5.0533 Unpublishing: A Copyright Story (1/24)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Mon, 16 Dec 1991 21:40:22 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 5, No. 0533. Monday, 16 Dec 1991.

Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1991 19:13 EST
From: "NAME \"Jim_Cahalan\"" <JCAHALAN@IUP.BITNET>
Subject: "unpublishing"/"depublishing"

I just had a weird experience perhaps worth sharing with colleagues. I
wanted to include one of my book chapters in a packet of readings for
graduate students in my course next semester, but in the wake of the
Kinko's ruling, my own publisher (which I won't name but will identify
as owned by the late Robert Maxwell) informed me that the fee for
reproducing this and one other chapter (in another book of mine they
also published) would be $250. This was not their opening gambit, but
came a week AFTER I beseeched them to be reasonable since it was my own
work and I didn't want to see my students (to whom the copy service
would immediately pass the fee) charged in this way. The best they
could tell me was that if I waived MY part of the fee, then it would
drop to $125. I replied that instead I'd copy my own typescript,
avoiding extra fees for students. So today I "unpublished" or
"depublished" the chapter, printing it out single-spaced in a microfront
that is indeed small, but clear and readable, again the intent being to
save my students money (I managed to print a dozen book pages onto five
pages, notes included). What a weird experience: I had to "unpublish"
my work in order to make it more easily accessible to students! How do
you like that? Truly a postmodern, postlegal experience...

Jim Cahalan, English Department BITNET: JCAHALAN@IUP
110B Leonard Hall,
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Indiana, PA 15705-1094 Tel: (412) 357-2262