Talk:Black Reconstruction in America

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I think there could use a more thorough summary of this book that takes into account the book's influence on revisionist and post-revisionist historiography. In particular, this article could develop further DuBois's immortal indictment of the historical profession c. 1935 in the chapter "The Propaganda of History."

External Links: reply to MShabazz's revert[edit]

Hello, sir. Nice to meet you. Your revert merits detailed response. :)

I found this text through webdubois.org, which provides a link to the online version at archive.org. The version at creoliste.fr is based on this authorized version at archive.org but is a proofread text version (enriched with helpful links). In 1909, copyright length was indeed increased from 14 years once renewable to 28 years with one possible renewal. (This was of course part of the general movement of concentration of the new forms of capital discussed by Dubois in Chapter 14 -- though he is not specific about copyright and patents being a new form of capital) 1935 + 28 + 28 = 1991 (i.e. well before the 1998 change in copyright law), death of Dubois (cf. 1976 copyright law) = 1963 + 50 = 2013.

Please note that both archive.org and creoliste.fr are posting this 80 year old text as a not-for-profit fair use (educational purposes) of a seminal text whose author and whose heirs are no longer living. Google books is publishing the most recent versions (Oxford / S&S) to generate advertising revenue. It is unfortunate that the new forms of property are not called in more systematically for critique (The publisher billionaire owning the media conglomerate englobing Simon & Schuster, who published Dubois' book recently for $21 is Sumner Redstone. However the original publisher was Harcourt Brace.) Lacking proof that the exclusive copyright has been ceded to a publisher by the Dubois family heirs (which given his Marxist outlook seems improbable), it does not seem appropriate to prevent free access to those who wish to work on his 80 year old text. NB: David Graham DuBois (WEB's stepson and executor of the Dubois estate) died in 2005 and was survived by no children.

Discussion is welcome. Should a copyright owner exist despite the above research which indicates the contrary, s/he is certainly welcome to make themselves known to archive.org and to creoliste.fr if they feel it is appropriate to prevent free access to WEB Dubois' scholarship on the basis of a legitimate copyright claim. Publishers having obtained exclusive rights via potential credit swaps or copyright swaps can also contact the not-for-profit educational sites mentioned above.

SashiRolls (talk) 15:05, 5 August 2015 (UTC)

I'm not a lawyer, and I don't pretend to understand the fine points of copyright law. I relied on Wikisource, which states that the book is subject to copyright in the United States (where Wikipedia's servers are located) per this renewal. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 17:26, 5 August 2015 (UTC)
I've asked at the External links/Noticeboard for other editors' opinions on the matter. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 17:40, 5 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. My only claim is that there would need to be a living person to exercise that claim and I don't think there is. Mark Twain really did the publishers a favor with all his lobbying, because they certainly take advantage of every gray area to make money selling paper & ads. ^^ SashiRolls (talk) 17:55, 5 August 2015 (UTC)

I have removed the links after further reading on copyright law, which does indeed give billionaire publishers rights that authors have to struggle to defend, and which force users of even texts published in 1935 to pay publishers or to use a library. The presence or absence of a living copyright holder is pretty much irrelevant I've learned, the publishers control intellectual property they did not themselves produce completely unless challenged at exactly the right time. This system was apparently cooked up to satisfy the European media moguls (or as some say to guarantee the value of Disney's products that risked entering the public domain). The lead lawyer in the Supreme Court case (Eldred v Ashcroft) concerning this anti-democratic law regrets not having argued against the public detriment that would be caused by such concentration of intellectual property in the hands of property hoarders. Shocked, frankly, to see Ginsberg writing the majority opinion, she always seemed so sensible.

Anyway, as a result I've removed the links, as I do not wish to put Wikipedia in the position of recycling 'counterfeit' texts from non-profit educational organizations. I wouldn't have been able to learn so much about these twisted laws if it weren't for WP, so I won't bite the hand that's fed me. ^^ SashiRolls (talk) 22:15, 5 August 2015 (UTC)