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    • CommentRowNumber1.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeOct 1st 2009
    • (edited Apr 3rd 2014)
    created the book-entry Supergravity and Superstrings - A Geometric Perspective as the usual recipient, eventually, for a link list of entries on supergravity.

    This book is a jewel, but out of print. I happen to have an electronic djvu copy of it. I am feeling tempted to upload that to the lab, for the sake of mankind in general and of future students in particular. Probably legally a bad idea. Or is it?
    • CommentRowNumber2.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeOct 1st 2009

    Likely to be illegal. Just because it's out of print doesn't mean it's out of copyright. You'd need permission from the copyright holder first (who are either the publishers or the publishers would know who they are).

    • CommentRowNumber3.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeOct 1st 2009

    So what if tomorrow some anonymous contributor suddenly uploads the files anyway, from a non-traceable IP address?

    Or what about this: may I put a remark on the page saying: "You can send an email to ... if you want a djvu copy of the book".

    • CommentRowNumber4.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeOct 1st 2009
    • CommentRowNumber5.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeOct 1st 2009

    More seriously, then the instant I am made aware of the upload then I take it down.

    (If anyone has an issue with this, let me make clear that in this hypothetical situation we are talking about a fairly clear copyright violation.)

    As for the posting of the "you can get it by email", it would be great to be able to put that up but that feels a little to close to what The Pirate Bay were doing and that was only in Sweden. Remember that our server is in the US.

    Of course, if you can get permission then that's different.

    • CommentRowNumber6.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeOct 1st 2009
    • (edited Oct 1st 2009)

    In the U.S., it's illegal to ‘facilitate’ copyright violation. (That this wasn't clearly the case in Swedish Law was the Pirate Bay's defence, even though they eventually got raided and bought out anyway.) Of course, there's a vague line between uploading the file (which is itself a violation, besides facilitating further violation), advertising for email distribution (facilitating your own future violation), linking to a copy elsewhere (essentially equivalent to the Pirate Bay), giving instructions on how to search for a copy, and remarking on the fact that such copies exist (probably legal, but IANAL either).

    But what are the chances of getting permission? If it's out of print and the authors have control, maybe pretty good! (The publisher is World Scientific.)

    • CommentRowNumber7.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeOct 1st 2009

    Okay thanks, I hadn't thought about the possibility of asking for permission. I'll try.

    • CommentRowNumber8.
    • CommentAuthorzskoda
    • CommentTimeOct 3rd 2009
    • (edited Oct 3rd 2009)
    Most publishers would accept such things for books out of print. Springer allowed retyping and posting SGA 1 and SGA 2 to the arXiv, as they were out of print. Thus Springer has history of being cooperative in making availability for out of print historically important editions.

    On the other hand, Springer has published a number of translations of books from Russian to English. Some books in their first editions were published by public funds of Soviet Union, and, in some extreme cases, the new editions in English do NOT EVEN MENTION THAT RUSSIAN ORIGINAL EVER EXISTED. This is for example true for S.Gel'fand-Yu. Manin book Metody gomologicheskoj algebry, tom I, whose English translation Methods of homological algebra is full of serious mathematical typoi and badly copied commutative diagrams (often the arrows are mislabelled in the translation only). While the book is masterly piece, jewel in the tradition of homological algebra, even the Russian edition seem to have been written a bit in haste (some gaps in proofs show this), but the statistics of typographical errors shows that the Russian edition is almost always correct in formulas and diagrams, while English Springer edition is flooded with them. The Russian edition and its copyright notice is not even mentioned in the book, its cover, its internal cover nor any of advertisements Springer has made about this beautiful book. To make the thing worse, the Russian original was called tome I, hence was thought as a part of longer planned project. English translation has not mentioned that they are taking a book from non-finished series and therefore seriously mislead the readers about the age of the book, authorship, scope and copyright SIMULTANEOUSLY. This is unfortutately a rather common practice with translations of Soviet era textbooks.

    So how can Springer claim that djvu for homological algebra book is in violation of copyrights if they neglected without mention on the cover, internal cover, advertisements and so on the Soviet/taxpayers partly funded Nauka edition from 1988, if they did not make any money transaction back to Soviet taxpayers (I do not care if they paid something to the authors as the original was partly funded by the taxpayers) etc? Nauka publishers is not mentioned in any of the transactions. I am happy to have the original Nauka edition.
    • CommentRowNumber9.
    • CommentAuthorMolotov
    • CommentTimeMar 31st 2012
    Dear Urs, could you send me a copy of the book (supergravity and superstrings: a geometric perspective)? It would mean the world to me, I need to check the part where the write the embedding of the coset of N=3 Supergravity into the appropiate symplectic group.

    Thanks in advance.
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