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Why Are There More Old Songs On iTunes Than Old eBooks? 77

New submitter Paul J Heald writes "The vast majority of books and songs from the 20th Century are out-of-print. New data show music publishers doing an admirable job of digitizing older content, but book publishers fail miserably at putting old works in eBook form. I've done some research in an attempt to explain why: 'Music publishers can proceed with the digitization of their back catalog without competing to re-sign authors or hiring lawyers to renegotiate and write new contracts. Research has revealed no cases holding that music publishers must renegotiate in order to digitize their vinyl back catalogs. The situation for book publishers is substantially the opposite. In the landmark case of Random House v. Rosetta Books, the Second Circuit held that Random House had to renegotiate deals with its authors in order to publish their hard copy books in eBook format. ... Another advantage that the music industry may have is the lower cost of digitization. A vinyl album or audio master tape can be converted directly to a consumable digital form and be made available almost immediately. A book, on the other hand, can be scanned quite easily, but in order to be marketed as a professional-looking eBook (as opposed to a low quality, camera-like image of the original book), the scanned text needs to be manipulated with word processing software to reset the fonts and improve the appearance of the text.'"
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Why Are There More Old Songs On iTunes Than Old eBooks?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 15, 2014 @10:54AM (#46492101)

    1. go to ebookoid.com
    2. download any of the million ebooks

    Thank the crazy Russians for bringing us resources like this

  • by dpbsmith ( 263124 ) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @11:05AM (#46492185) Homepage

    ...had a lot of acerbic observations on the topic.

    "I said this in 1971, in the very first week of PG, that by the end of my lifetime you would be able to carry every word in the Library of Congress in one hand - but they will pass a law against it. I realized they would never let us have that much access to so much information." http://samvak.tripod.com/busiw... [tripod.com]

    He was scathing on the topic of the attempts (which are largely succeeding) to convert us from an ownership society to a rentier society:

    http://comments.gmane.org/gman... [gmane.org]

    "I worry that 100 years from now that 99% of foods will be GMO's [Genetically
    Manipulated/Manufactured Organisms] and hence under copyright. . .and this
    will enforce a copyright-powered hunger/starvation/malnutrition of the body
    just as current copyright extensions are powering such for the mind.

    The goal of WIPO is that EVERYTHING should HAVE to be paid for, plus a
    royalty for the intellectual property. . .at a time when everyone COULD
    have everything pretty much free of charge from replicator technology.

    100 years ago the atom-powered Nautilus and atomic bomb were fiction,
    only 50 years later the Nautilus was being built, and it sailed into
    my own home town and their crew came to my school. . . .

    Do you REALLY think it won't be even more different in the future?

    But WIPO still wants to charge hugely for replicated food, just as
    it does for replicated books."

Make it myself? But I'm a physical organic chemist!