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chris murray's tex files [US]:
Looks like Microsoft just trumped Google on the digitizing of ( ! "100,000 books") books from the British Library for unlimited online access [...] To writers of books everywhere, then, I'd say beware: Microsoft seems headed in ways that could toy with your writerly presence, perhaps once again playing their appropriating games over rights, as they've done with other matters (cf the lawsuits over the last decade over operating systems & etc) and all under the seeming guise of attempting to create a more "democratic" consumer context. An interesting ploy, that, use of the term "democratic" to appropriate rights... for, as consumers, who would not be drawn to endorse such a project of apparently democratic dissemination, eh? And without being aware of the conflict it could cause for writers. Shades of Barthes ("The Death of the Author"), Kristeva (on intertextuality, "Poetics"), Foucault ("What is an Author?"), and Derrida (Dissemination), rising up to echo that their researches had predicted (as well as, in some ways, predicated) this problem of fluidity in textuality. Fluidity of text is inevitable given that textuality cannot be a static or a concrete thing as it passes from one mind to another--the book is one of the most solid manifestations of it--but once it is cast in relation to virtual space, capitalist agendas and culture, and the privileging of ownership, textuality reaches moments of crisis such as the implications here, or so it seems to me, and it's sure I'm not the only one wondering at this turn of events. [...]
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