9.30.2004

Thoreau's Journal: 30-Sep-1860

Frost and ice.

18 comments:

Pragmatik said...

Oh, now I really miss Massachusetts:) It's still warm in Southern Illinois.

Mary Desmond said...

I'll bookmark the site, I wondered having read the small print on your site under what sort of terms are you claiming copyright if this is Thoreau's journal, doesn't a writer's works enter the public domain after 99 years even under American law, is it American Copyright you are claiming or European or www or is it a sort of gentleman's request to fellow seekers.

I have been ploughing through Walden and am finding it worth the effort, the joy of gaining that fond intimate embrace while struggling through treacle I appreciate some questions are stupid like asking well why did you agree to treacle wrestling with your twoolove if all you wanted was the joy of fond intimate embraces. But you might have an interesting answer. To my question on copyright that is but any answer that is interesting of course old chap.

Greg said...

I'm just claiming copyright for the entire site (edit) as an any editor would.

Greg said...

John, I bet you really miss it when it's been below 10 for a week or two and the most you can hope for is a blizzard just to warm things up a bit.

Mary Desmond said...

I am all for honouring the work that someone has done, but it's Thoreau's Journal I'll be more than happy to credit the man with his own words, more people should read him perhaps. I may have misunderstood the way you use the term and perhaps it is not in its legal sense, but an editor does not own copyright on a writer's works unless he has purchased the copyright from the writer or they live in a country without intellectual property law in which case no one owns the copyright. But if I have misunderstood perhaps you could let me know the jurisdiction or law or why you feel you have some rights over the journal. I am sure it doesn't trouble Thoreau so I guess it don't trouble me neither. For clarification this comment even though it appears on your site and is not worth the virtual reality it is written on is owned in full by Mary Desmond Coutinho even if you were to edit out bits it still wouldn't give you copyright. I certainly don't wish to be rude and I may have misunderstood your claim to copyright. The man is dead more than seventy years. His words belong to humanity now, and anyone else who would read it. I assume that's how you can post it here without paying anyone for the privilege.

Greg said...

Mary. You do go on. You may quote whatever you wish to. I don't really care. Unless... someone were to copy this entire blog onto their own space and call it theirs. I think the work of reading, selecting, editing, and typing said contents means something. In fact, I believe it comes under something called "compilation copyright" if we need to get real technical: http://www.usemod.com/cgi-bin/mb.pl?CompilationCopyright

Greg said...

But one more thing Mary. Thanks for prompting me to do a bit of research on this. I will change the small print to indicate a compilation copyright.

Mary Desmond said...

sure no problem like you said who is going to enforce it, I'll read up on compilation copyright, teach a wise man he becomes wiser. And after all that i like what you are doing here, I understand Thoreau was a mixture of beautiful mystic writer with grumpy old man, it's nice we can show both and be content with ourselves. Keep blogging.

Mary Desmond said...

And since I am already guilty of going on and on, the copyright you are claiming doesn't apply to America, because the Berne Convention is unconstitutional for Americans, because it's not original enough, however it's an interesting point, if you trawl through a large text and bring out the best bits for people it's the difference between saying there is gold in them thar hills and mining, smelting and turning the gold into jewellery for people. Certainly for Thoreau, a considerable added value. Now I shall move onwards, although I definitely have a problem with closure.

Greg said...

The US Supreme Court has ruled that compilation copyright is NOT valid if "the competing work does not feature the same selection and arrangement." But then again, that's exactly my point. It IS valid for "the same selection and arrangement." Hence I claim the compilation copyright for the entire selection and arrangement of The Blog of Henry David Thoreau. I now rest my case, and accept closure.

Greg said...

A more complete explanation at:

http://grapez.blogspot.com/2004/10/yes-virginia-there-is-compilation.html

Mary Desmond said...

Dear Greg,
You can certainly claim closure for yourself and offer it to others but you can't claim it for them or for me alas.

There is a significant difference in my limited understanding to your compilation and the work and life of Thoreau. I think your desire to claim copyright, ownership of Thoreau's gems is authorship of a completely original work from that of Thoreau. I think you have gone beyond Readers' Digest you are putting forward a belief that you can commodify some sort of transcendental view of life. Otherwise I don't understand the need to claim copyright other than as a dead ritual. You are certainly not stealing the work, you clearly state it is Thoreau's journal. It reminds me a little of the late Lady Diana's Butler.

Obviously any work is a compilation of existing words usually from a Dictionary arranged in a different order with other patterns. In the end an idea, a set of pensees, poetry cannot be held responsible for the fallible beings who first give birth to them, or dress them up in new clothes.

I admire your gall. If I don't subsequently go on to read his journal directly I'll happily quote this blog as intermediate source until then.

I read the link. Lawyers are ten a penny I am sure I can get one to quote another opinion. I am happy to provide you with a test case if you wish to press the matter.

Greg said...

Mary, "commodify some sort of transcendental view of life"? You take the cake. And I admire your spleen.

Pragmatik said...

Greg, I miss the winters just as much as the autumn. I love cold weather, can't get enough of it. That's probably masochistic, in a way:)

Greg said...

John, actually I have learned to love the colder weather as well. In fact, November has become one of my favorite months. And not just because it's such the underdog and nothing much going for it considering it's too warm for winter sports and way past the leaf-peeping season. But it's just so unassuming. It just is. I've come to learn to love that existential character of the month. But I must admit that I still haven't been able to accept Febrruary in the same light. But I shall try again this year.

Tom said...

Geez, and all Thoreau said was "Frost and ice." Go figure - 15 comments. An omen of as much portent as his cat sleeping of its head, no doubt.

Greg said...

That frost and ice is some terrible tricky ingredients. Caveat etc.

Anonymous said...

Please, Mary, do some research for your learning, and have fun with it somewhere else. If you can't understand the difference between copyrighting a selection (which is done ALL the time) and violating the copyright of someone who has been dead for most of a century and a half (hence, no copyright to violate), maybe you would be better served reading up on the subject at a library, rather than on a nice weblog that you're managing to mess up. No one bugs the hell out of you on your blog.