KSL and online texts

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Apr 20 2006 00:16

Jacque - and bear in mind I've no idea who anarchoal is, s/he actually said:

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the last thing I want is to see it close down

Which is the exact opposite of what you're implying

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Apr 20 2006 00:32
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Apr 20 2006 00:59
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Apr 20 2006 01:04
Tommy Ascaso wrote:
Jacque wrote:
AnarchoAl probably didn't know that KSL is also our most important archive. and I did point out...

Do you know why the archive was moved to America then?

The person who had it in his/her house moved their.

So do pamphlet sales pay for the maintenace of the physical library then?

What's the advantage of anarchists owning this stuff in the US, as opposed to it going to a public library in the UK or Europe, such as the bishopsgate institute, LSE, Mancs WCML, or Institute for Social History in amsterdam?

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Apr 20 2006 01:18
martinh
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Apr 20 2006 09:17

I've flagged this discussion up to the main people in the KSL, but I've yet to hear back from them. (I act as a sort of semi-official liaison and bag man in London).

The KSL moved to the US because the main person who stored all the material moved there. While this is a pity in terms of geographic location and accessibility, the reality was that hardly anyone got to visit it while it was in the UK. If you have anything specific you are interested in and want to see original source documents the best way to go about it is to contact the KSL and ask.

There is still a tremendous amount of cataloguing and so on to do on it, which coupled with the demands of publishing and the small number of volunteers, means that progress is slow. I think perhaps some sort of public meeting/discussion about this at the Bookfair might be a good idea as it will mean people have a better idea of what's going on. (and the number of frivolous requests they get from students wanting their dissertations written for them).

The main people working in the KSL are also bibliophiles and have an attachment to the printed word. While this doesn't preclude putting things on-line, they are unlikely to do that much of it. It should also be remembered that unavoidable things like postage and so on, as well as purchasing material (often the only way to get rare stuff) all cost money. The KSL is unconvinced that putting its most popular pamphlets on-line wouldn't just mean that what income is derived from them is lost. Perhaps if libcom can come up with a proposal to test this, there might be some way round this problem. Personally, I would like to see a way round it.

Regards,

martin

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Apr 20 2006 09:25
John. wrote:

So do pamphlet sales pay for the maintenace of the physical library then?

No. They contribute to the ongoing maintenance costs like postage, buying material and so on.

John. wrote:
What's the advantage of anarchists owning this stuff in the US, as opposed to it going to a public library in the UK or Europe, such as the bishopsgate institute, LSE, Mancs WCML, or Institute for Social History in amsterdam?

We should control our own history. All of those institutions are hostile to one degree or another to anarchism. The CNT had a long-running dispute with the IISG over its historic archives that was only resolved about 10 years ago.

Ideally, we should have several libraries and collections - that's what happens in countries with bigger movements. Freedom would be a good place to host one now that it is part of the movement again (and I believe it does retain its won archives). The SolFed is also establishing its own archive.

However, I'm not sure anyone has ever not got what they wanted out of the KSL. It might have taken ages, but that's unavoidable as per my previous post (too few people, too much work still to do).

Regards,

martin

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Apr 20 2006 10:24
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Can this be clarified please? - it seems to be argueing that libcom put it online and Dundee_United on behalf of Clydeside IWW will follow suit. No time-scale is mentioned?

I'm not in the IWW Clydeside branch and can't speak for them. I'm not the biggest fan of the current incarnation of the IWW either. And I would probably have been on the 'industrial unionist' side of that debate you highlighted (which I knew nothing about). however all of these are details obfuscatory to the real issue, as you know.

Basically the issue is copyright. KSL can get to fuck in my view, and I'd say that to them personally. I have no wish to see some organisation I know next to fuckall about shut, by any means. But, if they are asserting copyright to a 90 year old text and demanding money for it they are corrupt. It's not a case of me being a bad bastard to some poor, little, beavering-away 'bibliophiles'; if they are going to actively prevent access to information that is nearly a century old because they see the need to cover their costs then they are no different to any other organisation which does likewise.

It is fundamentally not on! It's morally objectionable to act like that.

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Apr 20 2006 10:31
Dundee_United wrote:
if they are asserting copyright to a 90 year old text and demanding money for it they are corrupt.

Steady on. More people have access to this 90 yr-old text thanks to the KSL than would have otherwise. And in order to keep their venture going, they need money. It's also worth adding that KSL pamphlets are a lot cheaper than other anarcho pamphlets and a lot better produced.

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Apr 20 2006 10:41
Dundee_United wrote:
Basically the issue is copyright. KSL can get to fuck in my view, and I'd say that to them personally. I have no wish to see some organisation I know next to fuckall about shut, by any means. But, if they are asserting copyright to a 90 year old text and demanding money for it they are corrupt. It's not a case of me being a bad bastard to some poor, little, beavering-away 'bibliophiles'; if they are going to actively prevent access to information that is nearly a century old because they see the need to cover their costs then they are no different to any other organisation which does likewise.

It is fundamentally not on! It's morally objectionable to act like that.

Should you ever publish something and put money into getting it out, I hope no one ever brings out another version immediately so you don't recoup your outlay. roll eyes

And as for actively preventing access -how? You send them the money - they send you a copy. Simple. This is akin to claiming censorship if someone doesn't publish something, but doesn't stop anyone else doing it. (Sound familiar?)

Had it not been for the KSL, this text would have remained lost. It has only been published once before, in the 40s. Don't know how you got to 90 years from that.

regards

Martin

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Apr 20 2006 12:57
martinh wrote:
And as for actively preventing access -how? You send them the money - they send you a copy. Simple. This is akin to claiming censorship if someone doesn't publish something, but doesn't stop anyone else doing it. (Sound familiar?)

Just quickly - refusing to allow something to be put online is effectively denying access to it for potentially hundreds of thousands of people. Anyone wanting to know something about it with an online text can google it, and may then find that text. You could google an offline text and you'd be very very unlikely to find that you could buy this pamphlet from KSL - you'd also be very unlikely to ever find out that KSL even existed.

Button:

Quote:
Steady on. More people have access to this 90 yr-old text thanks to the KSL than would have otherwise.

But a helluva lot more people could access it if it was online!

Anyway this is a moot point since the PDF is already on that site I linked to earlier. I fail to see how the KSL benefits from having it online unauthorised, with no credit link/donate/buy button as opposed to having it online somewhere with a link + ad to KSL and possibly a donate/buy link as well

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Apr 20 2006 13:09
revol68 wrote:
it's a fucking joke that "anarchists" should be hoarding history away instead of putting it out on the internet.

I mean I understand they need a certain cash flow to survive, but whats the point in them surviving if they are hindering the distribution of anarchist history?

Exactly! If their raison d'etre is to get anarchist history out to the maximum possible number of people, then they should use a format to do that, rather than one that hinders it.

I'd be willing to bet many many more people have seen our history and library sections in the past month than have ever bought or read any KSL pamphlet ever. And we can do this with almost no money, and a full, free copyleft policy.

nastyned
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Apr 20 2006 13:28

But aren't the KSL using the fund from their best sellers to publish pamphlets on other aspects of little known anarchist history?

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Apr 20 2006 13:30
nastyned wrote:
But aren't the KSL using the fund from their best sellers to publish pamphlets on other aspects of little known anarchist history?

But they could make them much more widely available by putting them online, then they wouldn't be little-known any more. If it's only put in a KSL pamphlet which sells, what 200 copies? Then it's still little-known!

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Apr 20 2006 13:31
nastyned wrote:
But aren't the KSL using the fund from their best sellers to publish pamphlets on other aspects of little known anarchist history?

the question is why go to the expense of publishing in print when there's a far more popular, accessible and all-round better medium that we're using now, in fact (and can be used covertly from work, to boot)?

edit: in other words, what John. said (he beat me too it) embarrassed

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Apr 20 2006 13:32
Joseph K. wrote:
nastyned wrote:
But aren't the KSL using the fund from their best sellers to publish pamphlets on other aspects of little known anarchist history?

the question is why go to the expense of publishing in print when there's a far more popular, accessible and all-round better medium that we're using now, in fact (and can be used covertly from work, to boot)?

Cos they might well say, "well not everyone can use the internet" - but a helluva lot more people "can use the internet" than know about KSL's existence, know what they sell and be able to buy stuff from them. And online stuff can be printed/photocopied and distrod and everything as well of course.

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Apr 20 2006 13:36
John. wrote:

But they could make them much more widely available by putting them online, then they wouldn't be little-known any more. If it's only put in a KSL pamphlet which sells, what 200 copies? Then it's still little-known!

Yes, but if they can't afford to produce new pamplets they'll be totally unknown. And once something's in print it goes in the british library, etc. which the internet doesn't.

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Apr 20 2006 13:39

now i know very little about the KSL so this isn't intended personally - but how much of their activities that require funding are basically personal hobbies (the bibliophile comment) ... if there's an aversion to the internet which holds back much wider distribution based on that then it ain't on.

But like John. said, its moot since the pamphlets at issue are already online elsewhere, unattributed - they could be on libcom with a link/ad/donate/buy button etc and far more people would (a) know KSL exists, (b) have access to the material - the use values - the whole point of anarchist publishing, and even (c) spend some money/donate to KSL.

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Apr 20 2006 13:41
John. wrote:
I'd be willing to bet many many more people have seen our history and library sections in the past month than have ever bought or read any KSL pamphlet ever.

Have you taken your happy pills today? Your sounding a bit up your own behind mate. Although, maybe you're correct, it kinda detracts from your argument.

I'm with Martin h on this one, has anyone thought of approaching the ksl, offering their time and ideas to go for the online payment stylee or whatever the collective decides.

It'd be more useful to have someone from the ksl posting on here, rather than just our opinions.

How many folks have gotten the couriers are revolting because of LibCom?

p.s. I'm a ksl subscriber, also i know i would no even less about our history if it hadn't been for the KSL! ViVa La KSL! red n black star But times have moved on...

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Apr 20 2006 13:45
BB wrote:
p.s. I'm a ksl subscriber, also i know i would no even less about our history if it hadn't been for the KSL! ViVa La KSL! But times have moved on...

exactly ... i don't think anyones saying KSL is rubbish, just maybe a little luddite (but without the anti-capitalist motive of ludd et al?).

BB wrote:
It'd be more useful to have someone from the ksl posting on here, rather than just our opinions.

very true, its a bit of a strange debate on that front.

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Apr 20 2006 13:59

Re: Ksl participation on this thread: We have told them about it, someone else mentioned they have told them, and they registered here a couple of weeks ago IIRC.

Quote:
I'm with Martin h on this one, has anyone thought of approaching the ksl, offering their time and ideas to go for the online payment stylee or whatever the collective decides.

Yes, we have repeatedly suggested to them that they make more content available online. (And we have had this discussion several times with them before)

But no we have suggested a structured solution and detailed plan of how to do it, that is for them to come up with IMO. I made several suggestions on the first page of this thread tho.

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Apr 20 2006 14:03
nastyned wrote:
John. wrote:

But they could make them much more widely available by putting them online, then they wouldn't be little-known any more. If it's only put in a KSL pamphlet which sells, what 200 copies? Then it's still little-known!

Yes, but if they can't afford to produce new pamplets they'll be totally unknown. And once something's in print it goes in the british library, etc. which the internet doesn't.

Why would they be totally unknown? You can put stuff online for free, and far more people can read it there.

Is having stuff in the British Library that important? I don't think many workers do much reading there...

BB wrote:
Have you taken your happy pills today? Your sounding a bit up your own behind mate. Although, maybe you're correct, it kinda detracts from your argument.

Sorry I don't mean to, but I do feel strongly about this. I love the material that KSL produces, I think it's fucking great, it really saddens me that access to it is so restricted!

Quote:
I'm with Martin h on this one, has anyone thought of approaching the ksl, offering their time and ideas to go for the online payment stylee or whatever the collective decides.

We have yeah - some of the partial pamphlets in history have links to buy texts directly, but no donate thing cos I don't think they have a paypal or merchant account

Quote:
How many folks have gotten the couriers are revolting because of LibCom?

None, because KSL asked us not to put it online. Why?

Quote:
i know i would no even less about our history if it hadn't been for the KSL! ViVa La KSL! red n black star But times have moved on...

Ditto here

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Apr 20 2006 14:06
John. wrote:

Why would they be totally unknown? You can put stuff online for free, and far more people can read it there.

If KSL shut up shop 'cos they've no money there won't be any more KSL pamphlets will there?

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Apr 20 2006 14:07
nastyned wrote:
John. wrote:

Why would they be totally unknown? You can put stuff online for free, and far more people can read it there.

If KSL shut up shop 'cos they've no money there won't be any more KSL pamphlets will there?

True.

Is it my imagination, or is this thread dividing along age lines? I'm over 30, BB's over 30, martinh is (well wink ) over 30. nastyned?

OLD FARTS AGAINST THE INTERWEB!!!11111!!!!!!!!!! angry

BB
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Apr 20 2006 14:08
rkn wrote:
Re: Ksl participation on this thread: We have told them about it, someone else mentioned they have told them, and they registered here a couple of weeks ago IIRC.

Currently drumming fingers...

rkn wrote:
Quote:
I'm with Martin h on this one, has anyone thought of approaching the ksl, offering their time and ideas to go for the online payment stylee or whatever the collective decides.

Yes, we have repeatedly suggested to them that they make more content available online. (And we have had this discussion several times with them before)

But no we have suggested a structured solution and detailed plan of how to do it, that is for them to come up with IMO. I made several suggestions on the first page of this thread tho.

Did you make your suggestion with big sticks tongue

embarrassed Beats hisself, bad BB. Got lost in john's arrogant sounding comments. embarrassed

Give me a K! Give me a S! Give me an L! What does it spell...

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Apr 20 2006 14:12
nastyned wrote:
John. wrote:

Why would they be totally unknown? You can put stuff online for free, and far more people can read it there.

If KSL shut up shop 'cos they've no money there won't be any more KSL pamphlets will there?

Even if their income dried up (which i DON'T think would happen) they could just move entirely into online publishing, where they could make exactly the same materials available to a much wider audience. I can't see how this isn't really obvious.

Martin earlier asked for evidence that online publishing doesn't hurt income. Unfortunately that would be quite hard to test, tho I suppose one would be Couriers are Revolting - that sells well right? And it's online.

Also looking at other books: Cleaver's Reading Capital Politically has always been online, is a very big seller; CrimethInc.'s stuff sells really well; that's always available online, and they not only make lots of money and have lots of readers but have a really high profile as well. I could think of more examples...

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Apr 20 2006 14:21
BB wrote:
embarrassed Beats hisself, bad BB. Got lost in john's arrogant sounding comments. embarrassed

Can I just say I really wasn't trying to be arrogant - I was trying to make the point about effective publishing and the number of people it reaches. The only site that I know the viewing stats for is this one - I'm sure many thousands of people also read materials from sites like spunk, infoshop, etc.. My point generally was that the online market is many orders of magnitude bigger than the print publishing one, for shortish texts anyway.

nastyned
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Apr 20 2006 15:12
John. wrote:
Even if their income dried up (which i DON'T think would happen) they could just move entirely into online publishing, where they could make exactly the same materials available to a much wider audience. I can't see how this isn't really obvious.

You don't know though do you, and it's not your decision to make. What if it costs money to even produce the text for each pamphlet? They may well have costs from their research and translations. And don't they produce books as well? Which must cost a lot to produce but are much easier to read in hard copy rather then from a screen.

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Apr 20 2006 15:17
nastyned wrote:
John. wrote:
Even if their income dried up (which i DON'T think would happen) they could just move entirely into online publishing, where they could make exactly the same materials available to a much wider audience. I can't see how this isn't really obvious.

You don't know though do you, and it's not your decision to make. What if it costs money to even produce the text for each pamphlet? They may well have costs from their research and translations. And don't they produce books as well? Which must cost a lot to produce but are much easier to read in hard copy rather then from a screen.

I haven't seen any KSL books... but then whole books you can't read onscreen and so putting them online can't hurt sales (a la Cleaver). Fair enuogh I don't know if they pay for translations - although martinh did list their expenses and translations and research weren't listed.

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Apr 20 2006 15:19

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Print_on_demand