Cites & Insights 9:4 (March 2009) now available

Cites & Insights 9:4 (March 2009) is now available.

The 30-page issue (PDF as usual, but there’s an HTML version of the essay) consists of one essay:

Perspective: The Google Books Search Settlement

As an author with nine out of print books (to which I hold the rights): Great! I might see a couple hundred dollars…eventually. As one who cares about fair use: Boo! Google backed away from a case I thought they could win–and did so in a way that will make it harder for others in a similar situation. As a reader: Great–Google Books Search will continue to grow, and we’ll see more than snippess from (some? most?) of five million out-of-print/in-copyright books. (As for “buying” such books, or rather, “permanent” online access to indifferently-scanned pages that can’t be downloaded as PDFs and don’t appear to have first-sale rights: Eh.) As a library supporter and user: Unclear–extremely unclear.

We won’t have final answers for a long time. Meanwhile, this issue reviews some of the summaries and commentaries, throwing in a fair amount of my own commentary.

Barring truly unusual events, the April issue will have more than one essay, and almost certainly more than two.

One note: While there is an HTML version of the essay, please don’t print out that version. It will require 38 pages (or more), and it’s almost certainly not as readable as the 30-page PDF. I’m providing it for online viewing, downloading, cut & paste, whatever…but printing it would just be wasting paper.

2 Responses to “Cites & Insights 9:4 (March 2009) now available”

  1. Joe Clark Says:

    It’s “not as readable” because your typography is atrocious. Wall-to-wall Palatino with almost zero whitespace and not enough lead makes for unreadable copy.

  2. walt Says:

    Joe, I don’t know if you’re new to Cites & Insights or if you’re just fond of kicking gift horses in the teeth, but:

    Cites & Insights is designed as a print publication, distributed via the web.

    At the request of several readers, I’m providing HTML versions of most essays–but the HTML is absolutely, 100%, deliberately an afterthought. Done the only trivially-easy way I know how, which means switching Word templates and writing out filtered HTML. (Suggestions for various tools and workstreams I could use to generate prettier HTML output not accepted unless you can demonstrate that it would take me less than half an hour per issue to do that, at no cost for new software or platforms.)

    So my answer’s simple: If you find it unreadable don’t read it. I’m reasonably proud of the typography and layout for Cites & Insights itself, but the HTML version is an afterthought.

    I do appreciate the nature of the wording, though: It clarifies your interest in a constructive discussion. “Atrocious” is such a nice opening point.

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