Respect the Work

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Respect the Work; Republishing Books in the Public Domain by Barbara Seiders

… describes shortcuts taken by publishers who seek to profit from the creative work of others without demonstrating respect for the original creative endeavor. Respect the Work was written in the hopes that readers will identify — and avoid — poor quality productions, and choose to support publishers who produce quality editions that honor original authors.

Books in the public domain, no longer protected by copyright, can be published, modified — and given away for free or sold — by anyone. Organizations like Project Gutenberg digitize public domain books and make them freely available in a variety of formats. Commercial publishers can reproduce the books and offer them for sale. Publishers tend to fall in one of two categories: publishers who produce the books with the minimum possible investment, and publishers who invest in producing a quality reproduction worthy of the original creative work.

Readers who value the creative effort of authors to produce books worth reading can choose to support organizations that make the works available for free or publishers who demonstrate respect for original authors, and thereby demonstrate that they Respect the Work.

 

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