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2011 ZL(u)C Proposal
Gatekeepers and the Zine Community
Information Literacy & Teaching with Zines
Welcome to Milwaukee! - ZL(u)C Program
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For background, Chris reads out loud, from Zineworld article,
Why I’m Mad About the New Fanzines Book
Is this woman making money off this book? Ostensibly yes. The publisher is well-known for making design books, profitable books.
One of John’s publications was published in that book. He was very quick with his response, overlooked the date, didn’t do the number crunching in his head – got the email in August, book was published in September. Didn’t think about how that fits in book-publishing vs. zine publishing. John gave permission.
[Sidenote about copyright: Remember, folks, copyright is automatic!]
Friend of John’s, Sydney zinester, Emma Davidson wrote this
[John read some out loud]
John contacted them afterwards: asked for a copy after the fact and didn’t get a result.
Why not just go to court?
Part of what Chris has seen in discussions, and permissions is a big part of what they do at QZAP. This is something global. Navigating between different jurisdictions and nations.
Stricter in the UK, but the cost of legal action is prohibitive.
Copyright is about the loss of revenue – very hard to prove.
But the principle of it is us talking about it, too. There are a lot of people who need to have discussions, share information, and talk about strategies.
Have there been any repercussions for the publisher? After a certain point, silence from the publisher. But people have been encouraged to at least ask for a copy. It’s not enough, but it’s a start. You have to be able to see it for yourself.
In the book, it’s mostly covers, not very much text.
They’ve got copyright now on the reproductions!
There’s some attribution, but there are a lot of mistakes.
Question: what’s the context for copyright? E.g. a book reproducing blogs or other copyrighted material?
Recent case: turned a Miles Davis album into an 8-bit piece, got permissions, but when it came time to put a graphic on, went back to the original album, took the image and altered it but not much, and the photographer sued.
Image copyright vs. text copyright. At a design college, students don’t necessarily understand that.
John went to an event, tension between lawyers and artists. Artists want to get their art out! Attribution and appropriation can be the evolution of a medium. Adding your voice to a conversation. Triggs’ book isn’t adding to the conversation. Not much text there, but what’s there is inaccurate.
John read from his email from the publisher: clear what’s copy-and-pasted from other emails.
Did people respond to Jerianne’s article? Not sure. There was also a lot of discussion on We Make Zines. Amber Forrester went through a lot to change her name. It is paramount to use the right name, in respect. Now it is there in a book, where it’s impossible to make changes. And now that communication is cut off, what’s the chance for errata or a reprint?
A productive end to the conversation is: what is our responsibility to each other? What standards do we have as a community, or just as people? E.g. using the wrong pronoun or name for someone – what do we do?
At QZAP: end up being a nexus for past and present queer zines. Chris got an email, “I’m working for _ professor. She’s interested in including _ zines in a book/etc.” Used it as a teachable moment, ended up contacting Jenna – who had already been contacted…inconsistent. Essentially, Chris did their homework for them. Pointed them to: if you search for this person on Facebook, you’ll find them. QZAP standard: if we’re approached in a “can you put me in touch with ?” QZAP doesn’t provide direct info, but will forward on an email, that’s the end of our participation. Tries to get background information on the asker, too.
What are our goals in processing this situation? As a community? Maybe there’s something about trying to work on articulating practices together. Evolving and changing, of course, but might be helpful to articulate some of the principles. These are our values, and this is our response.
At the Tool Shed, sexuality education, we talk about “modeling good behaviour” – how do we turn it around and model the good behaviour. What are our expectations in terms of ethics, re: sampling, borrowing, reusing? When does it become irresponsible? At QZAP have had a few examples where zinesters want zines taken down. They have a policy up saying, we have tried to find you, but sometimes we can’t find you. In this case, someone contacted them and they took it down immediately, and owned up to it.
Talking about collections, that seems more controllable to look at digitized collections. Jude is the only one working with her collection, cataloging them. If she gets a bunch of donations, she does a lot of assuming, e.g. that people think it’s okay that their zine is in a collection.
John thinks it is different including things in a collection, vs. reproducing it.
Keep information about zinester that’s not in the zine SEPARATE from the public catalog. Jenna does this, calls it pre-cataloging: it is embargoed from the public.
Withdrawing zines from the collection? Generally no, John says. Jude removed a zine from the collection due to a request from the zinester. Given the circumstances, no hesitations.
Marta’s collection is based on implied consent, since donations are all from the zinesters. Their catalog in development includes 20-some fields, including publication information…to include that?
We don’t include all publisher’s contact info in a catalog, so maybe keep those fields hidden. User doesn’t have to expect all that from us, they can come in and look at the zine themselves.
Also, zinester contact info may change, people may not have expected the power of the internet.
John’s thesis on ethics of zine collections. Head of his collection, very reluctant to remove items. It’s an ever-growing collection, no weeding. Some items are embargoed, almost always due to a lawsuit (e.g. slander). Wait 10 years, 20 years til people don’t give a shit anymore. With some kind of items (e.g. diaries) have very specific restrictions, but with any published works, it’s different.
Different collections have different intentions. A current living collection has different situations.
Needs to be brought up in a bigger scale, e.g. ALA. Have a forum for it, where people can sign off in the ways they want, e.g. Chris as co-founder of QZAP. It’s a good teachable moment!
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