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Suggesting a chapter each. They're not short.



Dilys, I'd be interested if we can do it legally (I just don't know how the law applies in this context). It would be nice to have it online and searchable. Also, it would help keep me motivated to read it; so far, my progress has been very slow and sporadic.


Dilys, I'd be interested, if I can help. Please let me know specifics. Uh, it's not required that I have to actually understand what I'm copying, is it? :)


Hi Dilys,

I'm also interested in volunteering if copyright law allows. I'll try to do some research on what's permitted.


Jeff Hull

Unless I misunderstand copyright law, this work is not in the public domain. Copyright in the US expires 70 years after the authors death; he died in 1973. So no etext without permission of the copyright holder (his estate). Sorry.



The issue Jeff raised sounds like it would prevent us from posting an etext on the web. However, if it were only privately distributed to those who had worked on it (which sounds like it may have been Dilys' intention), then that might fall under the category of fair use.


The link above lists the criteria for Fair Use as follows:

1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Where points 1 and 4 are concerned, this would not be for commercial purposes, and everyone who worked on the project would by necessity have to have a paper copy, so it would not diminish the market value of the work.


Actually, Dilys, now that it occurs to me, you're a lawyer, so you can tell us better than we can tell you.


I'm satisfied that for very limited personal non-commercial use, like producing one's own index, personal translation, or marked copy of portions of a text for a study group, this proposal is acceptable under the current "fair use" guidelines, inter alia for the reasons Bryan cites, subject to refinement by any practicing Bar-Board-certified copyright lawyers scrolling through.

As for me, I am not in any way shape or form offering legal advice to anyone about anything, in the absence of a substantial and specific written fee agreement :-). In this-here G&H world, everyone decides for himself.

Experience or technical expertise regarding specific OCR or indexing software is invited, including knowledge about comparable methods to produce searchable text in the first place -- scanning, typing, voice recognition, others.

Further conversation here will ideally address effective methods and possibilities for proceeding. After a week or so in which the pool of potential response will be deemed to be complete, potential compilers-and-users can e-mail among ourselves to estimate the practical level of interest, and decide whether and how to go forward. At that time this project post will be retired.


Well, I'm in.

I don't have specific knowledge of OCR software, although I know there is a freeware package that claims 99% accuracy.


This would probably be good enough for those who have scanners and want to use it.

Where indexing is concerned, we should probably discuss what the final product should be. If all that is wanted is a .pdf file (which would be searchable by text string in any pdf reader like Acrobat), then it would be simple enough just to get all the text into MS Word, run the index function (which I presume works, although I have not actually used it since the bad old days of Windows 2000), and then convert to pdf.

However, I can envision that it might be nice instead to have the text as a set of hyperlinked web pages (stored locally on people's hard disks, not posted on the web, for reasons discussed above). This could provide the following nice features.

1) You could click on a citation in the index and jump immediately there.

2) We could, if we so chose, annotate the text with invisible XML-style markup to provide subject keywords that could be indexed. For instance, if I decided that some paragraph was about topic "x" even though the term "x" did not appear in the paragraph, then I could annotate the paragraph with XML markup to indicate that it was about topic "x" and then create a subject index based on that.

3) There could be other possibilities for personal commentary and notes saved in invisible markup in the text and perhaps viewed in a separate frame in the webpage.

This would even enable fun stuff like collating people's commentary and notes so that you could click on an option "View Dilys' notes" or "View Bryan's notes" as you were reading the text.

The PDF route and the fancy HTML route are not mutually exclusive possibilities, since both would require first of all just getting the text transcribed and then running postprocessing on it, so in either case, the first thing to do, as I see it, would just be to get the text transcribed.


I would like to do some work. Add me to the list of intrepid explorers.


Thanks to the volunteers. A variation on the plan is afoot, and by sometime in July the results will be known. It is hoped the benefit of a searchable text will be available to those who have volunteered to help, with much less labor.

Sometimes life turns out that way.

I will let the volunteers know the status as soon as I do.

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