Indian publisher looking to print books

Discussion in 'Feedback and Suggestions' started by tony_kuphaldt, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. tony_kuphaldt

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 28, 2008
    6
    0
    Hello Everyone,

    A publisher in India is looking to print and sell all 6 volumes of the "Lessons In Electric Circuits" textbook series. As the legal copyright holder, they have sent me a contract to consider and sign (see attached). Out of courtesy and respect for those who have contributed to this collective work (Dennis Crunkliton, Bill Mardsen, David Zitzelberger, and others) I wanted to present this contract to you for your mutual consideration. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

    Feel free to reply to my email address rather than this forum if you wish:

    socratic.electronics@gmail.com

    - Tony Kuphaldt


    Email: socratic.electronics@gmail.com

     
  2. sbombs

    Member

    Feb 26, 2010
    33
    0
    Hi there,

    Please consider consulting an attorney. I would hate to see anything shady happen to this terrific project! I'll make some amateur, armchair quarterback comments which are probably all rubbish but I will make them anyway.

    First, is it even necessary for you to be involved or sign any contract? Haven't you already given them permission to print via the Design Science License? Make sure that you are not giving up any rights, or exposing yourself/the project to any liability or any future legal ambushes from publishers that want to throw rocks (pretend that other publishers don't like your book). Could this be used to someone else's advantage?

    Sounds scary. I'd prefer to see some mention of the actual Design Science License terms. (note, I saw sec 12) Does any of this conflict with the DSL?

    Who cares? Not your problem etc.

    Good.

    Nonsense! Why don't you ask for SOME pre-print proof copies, and retain the right to refuse if errors/omissions aren't addressed to your satisfaction? Isn't this one of your pet peeves with traditional printed texts? I think I remember reading that somewhere. If they're going to involve/trouble you at all, you may as well have some benefit for your trouble. Also, give copies out to folks willing/able to proofread them (unless you have lots of spare time and no hobbies), and specify a reasonable time limit for that to occur.

    Add a bad-faith revocation clause?

    What is this contract's applicability? What venues does it cover? Would you ever have to travel at your own expense to appear in court? Add some language that makes it clear who is to be responsible for legal costs, travel costs, etc, resultant of their printing.

    Remember that you aren't a lawyer (unless you are) and consider the notion that you shouldn't trust yourself (or this post) with contracts any more than you'd trust a lawyer's electronic designs.

    Also has there been any court/legal test of the DSL? I haven't found any, but if so, how did it fare?
     
  3. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    Agree completely.

    I believe the key point here is that since the ebook was written by many individuals under the DSL, is copyright yours to give/sell away?

    John
     
  4. sbombs

    Member

    Feb 26, 2010
    33
    0
    With which part? Oh, both, of course!

    Yes, what he said.
     
  5. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    Opps, I may have insulted you unintentionally. I was agreeing with the advice to consult an attorney, not the business about being amateur rubbish. I was just a victim of the narrow screen and didn't catch the double-entendre like you point out. My apologies.

    John
     
  6. sbombs

    Member

    Feb 26, 2010
    33
    0
    Not at all. This is the internet. You shouldn't take life too seriously on the internet.

    Cheers,

    -sbombs

    PS. Many thanks and congratulations to the authors and contributors, yourself included.
     
  7. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    As long as the site license is still valid, and the publisher does not acquire full rights and copyright (ie, ownership) I have no problems. I'm still writing, and I suspect there will be some significant changes in the future.

    I have to agree with the other comments. Why is a contract even necessary, given that they could publish using the existing license allows for such publishing? This sounds like they are trying to own the document, which would not be good. As I read the memorandum this is not the case however. Are they just trying to cover their assets? Are we exposed in some way?
     
  8. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    I don't have any problem with that publisher making a printed copy and selling it for a profit, so long as at least one of the following conditions is met:

    http://www.gnu.org/licenses/dsl.html
    I did not see anything about including the source data or a link to it in the proposed contract. That's where an attorney comes in handy.

    John
     
  9. tony_kuphaldt

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 28, 2008
    6
    0
    Hello Everyone,

    Thank you for the thoughtful replies. Yes, I am contacting an IP attorney regarding this. Better safe than sorry! I'm a bit puzzled why any contract language would be necessary beyond what the DSL stipulates. Another avenue of advice I'm planning to pursue is Michael Stutz, author of the DSL. He had a book published by No Starch Press several years ago where the source material was DSL'd, and I'd like to hear from him about how the publishing arrangements were made with them.

    - Tony
     
  10. loosewire

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 25, 2008
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    Bmorse,was ahead of all of us with his disclaimer,you notice his name
    has not been mentioned.Some one may be trying to take alot of work
    from this site.maybe some lock outs are in order. The work will moved
    to another site,knocking this one down.Less guest,more book sales.
     
  11. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
    5,672
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    @loosewire

    I am missing your point on this one. The question in this thread, if I am correct, was one of copyright. Specifically, it had to do with the DSL language.

    Bmorse's disclaimer seems to deal with liability, as in personal injury.

    I don't see the connection.

    John
     
  12. loosewire

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 25, 2008
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    Don't be Induced by greedy book offers,they can change a few words
    and have your stuff for free. You don't know who these people are and what motives they have,
    the site may want to try stop this.The site is the major player here,the admin.
    They are on this I'm sure,this is a good site they will protect it and the info.Take the
    wikipedia test,does your small amount of work make differents in the scope of work
    in the world for free. Would you go wikipedia for your work ,would wikipedia need
    your work. Look at the resistance that is being studied on a flat surface that will
    reduce heat,looks like a marble cube.The first air conditioning was a marble cube
    in the pyimirds. So are we going to advance anything,I don't think so.

    What If some one decides he could profits from bits and pieces of
    all the work on this site,do we say It free enterprise more power to you.

    Maybe I missed the point,are there enough people lined up already for
    this project.

    Washington,state sound like alot of money from what I've heard.

    No comments,I just invented a new word.

    I guess I'm not Impotetant enough.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 23, 2010
  13. studiot

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 9, 2007
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    At least the publisher has had the decency to contact Tony, that suggests good intent.

    I think the issue of copyright may not be about Tony's rights but intended to combat photocopying of printed material by those wishing to avoid purchase?
    Presumabaly the publisher seeks some reward for his efforts.

    A nice gesture would be a charitable donation, particularly if money is made, if (since) Tony wishes to forego personal reward.
     
  14. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,764
    2,534
    Given the site license I don't see photocopying would be illegal, as with normal printed material. Generally it is a lot more expensive to photocopy than to print anyhow, it would be self limiting. Even with a good laser printer the costs for printing all 6 volumes would be expensive.

    I think a large concern is copyright claims, as I see it they would have none.
     
  15. loosewire

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 25, 2008
    1,584
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    JRAP,my comments needed to be edited,would you give a brief run down
    on what is happening.Are you concerned.
     
  16. tony_kuphaldt

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 28, 2008
    6
    0
    I met with an IP attorney today, and after an hour's discussion and reading through the print of both the proposed Agreement and the DSL, we mutually concluded there is no merit in signing this (or any) agreement with a publisher. The DSL does a fine job explaining the terms and conditions any prospective publisher must abide by, and it should be left at that.

    Specifically, the attorney was suspicious of the language used in line 1 of the Agreement, where I would presumably grant to the publishers the right to publish that is already granted explicitly in the DSL. This was especially troubling to him since the Agreement does not specify the right to publish as either exclusive or non-exclusive. I found line 3 troubling as well, since it mentions the inclusion of third-part work which seems to me indicative of making this a Derivative work, which seems to contradict line 4 where they say they will not abridge, expand, or otherwise alter the work.

    We discussed amending the language of the Agreement to reference the DSL, and to be in unambiguous accord with it, but then we basically asked the question "why sign an agreement at all when the DSL is so clear?" and couldn't come up with a good answer.

    What follows is my email reply to the prospective publisher:


    (begin_email)

    Hello,

    After meeting with my attorney, I have decided not to sign the agreement. He and I both agree that the Design Science License provides all the necessary terms and conditions for publishing, and that signing any other agreement (sublicensing) serves no beneficial purpose for myself or those others who have labored to create this work. The permission you seek from me is already granted to you by the Design Science License, particularly Section 3 of that License.

    I apologize for the delay in my response, and hope this does not discourage you from publishing the books.

    Sincerely,

    Tony Kuphaldt

    (end_email)


    I appreciate the feedback everyone on this forum has given regarding this situation.

    - Tony Kuphaldt
     
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