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MIA To Remove Marx & Engels' Collected Works.

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Soviet cogitations: 2377
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 02 Apr 2009, 23:59
Ideology: Other Leftist
Party Bureaucrat
Post 25 Apr 2014, 00:05
https://www.marxists.org/

Quote:
Lawrence and Wishart, who hold the copyright for the Marx Engels collected works, have directed Marxist Internet Archive to delete all texts originating from MECW. Accordingly, from 30th April 2014, no material from MECW is available from Marxists.org. English translations of Marx & Engels from other sources will continue to be available.


Apparently the copyright holder is a small academic publisher that deals mostly in journals, and fifty volume sets aren't selling like they used to so they're pulling it from MIA. It's like Viacom and Netflix all over again.
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Soviet cogitations: 4465
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Mar 2010, 01:20
Ideology: None
Forum Commissar
Post 25 Apr 2014, 02:11
A petition has gone up on change.org if people are interested. Obviously if you put your details on it you will need to be conscious of any risks that might entail.

http://www.change.org/petitions/lawrence-wishart-no-copyright-for-marx-engels-collected-works
Soviet cogitations: 1128
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
Party Member
Post 25 Apr 2014, 18:51
Can't believe they're doing this! Signed. I urge everyone to do the same since it only takes a few seconds.
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Soviet cogitations: 2293
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
Party Bureaucrat
Post 25 Apr 2014, 20:40
I think it's fine as long as they intend to do something with that, such as publishing the collected works again, maybe on their website. Copyrights are pefectly normal in a capitalist society, even for the communists who made the translation and the compilation, and the index. I won't sign this trotskyist petition until I get further informations.

And the petition is totally wrong. There is no copyright on Marx's work, there is a copyright on this translation and compilation made by actual people who worked on that.

Of course this would be a shame if they didn't intend to publish the collected works in an accessible manner (website or cheap paper version).


EDIT : I found this :


Quote:
Lawrence & Wishart statement on the Collected Works of Marx and Engels

Over the last couple of days Lawrence & Wishart has been subject to campaign of online abuse because we have asked for our copyright on the scholarly edition of the Collected Works of Marx and Engels to be respected. The panic being spread to the effect that L&W is ‘claiming copyright’ for the entirety of Marx and Engels’ output is baseless, slanderous and largely motivated by political sectarianism from groups and individuals who have never been friendly to L&W.

We are currently negotiating an agreement with a distributor that will offer a digital version of the Collected Works to university libraries worldwide. This will have the effect of maintaining a public presence of the Works, in the public sphere of the academic library, paid for by public funds. This is a model of commons that reimburses publishers, authors and translators for the work that has gone into creating a book or series of books.

Many translations of works of Marx are now out of copyright – for example the Aveling translation of Capital, a number of translations of the Communist Manifesto. These are widely available both online and in print, including in public libraries. Our copyright edition of the Collected Works, however, is a scholarly library edition of fifty volumes, which resulted from work carried out over a period of more than thirty years. Income from our copyright on this scholarly work contributes to our continuing publication programme. Infringement of this copyright has the effect of depriving a small radical publisher of the funds it needs to remain in existence.

The copyrighted material in question does not include the most widely-consulted editions on the Marxist Internet Archive or anywhere else. Much of this edition comprises less well known works which have only been translated and published in recent years – as well as a number of volumes of correspondence. These works are not some ancient birthright of the radical left, as has been implied by many of our critics.

Our critics’ rhetorically loaded descriptions of L&W as a ‘private publishing house’ and of our actions as ‘capitalistic’ betray a complete lack of understanding of L&W’s historic role in British radical publishing, of its organisational status, and, indeed, of Marx’s concept of the capitalist mode of production. L&W is not a capitalist organisation engaged in profit-seeking or capital accumulation. It is a direct legatee of the Communist/Eurocommunist tradition in the UK, having been at one time the publishing house of the Communist Party of Great Britain. Today it survives on a shoestring, while continuing to develop and support new critical political work by publishing a wide range of books and journals. It makes no profits other than those required to pay a small wage to its very small and overworked staff, investing the vast majority of its returns in radical publishing projects, including an extensive and costly (to L&W) programme of free e-books. Without L&W and the work which its employees have invested over many years, the full collected works of Marx and Engels in English would not exist. Without the income derived its copyright in these works, L&W would not exist.

We note that it is entirely normal for other radical publishers to defend their copyrights and would ask our critics why they think this is somehow more acceptable than our actions in defending ours.

Ultimately, in asking L&W to surrender copyrights in this particular edition of the works of Marx & Engels, MIA and their supporters are asking that L&W, one of the few remaining independent radical publishers in the UK, should commit institutional suicide. At the same time they are reproducing the norms and expectations not of the socialist and communist traditions, but of a consumer culture which expects cultural content to be delivered free to consumers, leaving cultural workers such as publishers, editors and writers unpaid, while the large publishing and other media conglomerates and aggregators continue to enrich themselves through advertising and data-mining revenues and through their far greater institutional weight compared to small independent publishers.

We would suggest that if online activists wish to attack targets in the publishing industry who truly do derive huge profits from the exploitation of their workers and from catalogues filled with radical political thought, then there are far more appropriate targets for them to direct their anger towards than a tiny British publishing-house with no shareholders and a tiny, ill-paid staff.

On behalf of the staff and editorial board at L&W
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"Fishing is part of agriculture" Gred
"Loz, you are like me" Yami
"I am one of the better read Marxists on this site" Gred
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 04 Aug 2004, 20:49
Ideology: Democratic Socialism
Embalmed
Post 25 Apr 2014, 21:10
If they set up their own online version of the texts and, say, asked people to donate whatever money they could to host the archive on the L&W site rather than the MIA, I'd be quite down for £10 a year or whatever.
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"Phil Spector is haunting Europe" -Dr. Karl H. Marx
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
Party Bureaucrat
Post 25 Apr 2014, 21:32
I wouldn't blame them if they put some advertisement on that. MIA is an ugly website with no search function. Building the Collected Works online with a good presentation and search function, and the original index (I guess there is one) would be a great plus for everyone, and they could make some money with that.
We could write a collective mail signed by SE members to ask that they do that instead.
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"Fishing is part of agriculture" Gred
"Loz, you are like me" Yami
"I am one of the better read Marxists on this site" Gred
[+-]
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 22 Oct 2004, 15:15
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Politburo
Post 26 Apr 2014, 09:53
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"They should just work for us for free!"
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
Party Bureaucrat
Post 29 Apr 2014, 22:30
Update on their website:

28/04/14 - Response to Marxists Internet Archive statement

We have made very little money from sales of the Collected Works, and certainly have not recouped their costs, which were immense. The work that went into producing them involved years of documentary research, collating and organising, the commissioning of hundreds of translations, and academic work on references and context.

We now do have an opportunity to recover some of the costs, which is why we are asking MIA to respect our copyright – as we have done on a number of occasions in the past. We fully acknowledge the role that the MIA has played in compiling out of copyright Marx and Engels works and we urge others to visit their site to explore the wide collection that is, and will continue to be, available there.

There are very few radical publishers left in the world today – that is because it is incredibly difficult to keep them afloat. As a small radical publishers ourselves, we are of course familiar with the complexity and difficulty of publishing in the digital age. The debate over MECW is a proxy for what L&W have been continuously grappling with for the last two decades: how to run a sustainable radical publishing company in this new context. We would ask people to remember that we are just fellow human beings doing our best to make a contribution in difficult circumstances.
On behalf of the staff and editorial board at L&W
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"Fishing is part of agriculture" Gred
"Loz, you are like me" Yami
"I am one of the better read Marxists on this site" Gred
[+-]
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 Sep 2011, 13:51
Ideology: Democratic Socialism
Party Member
Post 30 Apr 2014, 02:23
There is no point to the petition or copyrighting the material for that matter other than making a statement. The entire archive can be downloaded for free through torrents for those who don't want or can't afford to pay. I personally have always been for spreading the "faith" freely but then again I am in no way against copyright laws. I just don't understand why they've decided to do this now when it's already too late.

My personal opinion is if you're willing to pay then buy the new copyrighted version when they come out otherwise go to the pirates and just get the whole thing for free.
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The great art of life is sensation; to feel that you exist, even in pain.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Mar 2005, 20:08
Embalmed
Post 30 Apr 2014, 03:25
From what I understand, it's not like old versions of the site are going to be removed from archive.org, right?
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"Bleh, i don't even know what i'm arguing for. What a stupid rant. Disregard what i wrote." - Loz
"Every time is gyros time" - Stalinista
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Soviet cogitations: 6211
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 04 Aug 2004, 20:49
Ideology: Democratic Socialism
Embalmed
Post 30 Apr 2014, 09:46
I am certain these "immense costs" were largely footed by Progress Publishers and not L&W, as they had the clout of an entire nation behind them and L&W just had the CPGB. I have never bought an L&W book 1st hand, only ever second hand, as they really don't make it easy to get a hold of them due to being massively priced - if even some crappy group like the Sparts or whatever Trot group can sell a copy of whatever book for £5, surely a renowned academic publisher...wait, it's an academic publisher, they only really sell to libraries. Therefore If they want to make money at all, their model is flawed and only really allows for each new volume to be sold ~100-200 to academic institutions in the UK and at best ~200 to members of the public. I am sure most copies on bookshelves across the country are second-hand and/or ex-libris.

Not sure about old versions of the site, but I did buy a dvd version of the site a number of years back, so I technically still have access to about 40% of the entire MECW (most of the letters were not accessible nor many of those terrible little vignettes in the early volumes).
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"Phil Spector is haunting Europe" -Dr. Karl H. Marx
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Soviet cogitations: 2293
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
Party Bureaucrat
Post 01 May 2014, 14:44
Archive.org is probably not legal anyway. They are stealing other people's work to display it on their totalitarian website.
The MECW is copied on my HDD.
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"Fishing is part of agriculture" Gred
"Loz, you are like me" Yami
"I am one of the better read Marxists on this site" Gred
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