Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2009 April 24

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April 24[edit]

To refuse ones book in a library[edit]

Can an author refuse to have his books in public libraries? Has any well-known writer ever expressed this wish? (talk) 02:23, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

I do not believe such a thing would be possible in most countries. If you buy an object, you automatically have the right to lend it to someone else, unless you've signed a contract saying otherwise or unless it's some sort of dangerous goods that requires a license to possess. The fact that the object may be under copyright and trademark protection doesn't matter because you aren't making a copy and you aren't trying to confuse anyone about who created it. So the restriction would only be possible if (1) everyone buying the book was required to consent to an agreement, the way some software is sold, or (2) a law was passed granting authors the right to refuse to have their books in libraries.
There is a good deal of controversy currently about this sort of issue regarding digital media -- CDs, MP3s, DVDs, and all the rest -- but the issues do not carry over to printed books, largely because they cannot be cheaply copied. Books in online format are a whole nother matter.
--Anonymous, 04:22 UTC, April 24, 2009.
Photocopying expensive textbooks is quite common in countries with lower levels of copyright enforcement. It's obviously no where near as cheap as digital copying but still often far cheaper then an original copy of the book Nil Einne (talk) 08:57, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
I hear that Jerry Pournelle has griped about it. —Tamfang (talk) 04:26, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
You can license your books in any way you want, as the copyright owner. You could, for example, attach a licence to every sale of the book which requires the buyer to do this and that. But that would probably mean that the legal interest in the physical book is not being sold entirely. It's probably more like a long-term/infinite lease of the book on terms, the way land might be granted with attached conditions. It wouldn't be the same as just attaching a notice like with a CD or piece of software. With something electronic, every time you play it you are re-producing the copyright work in material form, so it is possible to sell the CD without the licensing of the reproduction - i.e. the playing of the CD. Then the buyer of the CD can legally re-sell the CD but the second buyer would not be able to legally play it without authorisation from the copyright owner. With a book, reading the book is not reproduction, so you can't sell the book while prohibiting its reading as such. Whereas if you are indefinitely leasing the book, you can place conditions on which the lease would be revoked - e.g. it being read by anyone else.
I'm speculating off the top of my head, of course. There are probably other issues. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 05:05, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
Oh my god that is so wrong. In the United States there is a doctrine of first sale, which expressly says you CANNOT attach any post-sale conditions on the sale of a book etc. For example you cannot say that a book may not be given to someone else ('transferred'), among many other things. (talk) 05:10, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
We (non-US common law) don't have exactly the same concept, but there are contractual doctrines which produce a similar effect. That's why I said - it probably wouldn't be a sale anymore, but a lease. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 05:54, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

In many countries - including the US - you have to submit a couple of copies of any published book (one that has an ISBN) to the national library. Although national libraries normally don't lend their books, your work will be publicly available.--Mr.K. (talk) 16:22, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

I don't think the Library of Congress still wants everything. There's too much of it. —Tamfang (talk) 04:37, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

On a somewhat related note, some countries to have an established system of payment to authors for their books appearing in public libraries e.g. [1] [2] Nil Einne (talk)


Are there any plans for a 51st United State? (talk) 07:09, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

See 51st state. NeonMerlin 08:19, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
Puerto Rico, an American territory, is certainly large enough to become a state, but at the current time it's just a commonwealth (albeit a commonwealth that's treated like a state). I believe they opened it to a vote and the "stay a territory" option won by a small majority. --Alinnisawest,Dalek Empress (extermination requests here) 13:00, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Paying for oneself[edit]

Have any studies been done to determine what non-economic contributions a chronically unemployed person (living off friends, relatives and/or the state) must make to society in order to offset the costs to society of his or her existence (food, shelter, health care etc.), including the externalized environmental costs? NeonMerlin 08:17, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure how you would go about measuring non-economic contributions in economic terms, and I haven't heard of any studies that would attempt to do so. A stay-at-home-housewife's contributions, for example, are measured in monetary (economic) terms in the studies I've seen. DOR (HK) (talk) 07:59, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Payment Terms[edit]

Hello. Say, you buy some merchandise and receive an invoice on the same day. You have 10 days to pay to be eligible for a 2% discount. If, in a timely manner, you return some of the merchandise for a credit invoice because it was damaged, the company may agree on restarting those 10 days. (Refunding merchandise is reducing your amount owing. My terms do not extend if I pay in part.) Why would a company extend the terms? Thanks in advance. --Mayfare (talk) 13:34, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

They would need to issue a new invoice for just those parts that weren't returned and you can't pay until you receive that invoice so it makes sense for the 10 days to start from when you receive that new invoice. The alternative would be for you to pay the original invoice in full (paying part of an invoice doesn't really work, it would confuse the system since payments and invoices wouldn't match) and for them to then refund you, but that's an unnecessary transaction so it is best to avoid it. The company probably isn't obliged to extend the payment deadline (depending on precisely what the terms and conditions say), but it would be good customer relations to do so (they are obliged to refund you for the damaged items, though, in every jurisdiction I'm familiar with). --Tango (talk) 15:56, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Commonwealth Navy ship prefixes[edit]

What were ships of the Commonwealth of England known by? I was reading the article HMS Monck (1659), and find it strange that a Republican navy would use the His Majesty's Ship, was another prefix used (The Lord Protector's Ship, Commonwealth Ship etc?) or was no prefix used, I seem to remember that the general use of HMS only became widespread later, have we used an inaccurate title to make things fit in to what we are familiar with? KTo288 (talk) 13:41, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

The HMS disambig page has HMS has been the "prefix of Royal Navy ship names since 1789"; curiously the Her Majesty's Ship article doesn't mention that date, or indeed have any mention of when the term came into use. If that 1789 number is accurate, that would obviously suggest that ship names at its time had no prefix. (talk) 22:44, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, thats pretty much my own conclusion that no prefixes were initially used e.g, Mary Rose or Sovereign of the Seas with the addition of the when need be. I was actually hoping for The Lord Protector's Ship to be true as it has a certain ring to it.


This questions is only refers to Black people of Arabia peninsula. Were these black people of Arabian Peninsula came here as slaves? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:01, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Our article on Afro-Arabs contains many details on their history. LANTZYTALK 16:15, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
Also see Arab slave trade, which says "historians estimate that between 11 and 18 million black African slaves crossed the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and Sahara Desert between 650 and 1900", so that's certainly a large population. --Sean 16:32, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
We've had this question a few times (Feb 8 2009, Aug 9 2008, June 9 2008), so maybe those answers will also help. Adam Bishop (talk) 02:23, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure if either of these are answering the question. The OP said 'come here' and the IP looks up to Canada. I'm guessing the OP is asking whether Afro-Arabs were brought to North America as slaves not to the Arabic nations Nil Einne (talk) 01:13, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

A Religious Protestant Symbol[edit]

Does the Protestants have a religious symbol of there own, different from the regular cross of the entire Christianity? 14:12, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm not familiar with a protestant specific symbol per se. "Protestants" are somewhat defined by a negative - non-Catholic Christians - so there really isn't much commonality that they don't also share with Christianity in general. One thing I will note is the Roman Catholics are more likely to use the Crucifix, whereas Protestants tend to stick with the unadorned Christian cross, although our article notes Anglicans also use the crucifix. -- (talk) 14:50, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
The ichthys, although of course an old common Christian symbol with roots tracing back to the early church, does seem to be favored especially by Evangelical Protestants in the form of bumper stickers, tags or necklaces. --Saddhiyama (talk) 15:08, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
In practice, the so-called Christian Flag is somewhat of a pan-Protestant symbol in the United States (not in necessarily in other countries). Lutherans have the "Luther rose"... AnonMoos (talk) 16:24, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
There's also the Cross and Flame of the United Methodist Church, the flag of the Anglican Communion, and the Burning bush of Calvinism. Going by usage alone, the Christian Flag is certainly the closest thing to a pan-Protestant symbol. LANTZYTALK 16:32, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
You might find United States Department of Veterans Affairs emblems for headstones and markers useful. — Kpalion(talk) 17:08, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
The Protestants are not one united movement. In the early days, of the 1600's, there were the Calvinists, the Anglicans (symbol: the compass rose), the Lutherans(symbol:Luther's seal) and the United Brethren, symbol "the Lamb of God with the flag of victory, surrounded by the Latin inscription: Vicit agnus noster, eum sequamur; or in English: Our Lamb has conquered, let us follow him," not to mention the Huguenots(symbol: the Huguenot cross. The cross is a symbol for all Christians aand certainly for all protestants. Was there a unique symbol for Catholics?Edison (talk) 03:48, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
The Roman Catholic Church considers itself to derive directly from the original church of the Apostles, so it doesn't need a special symbol to distinguish itself from other, new movements. The Latin cross is good enough. — Kpalion(talk) 08:11, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
Note that many denominations consider themselves to be the direct successors to the "original church," including Baptists and the Church of Christ. Edison (talk) 20:58, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
There is a category devoted to cross symbols [3] that can provide links to related articles on this subject. Pastor Theo (talk) 01:42, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Puerto Rico[edit]

Do residents of Puerto Rico have to pay capital gains taxes? (talk) 15:19, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Yes. Depending on the asset, it can be as low as 10% and as high as 30%. -- kainaw 15:26, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
But only if they buy the Capitol and sell it at a profit to someone who already owned the Brooklyn Bridge.  :) -- JackofOz (talk) 18:20, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Request for on-line copy of Galileo's Dialogue[edit]

I have copied this request across from the talk page of the article Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems.

Sorry, I know Wikipedia is not a forum but still, where can I find the full text of the Dialogue? "Acceptable" languages for me would be German, English or Russian.-- (talk) 11:22, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
The external links section of the article contains a link to Thomas Salusbury's 17th-century English translation. The only other languages for which I know there are copies available on-line is Italian. The Italian wikisource has a copy, for instance.
David Wilson (talk · cont) 15:42, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Bassoon trios by Julius Weissenborn[edit]

What are the titles (preferably in English) of all the Op. 4 bassoon trios by Julius Weissenborn? A google search didn't help me with answering the question, except this page, which revealed that they have programmatic titles. I found a free content sound file of all the bassoon trios (35.5 MB), and I'd like to split it and upload it to Wikimedia Commons, for use in a couple of articles. Note that I'm blind, so a link to an actual score (if available) won't help me here. I've posted this question to the humanities desk since it seems more, er, up-market than the entertainment desk. :-) Graham87 16:18, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

I also cross-posted this query to the talk page for the classical music WikiProject. Graham87 16:41, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
Six Trios by Julius Weissenborn, Op. 4:
  1. Serenade
  2. Polonaise
  3. Polka ("Tea dance in the little country manor")
  4. Scherzo alla Mazurka ("Dance in the village pub")
  5. Turkish March ("Midnight parade of the Guard")
  6. Funebre March ("A humorist's last hour")

Sources: Fragment at Google books, Joyner Library - Academy Library Services

Unfortunately I can't find the programmatic titles of the first two trios. --Vejvančický (talk) 19:58, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Thanks very much. I'll use the movement titles (e.g. Scherzo), for the file names, and I'll mention the programmatic titles of the movements in the articles. Graham87 04:34, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
They're now at Julius Weissenborn, and since I'm particularly fond of the fourth movement, I've put it on the bassoon article. Graham87 08:57, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Transfer payments within the EU[edit]

I have seen many Europeans complain about transfer payments, specially Germans, but also Britons complain about it (see Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Humanities#United_Kingdom. How high are they and what direction they have? Who chooses to pay whom and for what?-- (talk) 16:42, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

As a general rule, payments go from richer to poorer - e.g., when the UK joined, we were the 'Poor man of Europe', and received aid from France, Germany, etc. Thirty years of membership, however, have enhanced the UK's economy to the point where we're a net donor, of £1.5bn pa. We have some more info in Budget of the European Union, and you may be interested in further reading such as this] --Saalstin (talk) 17:14, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
That article doesn't mention one of the largest form of "transfer payment" -- namely that France, as one of the founding members, carefully crafted the agricultural policies so that they would disproportionately benefit French farmers. As some rudimentary form of recompense for this, Margaret Thatcher was able to claw out a special annual rebate payment to Britain, and the slanted agricultural policies and British special yearly rebate persist to this day (see UK rebate). AnonMoos (talk) 02:37, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Copyright of Derivative Works of Public Domain Information[edit]

Lets say something is in the public domain because of age, and a derivitive of it is published last year:

  1. Is the derivitive under copyright?
  2. May I write a derivitive of it without atribution?
  3. Can I republish it, for profit, without paying royalties?

I am neither a publisher nor an author (other than a few wikipedia articles).
Phil_burnstein (talk) 17:18, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

The Reference Desk cannot and should not offer any sort of legal advice. If you are worried about copyright issues, you should seek the advice of legal counsul. Livewireo (talk) 17:42, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
This is not really legal advice, this is just a question of how derivative works are determined. It's straightforward if you understand the concept of derivative work. -- (talk) 17:47, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
Let's consider this with a practical example of just this, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, published in 2009, which is derivative of Pride and Prejudice, which is in the public domain because of age (published in 1813).
1. The zombies are copyrighted. The overall derivation is under copyright. But the original Pride and Prejudice is not. So if you took something from the derivative that was 100% from the original, then it isn't copyrighted. But the overall derviation is, as are all the zombie parts.
2. Not of the zombies. You can write your own derivative of Pride and Prejudice (Pride and Prejudice and Frankenstein). But not of the zombies, of the new derivative work. That is a new copyright.
3. No—because the derivative work is under copyright. You can republish Pride and Prejudice without royalties, but the zombies are copyrighted.
-- (talk) 17:47, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Another example: the original L. Frank Baum book of the Wizard of Oz is in the public domain, so you can use anything from the book without any problem, but the 1939 MGM film is not in the public domain; so if you used ruby slippers (as in the film) instead of silver slippers (as in the book) there might be a problem... AnonMoos (talk) 02:27, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Mixed culture musical instruments[edit]

Are there any noteworthy musical compositions for ensembles of musical instruments of mixed cultures? (For example, for a quintet consisting of didgeridoo, bagpipes, armonica, steel drum and Jew's harp.) Notwithstanding how such music might sound, is composing for such an ensemble even possible? Can a score for for an ensemble of this or other unusual instruments even be written? (I'd love to speculate on what other instruments my fellow Wikipedians would like to add to this ensemble, but that probably goes beyond the appropriate scope of the Reference Desk.)Michael J 21:53, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm sure the answer is yes, but how easy it is to find them partly depends on your definition of 'different cultures'. Several of Astor Piazzola's works combine bandoneon (a distinctively Argentinian instrument) with other instruments, including in some cases a string quartet. David Fanshawe's African Sanctus combines a choir in the European tradition with recordings of African music. I suspect some of Tan Dun's works would qualify, too. Then there's the Concerto for Horn and Hardart, and any number of works by Gerard Hoffnung. But that's probably not what you had in mind. --ColinFine (talk) 22:50, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
Bela Fleck has written and played banjo compositions from many different applications, from classical arrangements to rock to bluegrass to jazz. Certainly many of these arangements featured a unique application of said banjo. 00:48, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
Outback (band) is a favorite of mine. —Tamfang (talk) 04:45, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
Peter Sculthorpe (who's having his 80th birthday next Wednesday) has written for didgeridoo and traditional instruments (e.g. his Requiem of 2004). Riley Lee plays the shakuhachi, and has played pieces involving Western instruments, including concertos for shakuhachi and orchestra. -- JackofOz (talk) 05:52, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
Sir Malcolm Arnold's Grand Grand Overture was scored for 3 vacuum cleaners, 4 rifles, a floor polisher and orchestra. I'm not sure those would qualify as "musical instruments from mixed cultures", but Sir Malcolm's use of them at least shows that a score can indeed be written for an ensemble of "other unusual instruments".
David Wilson (talk · cont) 08:50, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
The Beatles were considered pioneers of this kind of composition. -- (talk) 13:41, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
The Afro Celt Sound System uses a synthesis of African, Celtic and electronica. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 22:54, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
It's vocal, but you might find Missa Luba of interest. Steewi (talk) 02:10, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
The Anglo-Australian rock band Kangaroo Moon make prominent use of didgeridoos alongside electric guitars, keyboards and drums, and latterly feature bouzouki and violin. Interestingly, the band leader, didgeridoo and keyboard player Mark Robson is English rather than Australian. (talk) 03:40, 2 May 2009 (UTC)