Posted: May 25, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
By: Lily Antflick |
Tags: Amsterdam University Press, creative commons, democritization, digital enclosures, ebooks, publishing, Saskia de Vries
Saskia C.J. De Vries is managing director and senior editor of the Amsterdam University Press. In 2005, she started up Leiden University Press, a new [digital] imprint for dissemination of academic research materials at Leiden. Since 2008, AUP is coordinator of the EU funded project, Open Access Publishing in European Networks (www.oapen.org). She is a fellow of the Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen (Royal Dutch Society of Sciences), of the Maatschappij der Nederlandse Letteren (Society of Netherlandic Literature) and on the board of the National Museum of Natural History and EIFL.
Photo by Sebastiaan ter Burg.
During the Digital Enclosures session, Saskia De Vries, a strong believer in the creative commons, offers us the Amsterdam University Press’ point of view. She ponders whether it is appropriate to divide the publishing world into three categories and concludes that the answer is yes, because of different markets, content and types of authors.
De Vries discusses how the funders of academic research allocate funds and thus define scholarly communication and publishing. She believes that in the Open Access Publishing model, ‘authors pay’ should still be implemented, specifically in the realms of the humanities and social sciences. The Amsterdam University Press publication model aims toward a hybrid model of publishing- combining Open Access, traditional print, ebooks or PoD.
De Vries condemns the recent trend of glamorizing the author in popular culture. She stresses the fact that authors should not behave like performers, but instead should remain outside of the public eye to do what they do best, write. She criticizes the celebritization of authors claiming that it produces “rubbish texts”.
She concludes by applauding the Internet for its democratizing abilities, for it allows different countries to advance and alter their status on the global playing field.
For more information, please visit http://www.aup.nl/do.php?a=show_visitor_home&l=2
Posted: May 25, 2011 at 10:06 am |
By: Lily Antflick |
Tags: Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm, digital enclosures, e-books, publishing
Christiaan A. Alberdingk Thijm is a partner at the boutique law firm SOLV. Based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, the firm specializes in technology, media and communications law. Christiaan is considered a copyright law expert, especially where it concerns the application of copyright in a digital environment. He frequently advises about e-books and has had the opportunity to speak about the subject on numerous occasions. Besides his work as an attorney he teaches copyright and information law at the University of Amsterdam. In June 2011 his debut novel The Trial of the Century (‘Het process van de eeuw’) will be published.
Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm @ the unbound book conference – photo cc by-sa Sebastiaan ter Burg
In theme with his professional experience working for Kazaa (the first file sharing company that received a positive victory from the supreme court) Christiaan focuses his discussion during the Digital Enclosures Workshop on the copyright and file sharing wars.
He believes that the publishing industry should think of itself and be thought of as a service company. He explains how others must pay them for a service with either royalties or a grand sum. This change in perception of the literary publishing industry in to a service company is a change they must make mentally in order to succeed.
The issue of rights has become a problem with e-books and publishing companies because of the fear of piracy. Like the music and motion picture industries, the realm of books must now confront this dilemma. Thijm mentions that the publishing world should take note and learn from instances of the past, such as what took place in music file sharing. However, the book and publishing industry is very old-fashioned and the question must be asked, are they capable of adapting?
Thijm mentions the institution of the Library as being a very culturally important establishment but also currently facing a large problem with public lending and e-books. Public lending rights don’t apply to digital books, but only to physical books which forces the Libraries to go to the specific publishers and ask permission to lend out digital books. Many publishers are subsequently only allowing downloads from the Library premises. This forces the librarians and institution builders to re-examine and focus in on the space of library to ensure that it is a comfortable, enjoyable environment for the public to reside and learn.
For more information, please visit http://www.solv.nl/people/christiaan-alberdingk-thijm/17522.
Posted: May 23, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
By: Suzanne Schram |
Tags: interactive chronological visualization, publishing, Veljko Kukulj
Veljko Kukulj is an IT professional with over 20 years of experience. He was the last speaker in the session, Horizons of Education and Authoring.
Veljko Kukulj @ the unbound book conference – photo cc by-sa Sebastiaan ter Burg
Kukulj started his presentation with the question of “What is truth?” He explained that common emotional truth is a combination of facts and interpretations. We hear ‘truth’ every day in the media. Traditional publishers collaborate on the same truth which they publish as collaborative work. He explains that one author results in one truth, while many authors produce many truths. Subsequently, many truths exist at the same time, but how should publishers handle these multiple truths? How should these differences be handled? Kukulj provides a possible solution: allowing multiple truths and highlighting them by zooming in on the data. All of the data should be verified and if it is wrong, then it should be shown and told. When have access to lots of information, we can search and find patterns and eventually decide what a truthful statement is.
Kukulj explains that truth can be established when data is shown in small pieces because it is easier to agree on small bits of information. Technology can be used to reveal these particles of data. He explains how cultures have different interpretations of history, conflicts and wars. How can these conflicting views be made accessible?
In his presentation, Kukulj shows a project by the company Geanium about the First World War. This interactive chronological visualization represents the assassination of Franz Ferdinand which triggered the First World War. This event is shown in chronological form with in-depth data and details of the actual sequence of events that took place.
PDF of presentation available here: Publishing Truth
Posted: May 22, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
By: Lily Antflick |
Tags: digital age, digital enclosures, e-books, London Review of Books, Nicholas Spice, publishing
Nicholas Spice has been Publisher of the London Review of Books since 1982. He has from time to time contributed articles to the LRB on fiction, music and psychoanalysis.
Nicholas Spice Photographed by Sebastiaan ter Burg at the Unbound Book Conference.
Spice prefaces his discussion during the ‘Digital Enclosures’ session by explaining that as a literary magazine, the London Review of Books is ultimately a commercial operation, at the capitalist end of the spectrum and therefore doesn’t spend much time stewing over questions of open-access.
The publications’ main interest in rights used to be strictly commercial, however this has changed in the digital age, in a universe without a sense of time where artifacts can surface at any given moment and everything is available online. The rights to this material, old and new, must now be protected. Prior to this, with the periodical press, everything was ephemeral and one could publish something with it inevitably disappearing soon after.
Previously, it was predicted to be impossible to transfer the magazine to the 20th century. However, this has proved false. In fact, the possibilities for the magazine and other literary works are greatly enhanced in the digital age. The digital era has prompted an unexpected business boom and an extreme rise in literary circulation.
Spice explains how we now find an “inversion of the search phenomenon”. Before the Internet, one had to go seek out and find readers, but now, “the public finds you.” The content has become its own advertisement, “words go into the world and sell themselves” through Twitter, Facebook etc. In the digital era of publishing, the words work for us.
Spice explains that the main problem here lies in the dominance of the corporate monsters (Amazon, Apple, Google, etc.) These corporations wish to keep control of both the price and data which is problematic because it means a loss of control and agency for the author.
For more information please visit http://www.lrb.co.uk/.
Posted: May 22, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
By: Lily Antflick |
Tags: academic publishing, business models, Copyright, digital enclosures, ebooks, Gary Hall, property, publishing, unbound book
Gary Hall is a Professor of Media and Performing Arts at Coventry University, UK. He is author of Digitize This Book! The Politics of New Media, or Why We Need Open Access Now (2008) and Culture in Bits (2002), and co-editor of New Cultural Studies (2006) and Experimenting: Essays With Samuel Weber (2007). His work has appeared in numerous journals, including Angelaki, Cultural Politics, Cultural Studies, and The Oxford Literary Review.
Gary Hall Photographed by Sebastiaan ter Burg at the Unbound Book Conference.
In the ‘Digital Enclosures’ workshop, the panel presented their respective stances on the questions of ‘open access’, copyright laws and business models, in relation to e-books.
Gary Hall explained how the impetus for open access is due to the fact that the scholarly model of publishing is no longer working effectively for publishers. This is largely due to the fact that conventions of academic publishing have been taken over by media conglomerates where the majority of their energies go to music and other media that will generate more profit. Academic writing therefore must sell and be seen as a commodity in order to ensure its success and backing by conglomerates.
Hall mentions various business models for publishing. In the first example, for-profit publishers concentrate mostly on sales. In this case, they tend to sell textbooks, a hot commodity for students which the publishers know will sell because of course requirements. Scholarly-led open access publishing is when the scholar takes the means of production into their own hands. They need not be merely profit oriented. Finally, the third model is when various scholars come together and perform all tasks related to the text. External funding from various sources subsidizes business costs while still ensuring open access books. One of the benefits of this model is the high level of production and editorial standards in the process.
In regard to the question of copyright, Hall states that the main source of funding is from institutions paying employee salaries. Scholars are generally happy to give work away open access. What this means though is that open access cannot be translated to other industries or areas of society such as the Culture Industries. These producers/ creators must be compensated for their work in order for business to thrive. Ultimately, copyright is good for corporations. However many new technologies require new and specific copyright laws (evident when looking at internet piracy).
Is there an economic model for sustainable, long term, open access policy in the humanities? Hall concludes that we don’t know but we must address this not as an all-encompassing “one size fits all, magic bullet answer”. Hall concludes that perhaps digital culture may provide us with an opportunity to think differently about these issues, away from our currently understood notions of individualism and property.
For more info on Gary Hall’s work and research, please visit http://www.garyhall.info/
Posted: May 21, 2011 at 9:32 am |
By: Elias van Hees |
Tags: amsterdam, conference, ebook, James Bridle, publishing
James Bridle is an editor, publisher, writer, consultant, producer, programmer, designer. He has been working in all area’s of publishing: in marketing, publicity, editoring and production.
James Bridle @ the unbound book conference - photo cc by-sa Sebastiaan ter Burg
Bridle starts his speech by saying that added value is a hard one to grasp when it comes to future publishing, where might publishing be going in the coming years? The concept of the book is totally unique: it’s a souvenir of its own experience, a gift that you can store and share. Bridle claims that for a long time we have mistaken the temporality of the book! You always hear the same things like “I like paper, it feels right. I like the smell!” Real things, but they are not what we really care about. They deliver us cognitive dissonance! Great interaction with the text is the biggest experience, while living in a time in which recent book technologies can entirely contain the information that we want to add to a book.
Totality of the reading experience, we can capture and contain an archive and spread it: this is social reading. Encoding of the entire reading experience: it lasts and it is shareable! The desire to share and tell others what you are reading! And also the possibility to pass books through in the future as well is an important element which is easily possible by use of social reading.
Social reading is a great opportunity for publishers according to Bridle. Nearly all music is nowadays recorded music. How does this happen to ebooks and literature nowadays? What remains of them ? The experience of them is what we must hang on to. This is where our conversations, which are based on our reading experience of literature are going!
For more information please check:
Elias van Hees