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Re: What would an "An Official" GNU Emacs Book look like?

From: Emanuel Berg
Subject: Re: What would an "An Official" GNU Emacs Book look like?
Date: Mon, 18 May 2015 23:15:38 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.4 (gnu/linux)

Marcin Borkowski <address@hidden> writes:

> Interesting. I know your opinion on free software,
> but books seem to be a bit different. For instance,
> you can't really have DRM on a book (a printed one,
> I mean). Also, while it is illegal to copy
> proprietary software to a friend/relative, it is
> perfectly legal to lend them a book (and I guess
> also photocopy, though I'm not sure about this).

To multiply books that way has been done countless of
times but it is not legal. Read the legal note that is
often present in books - it tells you (in many words)
all the things that are illegal to do.

However for quoting purposes you can do quite a lot.

Nowadays "copying" of books is done by simply getting
a PDF on the Internet and then printing it. If you do
it on your school or office it is even more free.
Sometimes it is the original document, sometimes it is
the result of some person using a scanner.

> All this means that books are "more free" than
> software by default.

In general books are less free because of the presence
of the whole GNU/Linux world with so much software
readily available for free in all senses. For example,
the Debian repos which hold 40 000 packs. There is no
such counterculture in the books world, save for the
science fiction and punk-rock fanzines which are the
doings of a bunch of kids.

In practice, software which isn't free is also more
free than books that aren't free because of the
methods to multiply are much more difficult for
physical objects. Now with the PDFs and ebooks that
has changed, and will change even more.

As a side note, also remember the public libraries all
around the world which is an underused resource,
however it is also a capricious one as not all the
books you'd like are available.

underground experts united

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