E(merging) Books

Written by Sam Vaknin

A novel re-definition through experimentation ofrepparttar classical format ofrepparttar 108506 book is emerging.

Considerrepparttar 108507 now defunct BookTailor. It used to sell its book customization software mainly to travel agents - but such software is likely to conquer other niches (such asrepparttar 108508 legal and medical professions). It allows users to select bits and pieces from a library of e-books, combine them into a totally new tome and print and bindrepparttar 108509 latter on demand. The client can also choose to buyrepparttar 108510 end-product as an e-book. Consider what this simple business model does to entrenched and age old notions such as "original" and "copies", copyright, and book identifiers. What isrepparttar 108511 "original" in this case? Is itrepparttar 108512 final, user-customized book - or its sources? And if no customized book is identical to any other - what happens torepparttar 108513 intuitive notion of "copies"? Should BookTailor-generated books considered to be unique exemplars of one-copy print runs? If so, should each one receive a unique identifier (for instance, a unique ISBN)? Doesrepparttar 108514 user possess any rights inrepparttar 108515 final product, composed and selected by him? What aboutrepparttar 108516 copyrights ofrepparttar 108517 original authors?

Or take BookCrossing.com. Onrepparttar 108518 face of it, it presents no profound challenge to established publishing practices and torepparttar 108519 modern concept of intellectual property. Members register their books, obtain a BCID (BookCrossing ID Number) and then giverepparttar 108520 book to someone, or simply leave it lying around for a total stranger to find. Henceforth, fate determinesrepparttar 108521 chain of events. Eventual successive owners ofrepparttar 108522 volume are supposed to report to BookCrossing (by e-mail) aboutrepparttar 108523 book's and their whereabouts, thereby generating moving plots and mappingrepparttar 108524 territory of literacy and bibliomania. This innocuous model subversively underminesrepparttar 108525 concept - legal and moral - of ownership. It also expropriatesrepparttar 108526 book fromrepparttar 108527 realm of passive, inert objects and transforms it into a catalyst of human interactions across time and space. In other words, it returnsrepparttar 108528 book to its origins: a time capsule, a time machine andrepparttar 108529 embodiment of a historical narrative.

The Affair of the Vanishing Content

Written by Sam Vaknin

http://www.archive.org/ "Digitized information, especially onrepparttar Internet, has such rapid turnover these days that total loss isrepparttar 108505 norm. Civilization is developing severe amnesia as a result; indeed it may have become too amnesiac already to noticerepparttar 108506 problem properly."

(Stewart Brand, President, The Long Now Foundation )

Thousands of articles and essays posted by hundreds of authors were lost forever when themestream.com surprisingly shut its virtual gates. A sizable portion ofrepparttar 108507 1960 census, recorded on UNIVAC II-A tapes, is now inaccessible. Web hosts crash daily, erasing inrepparttar 108508 process valuable content. Access to web sites is often suspended - or blocked altogether - because of a real (or imagined) violation byrepparttar 108509 webmaster ofrepparttar 108510 host's Terms of Service (TOS). Millions of other web sites -repparttar 108511 results of collective, multi-annual, transcontinental efforts - contain unique stores of information inrepparttar 108512 form of databases, articles, discussion threads, and links to other web sites. Consider "Central Europe Review". Its archives comprise more than 2500 articles and essays about every conceivable aspect of Central and Eastern Europe andrepparttar 108513 Balkan. It is one of countless such collections.

Similar and much larger treasures have perished sincerepparttar 108514 dawn ofrepparttar 108515 digital age inrepparttar 108516 1920's. Very few early radio and TV programs have survived, for instance. The current "digital dark age" can be compared only torepparttar 108517 one which followedrepparttar 108518 torching ofrepparttar 108519 Library of Alexandria. The more accessible and abundantrepparttar 108520 information available to us -repparttar 108521 more devalued and common it becomes andrepparttar 108522 less institutional and cultural memory we seem to possess. Inrepparttar 108523 battle between paper and screen,repparttar 108524 former has won formidably. Newspaper archives, dating back torepparttar 108525 1700's are now being digitized - testifying torepparttar 108526 endurance, resilience, and longevity of paper.

Enterrepparttar 108527 "Internet Libraries", or Digital Archival Repositories (DAR). These are libraries that provide free access to digital materials replicated across multiple servers ("safety in redundancy"). They contain Web pages, television programming, films, e-books, archives of discussion lists, etc. Such materials can help linguists tracerepparttar 108528 development of language, journalists conduct research, scholars compare notes, students learn, and teachers teach. The Internet's evolution mirrors closelyrepparttar 108529 social and cultural history of North America atrepparttar 108530 end ofrepparttar 108531 20th century. If not preserved, our understanding of who we are and where we are going will be severely hampered. The clues to our future lie ensconced in our past. It isrepparttar 108532 only guarantee against repeatingrepparttar 108533 mistakes of our predecessors. Long gone Web pages cached byrepparttar 108534 likes of Google and Alexa constituterepparttar 108535 first tier of such archival undertaking.

The Stanford Archival Vault (SAV) in Stanford University assigns a numerical handle to every digital "object" (record) in a repository. The handle isrepparttar 108536 clever numerical result of a mathematical formula whose input isrepparttar 108537 number of information bits inrepparttar 108538 original object being deposited. This allows to track and uniquely identify records across multiple repositories. It also prevents tampering. SAV also offers application layers. These allow programmers to develop digital archive software and permit users to changerepparttar 108539 "view" (the interface) of an archive and thus to mine data. Its "reliability layer" verifiesrepparttar 108540 completeness and accuracy of digital repositories.

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