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Closed bibliography on the Cambridge train

#jiscopenbib #okfn

I came back from the British Library and Imperial War Museum (I’ll tell you why later) on Thursday on the 1615. One of the privilege of the 1615 is that if you get there after 1605 you have to stand or sit on the floor among the folding bicycles. Because I wanted to hack I sat on the floor. I overheard a conversation between two hackers and have caught most of it. They were talking about a book, which I think was about software but I couldn’t see it.

She: “That looks an interesting book”

He: “Yes, it’s written by one of the great software gurus”

She: “What’s it’s called?”

He: “I can’t tell you?”

She: “Why not?”

He: “It’s copyright”

She: “Yes, I know the book is copyright, but I just want to know the title”

He: “Sorry I can’t tell you. It’s copyright”

She: “I only what to know the title”

He: “It’s copyright so I can’t tell you”

She: “Don’t be silly. The title isn’t copyright.”

He: “Yes it is. The whole book is copyright”.

She: “But not the title, surely. Where does it say that the title is copyright?”

He: “Here… it says… ” (Apparently read from the front matter)

He: “All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior permission of the publisher and author.”

He: “So I can’t tell you”.

She: “But the title isn’t part of the publication”

He: “Yes it is. This is a book, right?”

She: “Yes”

He: “and a book is a publication”

She: “Yes”

He: “and the title is part of the book?”

She: “… well, yes”

He: “So I can’t tell you”.

She: “But I am not asking you to put it in a database. I just want you to tell me”

He: “But telling you is transmitting part of the publication. Speech is a transmission. It’s an otherwise. I couldn’t even tap it out in Morse code”

She: “That’s rubbish”

He: “No. Copyright matters. You wouldn’t steal sweets from a child, would you? Telling you the title is stealing. It’s piracy. I’m afraid I don’t like breaking the law”

She: “Well, the law depends on which country it was published in. Where was it published?”

He: “I can’t tell you.”

She: “… don’t tell me, it’s copyright.”

He: “… that’s right”.

She: “in fact you shouldn’t even have told me that it’s copyright.”

He: “Steaming wombats! I’ve broken the law. ”

She: “Well, can I read the title? Surely that isn’t transmitting part of the publication?”

He: “Not sure. I’d have to ask a librarian.”

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