLY RELATED TO YOUR WORK AND AT THE SAME TIME WILL SHOW YOU OTHER SUBJECTS AND ARTICLES THAT WILL STIR UP AND RAISE YOUR CURIOSITY ABOUT OTHER SUBJECTS AND ARTICLES NOT NECESSARILY RELATED TO YOUR WORK BUT WILL INCREASE YOUR AWARENESS OF THE EXISTENCE OF OTHER BODIES OF KNOWLEDGE IN ORDER TO MAKE YOU INTO A WELL ROUNDED PERSON AND INFORMED PERSON OF OTHER BODIES OF KNOWLEDGE.
    PLUS A TRADITIONAL BOOK-BASED LIBRARY SYSTEM WILL SHOW YOU OTHER SUBJECTS AND ARTICLES THAT ARE OR MAYBE INDIRECTLY RELATED TO YOUR WORK AND AT THE SAME TIME WILL SHOW YOU OTHER SUBJECTS AND ARTICLES THAT WILL STIR UP AND RAISE YOUR CURIOSITY ABOUT OTHER SUBJECTS AND ARTICLES NOT NECESSARILY RELATED TO YOUR WORK BUT WILL INCREASE YOUR AWARENESS OF THE EXISTENCE OF OTHER BODIES OF KNOWLEDGE IN ORDER TO MAKE YOU INTO A WELL ROUNDED PERSON AND INFORMED PERSON OF OTHER BODIES OF KNOWLEDGE.
    It is like a situation when you are walking down the aisle and just looking curiously at the other book shelves that are showing everything may interest you and then you stop and say to yourself “HEY WAIT A MINUTE THIS LOOK INTERESTING” and “WHAT IS THIS?” and “WHY NOT CHECK THIS ONE FIRST IT MAY INTEREST US” and “WAIT I JUST WANT TO HAVE A LOOK AT THIS” and “THIS MIGHT BE UNPREDICTABLY USEFUL IN THE FUTURE FOR ME IN OTHER WAYS” and “I WANT TO HAVE A LOOK AT THIS BOOK JUST IN CASE I MIGHT BECOME INTERESTED IN IT IN THE FUTURE”, things and situations and circumstances of infinite various variables in terms of past, present, and future experiences containing unpredictable circumstances and situations that are virtually unexpected and unpredictable has to be taken into account.
    And a book based library, if properly organized and administered and managed and kept safe with multiple redundancies, is permanent and tamper-proofed against censorship and one can make comparison checks between the 1st edition with the other following editions and vice-versa, and check one book of the same subject with an another book of the same subject to see if there are some slight and subtle changes, alterations, and so forth and so on.
    A computer gives you only a tunnel vision of the knowledge that might potentially available. BUT A BOOK-BASED LIBRARY GIVES YOU AN UNLIMITED VIEW OF THE HORIZON OF “ALREADY” AVAILABLE WHETHER YOU NEED IT NOW OR NOT IN THE PRESENT AND IN THE FUTURE AND THOSE THAT WILL FOLLOW YOU IN YOUR FOOT STEPS AND OTHERS WHO MIGHT UNPREDICTABLY NEED THEM.
    A book-based studying process gives you an unlimited view and access to everything all at once but a computer screen only shows you one view at a time and that is inefficient. Think of it, a large study table filled with open books and books with post it markers within their pages with hand written information of what’s in them. In this way all important pages are simultaneously available for viewing and comparison and counter checking and for making it helpful for you to look for the right information dots and making the correct connection between the dots or information dots for the open books and books with written post it markers-reminders allows all simultaneous visual access of all information all at once.
    A computer? Whereas a computer can only show you one view at a time and that is the flaw of all computers and that of the internet. And being online dependent is dangerous because if everything electronic and electrical went kaput then you lost everything. Which is why we Russians in various offices have an auto-save printer and auto-save microfilm writer using a self-developing instamatic microfilm process similar to your Kodak instamatic camera of the 70s. Even before the invention of the print-on-demand machine we already have such a machine for our military services that can take a microfilm cartridge or microfilm card or computer and turn it into a book, booklet, mini-mag, magazine, text book, encyclopedia, dictionary, conversion tables and formulas charts, etc. Having an automatic analog back up as well as maintaining an extensive and intensive book-based library system using the dewey-decimal system is very important.
    So any world government who will try to use the internet against us is in for a a big surprise for we Russians have this particular mentality called “JUST IN CASE MENTALITY”.

  • Vladimir Pentovsky

    Printed ink on paper books and analog microfilms are forever and digital are temporary. Archieval ink on archieval paper printed books and archieval quality analog microfilms (plus their analog mechanical viewers) has a life span of 500 years to 1,000 years. The forgotten discovery of a new kind of paper made from a mineral called white bentonite clay called Alsifilm discovered and used in the 40s during the war as a substitute for mica for our electrical and electronic World War II hardware was tested successfully as a wood paper substitute for making books but vested and selfish and political interests sabotaged the project by simply ignoring it until it was almost forgotten except for a handful few who kept the project going on. Imagine that, a paper which is mineral based, and using a mineral clay based-ink, can allow us to make printed books to last as long as the Ancient Sumerian cuneiform tablets!

  • Vladimir Pentovsky

    I thank God that the first order of Joseph Stalin is to gather all the books printed in the world and all natural species and varieties of each specie of plants in the world. In one of the many duplicated microfilm archives of the Kremlin and in many parts of Russia I have seen text books meant for students grades 1 to 7, high school students 1st year to 4th year high school. And college text books for college students from 1st year to 4th year college in all fields of science, engineering, technology, trades, vocations, shops schools, etc. And everything were systematically well organized using the dewey decimal system and based on the systematic grades level from elementary, high school, and college up to bachelor degrees, masters degrees, and doctorates degrees. The search and gathering and collection started in the 20s going way back to 1900 and then to 1800 and 1700, etc and at the same time going to the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, up to the present year 2016. Microfilming is sill extensively used by my government for it was already a matured technology in 1900 and the technology has constantly been improved on and expounded upon continuously. And all of the books, magazines, encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauruses, conversion tables, mini-mags, pocket books, hard bound books, paperbacks, maps, etc were all systematically searched for, collected, duplicated, microfilmed many dozens of times over, carefully preserved, AND PROTECTED AS IF WE ARE PROTECTING A STATE SECRET because these are our insurance against both man-made catastrophes and natural catastrophes. We even went so far to set up the numerous laboratories and machine tool shops needed and used by these scientists, engineers, technologists, technicians, master machinists, doctors, surgeons, etc. The books were reprinted many times in both English and in Russian, the other books written in foreign languages such as German, France, Japanese, etc were translated into English and in Russian and in their original languages using high quality archival printing ink and high quality archival paper. I also have seen the old books of Europe printed many centuries ago and their quality is VERY HIGH INDEED AS IF THEY WERE PRINTED JUST A WEEKS AGO! Unlike today’s so called quality ink and paper.
    All the titles’ editions were systematically purchased, from the present edition going back to the very first edition. Nothing is left to chance. That is our insurance against nuclear war, against the lost of knowledge because of war. I have seen one such facility in my younger years during the Cold War and the technicians told me this installation is one of many hundreds spread all over Russia in places that are still under Russian control. The early collections were vacuum sealed, now all conventional books during the 60s were reprinted in archival permanent paper with archival permanent ink and we have maintained this program up to the present, and then the original books were vacuum sealed again. The reason for books and microfilms is that, properly made and handled, can last for many centuries. A conventional book-based library can simultaneously show you what you are looking for and show what you should also be looking for but did not bother to search for it for you are not aware of it’s existence. And at the same time, during your search a book-based library will show you many different titles and subjects that will raise and broaden the horizon of your curiosity and awareness thus offering you a “BROAD HORIZON VISION EFFECT. A computer will only show you what you are only looking for and as a result it does not broaden your intellectual horizon and interests for a computer limits you to a “A NARROW TUNNEL VISION EFFECT”. That shows you that the more online-computer dependent you are the less you learn and the less you are aware of the existence of other knowledge and wisdom and written experiences and that destroy’s your intellectual prowess. Where as a conventional “BOOK-BASED LIBRARY” shows you everything regardless whether you are searching for it or not, regardless whether you are interested in it or not. BUT YOU ARE GIVEN THE SHEER LUCK AND BLESSINGS OF BEING GIVEN THE GENEROSITY OF BEING MADE AWARE OF ALL THE DIFFERENT BOOKS AND TITLES AND SUBJECTS, ETC and thus giving you a broad horizon of intellectual vision and awareness of ‘EVERYTHING!” A computer just gives you a limited narrow tunnel vision. Today, it is confirmed by scientists all over the world that PEOPLE LEARN BETTER AND MORE WITH PAPER-BASED BOOKS AND WITH OTHER FORMS OF PRINTED MEDIA. I rather have an analog microfilm book auto-optical-mechanical scanner which is beyond the control of internet censorship and break down of technological society for everything is “PERMANENTLY PRINTED” as a series of supermicrofilmed square shaped microdots on a photochromic glass ceramic card containing hundreds of thousands of books. All controls are manually analog but can be connected to an analog-to-digital interfacing equipment. We Russians had developed in the 80s a static multi-phase array diode-based reading sensor that can simultaneously read all of these microdots simultaneously and systematically scan, copy, and transfer the data in a highly organized manner in chronological order and in alphabetical order which is similar to the old fashioned catalog cabinet system which we still maintain parallel with our computer system. And during the 60s we have developed a microfilm-to-book reprinter technology which made it easier to convert microfilmed books back into printed paper-based book media. Yes we still use the old fashion transistors, diodes, resistors, inductors, capacitors, etc on old fashion printed circuit boards hand wired and manually soldered and manually tested. BUT THE MAIN AIM IS THAT IT WORKS PERFECTLY WITH FLYING COLORS! If what you said about the Library of Congress is true, then that means our Russian book collection program is far more complete to almost complete perfection! How can you Americans, citizens of a superpower has ever allowed this to happen is beyond me!

  • Vladimir Pentovsky

    Stranger things has happened in the past. Learn from the past, when the phonograph was invented people started saying it will replace all printed media. AND THAT DID NOT HAPPEN!

  • Vladimir Pentovsky

    In the interest of fairness, we now offer a list for the other side: a 10-point case for print.
    1. Print books have pages that are nice and soft to the touch. Paper makes reading physically pleasurable. Reading an e-book, on the other hand, feels like using an ATM. And after staring at a computer screen at work all day, how relaxing is it to curl up at home and stare at another screen?
    2. Print books are better at conveying information. A study reported in the Guardian last year found that readers using a Kindle were less likely to recall events in a mystery novel than people who read the same novel in print. So if you want to do things like follow plots and acquire information, print is the way to go.
    3. Print books are yours for life. The books you bought in college will still be readable in 50 years. Do you really think that in 10 years your e-reader – or book-reading watch, or virtual reality goggles – will work with today’s e-books?
    4. Print books are physical reminders of your intellectual journeys. That beat-up copy of Catcher in the Rye on your bookshelf takes you back to sophomore year of high school. The Selected Poems of Pablo Neruda conjures up memories of late-night dorm room bull sessions. The food and wine-stained Lonely Planet Greece brings back that trip through the Greek Isles. A Kindle is just a Kindle.
    5. Print books are great to share. There is nothing quite like putting a book into a friend’s hand and saying, “You’ve got to read this.” There are ways of sharing e-books – if both you and your intended recipient can navigate the Digital Rights Management system. But sharing an e-book has all of the warmth of sending an e-mail or paying someone on PayPal.
    6. You can write in the margins of a print book, dog-ear the important pages, and underline the key sentences with a pencil. E-books often allow the digital equivalents of these acts – but they just aren’t the same. There is a link between physical gestures and cognition: the things we do to print books seem to help us to understand and remember better.
    7. Print books have jackets, so people know what other people are reading – which makes reading a community-building act. A bus full of people with print books is a snapshot of what is on a town or a city’s minds – as well as a collection of ideas for what you should read next. A bus full of people reading e-books is just a lot of people staring at devices.
    8. Print books are fairer to writers. The Author’s Guild has been beating the drum for years that publishers give writers a lower percentage of the royalties for e-books. That makes it harder for authors to earn a living – and to produce new books. If you want to support writers, who are struggling these days, more than publishing giants – buy a print book.
    9. Print books are better for your health. A Harvard Medical School study last year found that reading a light-emitting e-book before bed interferes with your ability to sleep, with your alertness the following morning, and with your overall health.
    10. Print books are theft-resistant. If you leave a book in your car, you can be pretty sure it will be there when you return. That is probably not true of your iPad, Kindle or other e-book reader. And a bonus: if you drop a print book in the bathtub, you can dry it out with a hairdryer.

  • Vladimir Pentovsky

    E-Books Are Damaging Your Health: Why We Should All Start Reading Paper Books Again
    Jan 11, 2015 09:00 AM By Lecia Bushak
    TABLE OF CONTENTS
    Reading regular books comes with a slew of health benefits that their electronic counterparts don’t have. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
    SHARE THIS STORY
    Comment
    Share
    Tweet
    Share
    E-mail
    Reading in and of itself has plenty of benefits for our minds: Studies have shown that reading over the course of a lifetime (or even starting to read consistently when you’re well into your 60s and 70s) can prevent mental decline. Along with keeping your mind sharp and enlarging your knowledge base, reading can expand your sense of empathy, too. A 2013 study found that when people were transported into the emotional travails of books’ characters, they grew to become more empathetic in real life.

    So the act of reading is great, of course. But the way you’re reading also has an impact on your physical and mental health. In our technology-driven world, the paper book has been replaced by electronic devices — Kindles and Nooks, and even reading on your laptop or smartphone. Good old-fashioned books are no longer seen as practical.

    There’s something simple and special, however, about reading a classic paper book that e-books seem to lack. Recently, I was reading before bed while I drank a cup of chamomile tea, and I found that it not only relaxed me, but I fell asleep almost immediately, I slept soundly through the entire night, and I woke up feeling refreshed. I found myself pondering events and scenes in the book, the imagery glowing in my mind in place of my typically exhausting anxieties. I’m going to believe it wasn’t a coincidence: Putting aside my phone — which, in addition to texting, has access to the cyclical, distracting spirals of Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat — and focusing on a tale that took me outside of myself, somehow, inexplicably, helped me feel better on many levels.

  • Vladimir Pentovsky

    https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/the-danger-of-ebooks.en.html
    The Danger of E-Books

    Join our mailing list about the dangers of eBooks.
    In an age where business dominates our governments and writes our laws, every technological advance offers business an opportunity to impose new restrictions on the public. Technologies that could have empowered us are used to chain us instead.

    With printed books,

    You can buy one with cash, anonymously.
    Then you own it.
    You are not required to sign a license that restricts your use of it.
    The format is known, and no proprietary technology is needed to read the book.
    You can give, lend or sell the book to another.
    You can, physically, scan and copy the book, and it’s sometimes lawful under copyright.
    Nobody has the power to destroy your book.
    Contrast that with Amazon e-books (fairly typical):

    Amazon requires users to identify themselves to get an e-book.
    In some countries, including the US, Amazon says the user cannot own the e-book.
    Amazon requires the user to accept a restrictive license on use of the e-book.
    The format is secret, and only proprietary user-restricting software can read it at all.
    An ersatz “lending” is allowed for some books, for a limited time, but only by specifying by name another user of the same system. No giving or selling.
    To copy the e-book is impossible due to Digital Restrictions Management in the player and prohibited by the license, which is more restrictive than copyright law.
    Amazon can remotely delete the e-book using a back door. It used this back door in 2009 to delete thousands of copies of George Orwell’s 1984.
    Even one of these infringements makes e-books a step backward from printed books. We must reject e-books until they respect our freedom.

    The e-book companies say denying our traditional freedoms is necessary to continue to pay authors. The current copyright system supports those companies handsomely and most authors badly. We can support authors better in other ways that don’t require curtailing our freedom, and even legalize sharing. Two methods I’ve suggested are:

    To distribute tax funds to authors based on the cube root of each author’s popularity.[1]
    To design players so users can send authors anonymous voluntary payments.
    E-books need not attack our freedom (Project Gutenberg’s e-books don’t), but they will if companies get to decide. It’s up to us to stop them.

    Join the fight: sign up at http://DefectiveByDesign.org/ebooks.html.

    Footnotes

    See both my speech “Copyright versus Community in the Age of Computer Networks” and my 2012 open letter to the President of the Brazilian Senate, Senator José Sarney, for more on this.

  • Vladimir Pentovsky

    Besides, I am an avid book collector of books printed in the 90s, 80s, 70s, 60s, 50s, 40s, 30s, 20s, 10s, etc. And that includes all the editions of each title so that I can cross-reference the difference between the present edition with the past editions of each title, and of all titles.