Re: using 3rd-party books

Subject: Re: using 3rd-party books
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 13:36:32 -0700

Matthew Horn wrote:

> So my doc manager had an interesting idea... why not include third-party
> books that cover the basics of application development so we, the writers,
> can concentrate on the more specific discussions of our product?
> An example might be if the Adobe Photoshop folks started including a "Tips
> and Tricks with Photoshop" book from O'Reilley (or some other company) in
> their product. My question to you is what do you think of this notion? What
> are the upsides/downsides? Has anyone tried it before? Is anyone doing it
> now?

I see two major concerns to be aware of.

First, your company will have to select the material to include by its license.
Material issued under a "copyleft" license, such as the GNU Public Licence can
be used fairly easily, so long as you abide by the provisions of the license -
although out of courtesy you should mention to the publisher and/or writer what
you are planning to do. Material issued under standard copyright, such as Adobe
material, will be hard to get permission to use. The publishers are unlikely to
grant permission unless doing so has some advantage for them - probably a
monetary one.

Second, bundling deals will need to be negotiated for copyright material. You
should have a lawyer read over any proposed agreement; despite having dealt
extensively with such deals, I wouldn't do them solo, and I certainly wouldn't
advise someone with no experience to try to do so, either. These agreements will
need to be gone over clause by clause, and you can expect a number of meetings
and teleconferences in the process. Realistically, you should also allow a week
- if not two - to close each of these deals.

The experience could be interesting, and might save some time. However, don't
expect it to be a quick and easy solution.

Bruce Byfield bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com 604.421.7177

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Good people who were never out of sight of land,
Waiting for the ferry, tickets in their hands,
Good people that you knew would never understand."
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using 3rd-party books: From: Matthew Horn

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