17 May 2008, 22:59
Missile Command Champion
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posted on Amigaworld.net, a few hours ago.
I appreciate your support, but this is not
a question of how many copies could be sold.
Let me try to provide some background:
Piracy is a fact of life in the digital age, and
current copyright law is certainly past its prime.
The new Guru Book, however, wasn't a commercial project
to begin with, and since I didn't expect to make any money
off it, I wasn't too worried about the old RTF/OCR version
(which I even mentioned on my Amiga web page). In fact, it's
been fun to dust off all of my old Amiga equipment, tools,
and documentation. (Though I have to admit that I used
Emacs and TeX on a Linux box to prepare the new edition.)
But claiming that pirates aren't customers anyhow
doesn't quite hit the nail on the head, because
this is where the line is getting blurry:
The new 300-dpi scan was prepared and disseminated not
by Joe Average Pirate with too much time on his hands.
It was a fellow Amiga enthusiast who knew exactly that
an enhanced version was being worked on. Nonetheless, he
decided to make the torrent available - just days before
the extended edition was to go to the printer -, which -
in my very humble opinion - exhibits an enormous amount
of disrespect for somebody else's creative work.
Maybe he considered free availability of the
1993 version more important than the update.
Well, so be it.
As I wanted the reprint to be of the highest possible
quality, print-on-demand was out of the question. Offset,
however, requires a certain minimum number of copies. Let's
face it: this is 2008; the audience for a book like this is
microscopic, and the new scans didn't make it any larger.
So why am I not making it available electronically?
I believe that text needs to be written not only to the
audience, but also with the target _medium_ in mind. An
article I write for my web site will look different from
one to be published in a printed magazine; the original
plain-text list of FAQs I wrote for the Usenet newsgroup
de.etc.sprache.deutsch differs markedly from my web site
The Guru Book was "designed" to be published on paper.
Yes, it would be nice to have an electronic edition, but
that would require a "redesign" I cannot reasonably spend
any time on. And no, I don't consider PDF adequate (which
the pirate was well aware of, by the way).
I do not depend on writing copyrighted works for a living,
but I feel that the cause of those who do (and thus society
as a whole) is best supported by me _not_ releasing the new
extended edition of the Guru Book.
The decision didn't come lightly. Please respect it - and
try to provide for an environment in which creative workers
are encouraged - and can afford - to share their work.
P. S.: Feel free to forward this message
to an Amiga forum of your choice.