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Re: Lending, reserves, a

I agree with Sue Medina that the questions that seem innocuous have 
important ramifications and want to respond to two points she makes.
1) electronic reserves.  It is highly unlikely that publishers or
professional writers (as opposed to academic writers) will ever go along
with this the concept of electronic reserves on material for which there
is still a market, even a reprint market, as we learned in the CONFU (fair
use) discussions.  Nobody who owns copyright in an article (or chapter
from a book) and hopes to have any income from it will willingly make it
available over electronic networks -- from which it is more than likely to
migrate to the Internet for free distribution.  I believe academic,
especially scientific, authors feel differently about this and welcome the
sharing of information (they will get no income either way).
2) electronic archives.  In a previous life I was an editor at Harper &
Row and at Fawcett, so I know firsthand that publishers are terrible about
archiving stuff and often do not have a single file copy of some
out-of-print books.  At the moment, I suspect publishers have a fantasy of
keeping everyone on file electronically, anticipating books-on-demand and
articles-on-demand.  But I have much more faith in libraries as archives
than I do in publishers -- because publishers routinely start throwing
things out, turning files over to libraries, etc., because they don't have
room (this could be equally true of disk space -- and in any case, most
publishers just recently got used to Correcting Selectrics and are just
BEGINNING to have the sense to ask for manuscripts on Disk).  Not to
mention that there is little reason for them to keep something in their
archives if the rights revert to the author after the market for the book
has died down and they've let the thing go out of print.  In addition,
many publishers are not attuned to the electronic era. 
I realize the nobody can keep a copy of everything -- even the Library of
Congress picks and chooses about what it keeps copies of -- but I agree
with the need for some kind of electronic archive.  Here is an area where
I believe authors and librarians could work together. 
Pat McNees (freelance writer)
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