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Subject:Re: Soliciting Book Reviews (amended) From:Diane Haugen <dhaugen -at- MEANS -dot- NET> Date:Thu, 17 Dec 1998 21:37:42 -0600
At 7:42 PM -0600 12/17/98, David Orr wrote:
>If someone else is an Amazon.com associate and has an active booksite
>(I'm learning it can be a lot of work), I think your suggestion is
>reasonable. If others want to submit reviews to our site, we are doing
>no more than what Amazon.com is doing, except we are adding value with
>the bibliography we will put up, and with our own reviews.
>I want to make the site useful to technical communicators, fund some
>401K contributions, and draw people to our home page. These are all the
>motivations I am aware of. I think they are honorable.
I appreciate your ability to look at some of the problems to what you
proposed initially, which was for writers to allow you to put their
reviews on your website and for you to own them lock, stock, and barrel, in
The web and the new media have created all kinds of possibilities for the
work of writers and the big publishers have in general reacted by trying to
lock up a writer's work in any form it may morph into in the future, from
CDs to movies to quotations on pencils. Where they once wanted first
rights, they now want to own your words not only on this planet, but in
the galaxy as well. It's worrisome and its disheartening. Most
professional writers will reject these demands out of hand.
You talk of a bibliography? Have you talked to John Renish or checked out
his bibliography, available from the TECHWR-L web site?
You are doing something different from Amazon.com, and if you really would
like to learn the kinds of things you should be concerned about with your
site when it comes to the intellectual property of your reviewers, you
should check out Ivan Hoffman's site at
Your motivations may be honorable, but without checking on what kinds of
resources already exist, carefully considering the copyright issues, and
clearly outlining how what you propose is different from the existing
resources, your enthusiasm, for all it's genuineness, looks, well...snide.