Subject: Re: Differing IP laws
From: Elaine -HFB- Ashton <elaine@chaos.wustl.edu>
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2000 16:54:52 -0500

Ben_Tilly@trepp.com [Ben_Tilly@trepp.com] quoth:
*>
*>Kragen nailed it.  First of all the name is "O'Reilly".  Virtually all
*>of their books are technical.  The vast majority are computer related.
*>A substantial fraction are considered the classic references in their
*>subjects.  For these reasons and more O'Reilly is generally accepted as
*>the top publisher of software-related references

Actually, O'Reilly does publish quite a range of travel and other varied
interest books, some of which look rather interesting.

And to split hairs, ORA is a top publisher of OpenSource software-related
titles as I believe a few other publishers carry the old standards.I
know they publish a Windows line, but a large percentage of their
titles are on some form of OpenSource-ware. ORA is still a new kid on the 
block. I still have the original first edition of "Make" which I think 
was the first title published by ORA in the mid-80s sometime. They made a
market out of a tiny niche that has become the poster child of computing
today. 

*>Secondly the subject at issue is the pirating of O'Reilly books on a
*>Russian website.  Your position is that the books go out of date, so it
*>is up to the publisher to come out with new releases and provide value

This is an open and shut copyright issue. 

*>I prefer to have the original unaltered with cosmetic "updates" done
*>for no good reason than to make the material "current".  Of course
*>technical work often needs to be updated when the area moves on.  But
*>a surprising fraction of the time a well-written reference will age
*>gracefully.

Does this mean you still use your pink Camel Ben? ;) 

Almost everything is out of date these days by the time it goes to print. 
Incorporating errata and updates is not a bad thing. The only things that
have aged well on my shelf have been Knuth and K&R...maybe the vi book. 

Of course, making books themselves OpenSource isn't a bad thing either as
it allows for frequent updates but the question 'will people pay for
something they can get for free to help support the production of the
documentation' remains. What is the essential value of a document or a
book? In the coming age of 'e-books' this will need to be addressed.

e.