Alfaniel's Original Blog Title

Science fiction, fantasy, indie and new publishing models

[Reblog] Off-Topic - Vote for it in the Goodreads 2013 Choice Awards

OFF-TOPIC: The Story of an Internet Revolt by G.R. Reader - G.R. Reader

(This text is reblogged from Petra X)


Off-Topic: The Story of an Internet Revolt

Vote for Off-Topic in the Nonfiction category of the Goodreads Choice Awards!

I also voted it for GR debut author work.

Obviously you will have to vote it as a write-in, but it's easy - you start typing "off-topic" and it will autocomplete. 

 

This was from Lobstergirl in the monster thread.

 

 

Reblog at will!

 

 

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1499741-important-note-regarding-reviews?page=123#comment_number_6106

[Reblog] Return of the Jedi: Extended Goodreads Edition

Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi - James Kahn, George Lucas, Lawrence Kasdan OFF-TOPIC: The Story of an Internet Revolt by G.R. Reader - G.R. Reader
Reblogged from Themis-Athena's Garden of Books:

This text was reblogged from http://themisathena.booklikes.com/post/677798/return-of-the-jedi-extended-goodreads-edition

 

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away there was a Rebel Alliance of Jedi Knights fighting and defeating the evil Galactic Empire. You can find out all about that in this book and the other installments of the Star Wars Trilogy (the original one, that is). Or you can just go and watch the movies, which is actually preferable anyway.

 

Not quite so long ago in this site's neighboring galaxy of Goodreads, there was a book page for a book entitled "The Great Goodreads Censorship Debacle" by an author named G.R. MacGoodreader, which, along with a large number of reviews, was deleted by Goodreads management...

 

(see source URL for more)

Source: http://themisathena.booklikes.com/post/677798/return-of-the-jedi-extended-goodreads-edition

Review: Off-Topic: The Story of an Internet Revolt

OFF-TOPIC: The Story of an Internet Revolt by G.R. Reader - G.R. Reader

This is the live document of what happened in the Goodreads community.

This book was removed a while ago from the GoodReads site itself. Some said it wasn't "a real book". That is was a story that was never told.

But the story wanted to be told. People stood up against removal of your words, arbitrary enforcements that remove your speech from sight, against the transformation of a site for booklovers in a site for marketing, against so called rules that enable unwanted thoughts to be struck down and no longer heard.

These are your words.

The story wanted to be told, and we listened. We put your words together, tied the pages, and made this collection of your words a document of the September/October 2013 protests of Goodreaders to censorship.

I've seen people and media ignoring the real extent of the deletions. This book will give you numbers and examples.
I've seen misunderstandings of why people object. This book will give you answers.

We have been told long ago, that the internet will become private yards, walled gardens from where only approved speech will be heard. Sooner or later, the private owner "curates" their space from unwanted speech.

When censorship came to GoodReads, this is what happened.

Source: http://www.lulu.com/shop/gr-reader/off-topic-the-story-of-an-internet-revolt/ebook/product-21281235.html

Hippolyte: Little Known Facts about Alexis de Tocqueville's Lesser Known Brother

Hippolyte: Little Known Facts about Alexis de Tocqueville's Lesser Known Brother - Ken Hinrichs Little Known Facts about GoodReads Removals Debacle

People know some details about GoodReads removals, from the 6000+ posts on the announcement on That Friday to Ceridwen's compiled spreadsheets on the internet. But there are some lesser known details, which many debates are ignoring.

I won't comment on whether people should be forced to second guess GR's intent and the future of this site, instead of simply being honestly and fully informed what is going on.

GR/Amazon's official statements are not complete and/or correct. But at least, people should at least know all/more of the *facts* lost in the debates. Cold and dry.

I'll lay them down.

1. Before the Amazon takeover, it seems GoodReads was emailing members, when their reviews were objectionable, to edit them accordingly. Which people were usually doing, as it's not always easy to know where the line is. For example, the staff sometimes emailed members to tone down the amount of mature content in a review.

Not only the policy to *WHAT* is not accepted changed, but the *HOW* to act on it: direct removals.

2. The official notice states that reviews about author behavior will be removed from the site.

No. Reviews without "author behavior", but whose *comments* were about author behavior in their comments thread, were removed.

3. The official notices states that reviews about author behavior will be removed from the site.

No. Reviews with a completely different content than author, are being removed.

4. Following an account shows you the review updates from the respective member, in your home page.

The review updates from Manny's account are no longer displayed to his followers feeds. They still appear to friends, but not to followers.

5. Some people say that protests have been slightly slowing down lately.

Fact: over the past couple of weeks, many members involved in the protests could not log in for days. When they could, they could not post reviews, rate books, add a friend.

6. Reviews are usually removed when flagged, otherwise GR staff wouldn't know about them.

However, some reviews were removed within the hour of posting them, and linking to them in a status thread. So fast that it's not very likely that they've been (much) flagged.

Heros and Redshirts, or the Power of the Hydra

Redshirts - John Scalzi


The myth of the hero and heroine is not only a trope of fiction, and fantasy in particular. I hear psychologists about it. I hear sociologists about it. And I see social networks, with their top followed, and top reviewers, and best librarians. They tell people they can be heros for the week. They're doing it reasonably well, with well designed special pages and shiny labels on your names.

You may like it. You may not care. You may not care to begin with, and start to think it means something. Reward the top, the most, the best, in some way, is hardwired in social interactions. Marketing knows the deal, and the shiny label on your name rewards your hard work as it rewards more mundane socialization and fun.

You're top librarians, and best reviewers, and top users.

Till one day, they teach you who you are, in face of those who write the rules of the game. You find out you're the expendable, those who can be shooed away, to keep the tone of the series.

You're the redshirts.

You may have slipped for years, working and having fun and keeping in the background. Someone has to maintain the library of all books ever published on the planet. Someone has to write the creative, harsh, playful reviews. With the sole reward, a two-words label on your name on a website.
But you're no top, you're no hero, you're no authority, on your own work. You're expendable. You're receiving your final warning before your account is removed.
You're the redshirts.

Well met.


You love books, you say? I love books, too. Books tell you redshirts can figure out the game, and stand together, and make a difference. Books tell you the scriptwriters only wanted to know you care, and they'll adapt for your sake. Books tell you have the power, should you get together and stand up for yourselves.

Books tell you redshirts can be heros again.

Hydra

It's a good book. Don't you think?




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This work by Alfaniel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Editorial - Arthur Graham
This review is not about the book, I haven't read the book, so I can't talk about the book, when I haven't read the book. Hope that's clear.

Note that if this was an unpublished book, I could review it and rate it and talk about the book if I haven't read the book. It says I can in GR review rules, so it must be true.

But this is a published book, not an unpublished book. So a different logic applies in GR rules, it gets confusing what and how that was, anyway it was above.

No, this review is about the author behavior. Hang on, GR, I'm not going to say anything wrong about this author's behavior. OK, I heard from reliable sources that he has recently posted naked pictures of himself on the internet. I'm not one to check writers' naked pictures on the internet, so I will not confirm the information, but it must be true because he said so himself. Which makes him a reliable source, at least on his naked pictures. I don't know if he is a reliable source of books, because as I said, I haven't read the book, so I can't talk about the book, when I haven't read the book, where was I.

I rate this book because I can rate a book I haven't read, it says so in Users Rights Act at GR, unless it was Users' Rules known as Review Rules, yes, this must have been it, why did I think it was about users' rights I don't know. But it says there I have the right to rate books, which I rate on author's behavior as reliable source of information. On naked pictures, since I haven't read the book, hope that was clear.


Note: this review is about author behavior, but in relation with THE BOOK.

Creative Commons License
This work by Alfaniel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
The Road - Cormac McCarthy
The review space of The Road is one of the many lately, people use for their protest reviews to GR/Amazon new review policies. I'll keep here poignant quotes from Nathan's short review of The Road:


Some folks will tell you how property rights work.

Some folks will tell you that property rights trump speech-rights every time.

Censorship is not the suppression of free speech.

Free speech is unsuppressed ; suppressed speech is not free :: Censorship is the suppression of speech, simpliciter.


He continues.
When The Commons have become private property, it's perhaps time to hope for something better


And continues.
Perhaps the Public Square should become public again.

[Reblog] Kobo now pulling self-pubbed books until further notice

Reblogged from Krazykiwi @ Kiwitopia:

Follow-up to W.H. Smith in the UK dropping self-pub books from their webstore: 

(Which if you missed, you can read about here: 

http://krazykiwi.booklikes.com/post/604689/major-uk-retailer-removing-all-self-pub-books-from-website )

 

New Developments: In short ...

Please see the rest of the blog at the source linked below.

Source: http://krazykiwi.booklikes.com/post/613364/kobo-now-pulling-self-pubbed-books-until-further-notice

The Art of War: corporations vs users rights

The Art of War - Sun Tzu, Lionel Giles

The Art of War against corporate takeover of user rights 

 

"If you don't pay for the product, then you're not the customer, you're the product", media analysts have told us plainly a long time ago.

 

Be that as it may, the GoodReads experience has both common and unique features. The past years have seen MySpace raise and fall, Facebook shamelessly mocking users privacy and still going on, Twitter changing their API according to the phase of the moon and keeping personal data hidden from users, Google purging G+ of "fake names" (that's pen names for us, booknerds!) and so on so on.

 

These corporations have taken over the internet. You, the user, receive a service for free, to relate with your friends, to keep your personal photos, to share your thoughts on the books you've read. You're targeted by advertising, your personal data is being stored on the company's servers, and, sooner than you think, you're dependent on these companies because of social networking, because you made yourself at home into a sub-community with your friends and preferred groups or reviewers. While you can get away (easier or harder), you leave behind content, topics, friends, functionality you got used to.

 

Your Content and Social Interaction Is Belongs to Them.

 

These corporate services keep control over users in three ways.

 

1. Proprietary service

The software is on the company's servers, and nowhere else. It's not available to users, no one knows how it works and what and how is data processed for storage, for reading (private data), for security and logging, for auditing, for removals.

 

2. Over-reaching ToS

Under the excuse of needing it to function or to defend their business, the company takes more rights for itself over user content than actually necessary. GR ToU is particularly misleading because it claims all sub-rights of copyright, while telling users that they keep copyright (it's true, but they took all rights to do anything with the content, anything at all). The ToS is also contradictory and impossible to abide by. Really. Since users usually don't read the fine print, they assume common sense. Which is not that common after all.

 

3. Reduced inter-operatibility for data exchange

These sites are silos of content under a company's control. There are more or less features to retrieve your data, and more or less APIs to build alternative clients. On the first, GR stands well, comparing to others. You can send your review to a blog on two sites when you post it, you can export the cvs with your reviews. (only reviews, no topics, no comments, but other sites have nothing). On the second, the API seems relatively poor, compared to what it could provide.

 

The Art of War against users rights: proprietary service, misleading on copyright, lack of enough inter-operability with other sites or applications.

 

Aside from common traits shared by any proprietary service, there are essential differences, there on GoodReads.

 

Community librarians

GoodReads' mission has been to create a public database of all books ever published. GR has provided the software online, but it is community librarians who have added and maintain this database, their work for free, of tens of thousands of records edits, over the years. GR site has reached its market value through the work of its community. And it's this work they sold out to Amazon earlier this year.

 

A site for readers

GoodReads has been known and advertised as "a site for readers", to interact and share their opinions in book reviews and group conversations. The site has thousands of well-written, intellectually pleasing reviews, free essays prompted by the book, and opinionated pieces of booklovers all over the world. Nowadays, the success or failure of a book in the digitized and self-published world is no longer in the traditional, professional outlets alone, it's in the popularity and free dissemination of information of readers who shared their thoughts on this site.

 

The value of this site has always been MORE the work of the users, than other services enumerated above. The GR community is not randomly composed of users signing up only for personal interest and personal friends (or marketing), as other social networks. It has been created by working together on the books library, by their reviews, by their blogs.

 

TODAY...

Some of these reviews are now removed. Bookshelves that remind of the authors behavior are now removed (and others remain). Reviews that inform readers about a children's book author being convicted of pedophilia (!), have been removed from the site. Reviews that use the book for an essay on GR/Amazon or on the faith of startups, or illogical terms in corporate ToS, have been removed. Reviews re-posting content of the removed reviews have been removed at their turn. Some of top 25 reviewers on this site are threatened by GR/Amazon with removal of their account. Paul Bryant's reviews, Manny's reviews, have been deemed "potentially off-topic" and have been deleted.

 

...I can see how the issue of exercising corporate control over users content is truly enraging here, on a site significantly made by these contributors. It's unavoidable we come to this, in my opinion (corporations always do), and GR/Amazon has all keys to the kingdom, but I can see why it's so disappointing and enraging. Your content is theirs to do as they please, their software works as they want, your choices are take it or leave it.

 

The internet is no longer for sharing (nor for porn!), it's for corporations to exercise their control over users.

 

 

 

 

The Community Power

GoodReaders have started protests all over the place. Many reviews have been posted, in protest, arguing their points against GR/Amazon actions. Many of them have been removed.

Irony and sarcasm abound, in reviews posted the last week, in topics in GoodReads Feedback group, and on remote sites. Many of the reviews have been removed, some of the topics have been closed.

Rounds of ironic flagging have been made; flags claiming to abide by the ToS language in its inept and auto-contradictory "rules" have been sent to GR staff, in the hope they'll come to their senses. They seem to have missed the irony.

 

The “war” is going on. Many users have left GoodReads, for BookLikes or other sites. I don’t know how it will end in this event. But I know it won’t last, as long as the internet is corporations playground.

 

The only solution long term, to corporate control, is to create competitive services based on principles of freedom of users. In all three aspects: Open Source software, same license for content for the service as for other users (or minimal for it to function), and inter-operability of networked services.

 

This content is also available at http://sftomorrow.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/the-art-of-war

 

 

Creative Commons License
This work by Alfaniel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

Non Censure

Non Censure - Ute Lemper This looks like an interesting book, doesn't it?

I haven't read it. The protesters to GR/Amazon random deletions from the site have recommended it to me, though, and I'm shelving it and use it for a few thoughts and to Hydra removed reviews.

The GR announcement declared that reviews "focused on author behavior" will be removed from the site. Except that's not what GR/Amazon is doing any longer: reviews that criticize GR/Amazon takeover and policy in relation with the book are being removed from the site. Reviews that recommend to GR employees to read the book (logic or non-censorship books...) are removed from the site. Reviews that re-post other reviews are removed from the site.

The following is Clouds' protest review to Non Censure. Clouds's 10 protest reviews have been deleted by GR, Hydra or original. Clouds has been threatened that his account "will come under review for removal" if "he continues".



Hello there,

Your review of Non Censure was recently flagged by Goodreads members as potentially off-topic. As the review is not about the book, it has been removed from the site. You can find the text of the review attached for your personal records.

Additionally, your reviews of the following books were recently brought to our attention:

Moomins Cookbook
Quotations from Chairman Mao Tsetung
All Flesh is Grass
The 5th Wave
The Void
An Uncommon Whore
Unannounced
Logic: A Very Short Introduction

Please note that any reviews you post must contain your own original content (see our review guidelines). Any reviews that are copy-pasted duplicates of other reviews will be removed. Given this, the reviews in question have been deleted. We have attached copies for your personal records.

Please note that if you continue to violate our guidelines, your account may come under review for removal.

Sincerely,
The Goodreads Team

Additionally, your review of The Hydra was also removed.

Sincerely,
The Goodreads Team


------------------

When Goodreads announced their policy change I was annoyed - somewhat because I felt this represented a step towards censorship - but mostly because it was handled in such an unprofessional, cack-handed way.

But we've moved on a step since then. We've moved past the original issue with reviewers attacking authors in their book reviews. Goodreads is now specifically, systematically removing those reviews written in protest of the initial policy change. They are deleting the voice of the opposition.

I have never written a review attacking an author - it's just not my thing, and I wasn't in the firing line - but I was annoyed enough to join the protest movement. And now they've started deleting protest reviews, which puts me and a lot of good, thoughtful reviewers, right in the middle of the censor-sniper's sights. That makes it a lot more personal. That makes me a lot more angry.

I'm now amping up my involvement in the protest movement - this morning I posted 7 Hydra reviews and will be looking at what else I can do when I get home after work (this is my lunch break). They've re-drawn the battle lines, so I'm painting a target on my chest.

I'm a sci-fi reviewer - I've never caused any problems with anyone on this site - it's YOUR actions which have instigated this situation Goodreads - and I'm not leaving until you back down or ban me.


------------------

1.) Posting this protest review resulted in it being deleted.
2.) Reposting will apparently get my account 'put under review for removal'.
3.) I'd like to state for anyone 'reviewing' this that I fully intend to keep reposting every review I hear about that's been deleted - because this censorship policy is WRONG.
4) If the only response to that, you're capable of considering, is removing my account entirely, rather than engaging with your outraged users in meaningful discussion, than just hit the big delete button right now...
The Art of War - Thomas Cleary, Sun Tzu The Art of War against corporate takeover of user rights



"If you don't pay for the product, then you're not the customer, you're the product", media analysts have told us plainly a long time ago.

Be that as it may, the GoodReads experience has both common and unique features. The past years have seen MySpace raise and fall, Facebook shamelessly mocking users privacy and still going on, Twitter changing their API according to the phase of the moon and keeping personal data hidden from users, Google purging G+ of "fake names" (that's pen names for us, booknerds!) and so on so on.

These corporations have taken over the internet. You, the user, receive a service for free, to relate with your friends, to keep your personal photos, to share your thoughts on the books you've read. You're targeted by advertising, your personal data is being stored on the company's servers, and, sooner than you think, you're dependent on these companies because of social networking, because you made yourself at home into a sub-community with your friends and preferred groups or reviewers. While you can get away (easier or harder), you leave behind content, topics, friends, functionality you got used to.

Your Content and Social Interaction Is Belongs to Them.

These corporate services keep control over users in three ways.

1. Proprietary service
The software is on the company's servers, and nowhere else. It's not available to users, no one knows how it works and what and how is data processed for storage, for reading (private data), for security and logging, for auditing, for removals.
2. Over-reaching ToS
Under the excuse of needing it to function or to defend their business, the company takes more rights for itself over user content than actually necessary. GR ToU is particularly misleading because it claims all sub-rights of copyright, while telling users that they keep copyright (it's true, but they took all rights to do anything with the content, anything at all). The ToS is also contradictory and impossible to abide by. Really. Since users usually don't read the fine print, they assume common sense. Which is not that common after all.
3. Reduced inter-operatibility for data exchange
These sites are silos of content under a company's control. There are more or less features to retrieve your data, and more or less APIs to build alternative clients. On the first, GR stands well, comparing to others. You can send your review to a blog on two sites when you post it, you can export the cvs with your reviews. (only reviews, no topics, no comments, but other sites have nothing). On the second, the API seems relatively poor, compared to what it could provide.



The Art of War against users rights: proprietary service, misleading on copyright, lack of enough inter-operability with other sites or applications.

Aside from common traits shared by any proprietary service, there are essential differences, here on GoodReads.

Community librarians
GoodReads' mission has been to create a public database of all books ever published. GR has provided the software online, but it is community librarians who have added and maintain this database, their work for free, of tens of thousands of records edits, over the years. GR site has reached its market value through the work of its community.
And it's this work they sold out to Amazon earlier this year.

A site for readers
GoodReads has been known and advertised as "a site for readers", to interact and share their opinions in book reviews and group conversations. The site has thousands of well-written, intellectually pleasing reviews, free essays prompted by the book, and opinionated pieces of booklovers all over the world.
Nowadays, the success or failure of a book in the digitized and self-published world is no longer in the traditional, professional outlets alone, it's in the popularity and free dissemination of information of readers who shared their thoughts on this site.

The value of this site has always been MORE the work of the users, than other services enumerated above. The GR community is not randomly composed of users signing up only for personal interest and personal friends (or marketing), as other social networks. It has been created by working together on the books library, by their reviews, by their blogs.

TODAY...
Some of these reviews are now removed. Bookshelves that remind of the authors behavior are now removed (and others remain). Reviews that inform readers about a children's book author being convicted of pedophilia (!), have been removed from the site. Reviews that use the book for an essay on GR/Amazon or on the faith of startups, or illogical terms in corporate ToS, have been removed. Reviews re-posting content of the removed reviews have been removed at their turn.
Some of top 25 reviewers on this site are threatened by GR/Amazon with removal of their account. Paul Bryant's reviews, Manny's reviews, have been deemed "potentially off-topic" and have been deleted.


...I can see how the issue of exercising corporate control over users content is truly enraging here, on a site significantly made by these contributors. It's unavoidable we come to this, in my opinion (corporations always do), and GR/Amazon has all keys to the kingdom, but I can see why it's so disappointing and enraging. Your content is theirs to do as they please, their software works as they want, your choices are take it or leave it.
The internet is no longer for sharing (nor for porn!), it's for corporations to exercise their control over users.



The Community Power
GoodReaders have started protests all over the place. Many reviews have been posted, in protest, arguing their points against GR/Amazon actions. Many of them have been removed.
Irony and sarcasm abound, in reviews posted the last week, in topics in GoodReads Feedback group, and on remote sites. Many of the reviews have been removed, some of the topics have been closed.
Rounds of ironic flagging have been made; flags claiming to abide by the ToS language in its inept and auto-contradictory "rules" have been sent to GR staff, in the hope they'll come to their senses. They seem to have missed the irony.

The only solution long term, to corporate control, is to create competitive services based on principles of freedom of users. In all three aspects: Open Source software, same license for content for the service as for other users (or minimal for it to function), and inter-operability of networked services.


This content is also available at http://sftomorrow.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/the-art-of-war

Creative Commons License
This work by Alfaniel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

[Repost from GR] Manny's Review of The Hydra

 

Hydra

 

 

The original review from GR was removed. My copy was also removed, others are online. Re-posting here for you and for my easiness at hand.

 

 

Author: Manny Rayner
Originally posted at: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/730224213

In the shower just now, I suddenly had a Eureka moment. The aspect of this current censorship war that's been upsetting us most is the feeling of powerlessless. Goodreads can arbitrarily change the rules on us, and they hardly even bother to respond when we complain. But we are not powerless. There are twenty million of us, and only a few dozen of them. We just need to get a little more organized, and we can easily resist.

So here's one concrete way to do it, based on the legend of Hercules. You will recall that Hercules had a difficult time against the Lernean Hydra; every time he cut off one of its heads, ten more grew back. We can do the same thing if we adopt the following plan:

1. Back up all your reviews, so that you have a copy of everything you have posted.

2. If you think that one of your reviews has been unreasonably deleted by Goodreads, repost it with an image of the Hydra at the top.

3. If you see someone else posting a Hydra review, make a copy of it and post it yourself.

We can improve this basic scheme with a little thought; for example, it would be better to have a place where we keep HTML marked-up source of reviews, so that they can immediately be reposted with the same formatting, and we need a plan for duplicating deleted shelves. But we can sort that out later. Without getting too bogged down in the details, I'm sure you see what will happen. The net result of Goodreads unreasonably deleting a review will be that it immediately comes back in many different places.

People who know their Greek mythology will be aware that Hercules did in fact defeat the Hydra, and Goodreads can use the same method if they dare; they can close down the account of anyone who participates in the scheme. That will work, but I am not sure that anything less drastic will be effective. I think Goodreads will be reluctant to escalate to this level. A large proportion of the most active reviewers are now part of the protest movement, and they would be losing much of the content that makes the site valuable. Even more to the point, the media have already started to get interested (maybe you saw the article in the Washington Post). They would love the story, and it would create a mountain of bad publicity for Goodreads and Amazon.

I'd say the odds are heavily in our favor. Why don't we try it? I promise now to respond to any Hydra calls.

And then, there came the time for "non-original" reviews

GoodReads News.

 

About an hour after mark's reviews removals were known, I made 3 reviews where I re-posted most of his former content, under Hydra protest mark. If you're not familiar with it, check it out:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/730224213

It amounts to a Reblog permission, in BookLikes parlance: at the Hydra mark, GR users are called out for help, and the author of the Hydra-ed review gives permission explicitly to re-post their content.

 

Note that I did not post all 5 mark's reviews that were removed. I don't want to post content like his text about Tove Jansson, from my account, and I will not.

The 3 reviews I've reposted were for All Flesh is Grass, The 5th Wave, and An Uncommon Whore. Their text was targeted at GoodReads and Amazon only, and they were using the title of the book to make a point about GR/Amazon changing the site to something else.

 

Example re-post:

 

Hydra

 

This review is a copy of removed content.

Author: mark monday

Original source: no longer online. [or link to missing review]

 

All Flesh is Grass, by Clifford D. Simak

All Flesh is Grass, and so are all websites consumed by greed. I mean srsly, did you check out that twitter post from that one goodreads author showing how much this website is invested in making this an author-centric website? and how little it cares about the folks who actually produce content for this website? Simak would not approve!

 

Follow-up:

My re-posted reviews were removed within the hour.

 

Emailed reason:

Please note that any reviews you post must contain your own original content (see our review guidelines). Given this, they have been removed. We have attached copies for your personal records.

 

That was because the GR review guidelines have another corporate stupidity lurking:

Reviews must be your own original content. Reviews that plagiarize from another source or use copyrighted material without permission will be deleted.

 

These reviews did NOT plagiarize. It goes without saying, since plagiarized text is by definition silent about its source.
These reviews were NOT posted without permission. They were posted with the permission of copyright holders. The review on The Hydra was even posted at the express invitation of the copyright holder, as answer to his call to do so.

 

They're equivalent to what is known here, on BookLikes, as re-blogging. In BookLikes ToS, there is explicit permission for re-blogging, for all users of the site. In GR ToS, of course that doesn't exist, but Manny, Ceridwen and mark have given EXPLICIT permission to re-post their content.

 

My answer to GR:

The following is from my email answer to GR.

 

The rule as listed in Reviews Guidelines is typical of corporate assumptions. No offense intended (or not to GR employees), almost any corporation I've dealt with makes this mistake. Here's why: the phrasing assumes without good reason, that only the author (at most the publisher) has the right by copyright law to share content. This assumption is false. It's the habit, in corporate environments, and they feed it to their users, but it's false.

Counter examples:

1) Licenses of free culture GIVE PERMISSION to anyone to share freely the copyrighted content, without any tie to the author/publisher. They're licenses based on copyright law, legal, and recognized internationally.
Please see Creative Commons, https://creativecommons.org/about

2) Explicit permission from the author is enough to share their work, given that it's clear enough and with no reasonable possibility to misunderstand it. Explicit permission is equivalent to a license (more or less definite). Legally, as far as I know, it creates at least an expectation of the author waiving their privilege to sue someone who relies on their words.
Manny, in his Hydra review and comments, has explicitly given permission to share the content for GR users.

3) Quotes, sometimes large quotes, are excepted from copyright law as fair use. I consider my reviews shared under 2), but they can be considered quotes (since this is what they are), given in particular that they only consist in maximum few paragraphs.
See for example, the quotes here are quite lengthy. I am certain that if we look for more examples, we can find better ones, too.
 
4) Public domain works are not under scope of copyright. I think this doesn't require further explanation.
 
In other words, the negation of "original content" is not "there is no permission to share copyrighted content". There are at least 4 avenues to receive permission or even not need it.


Thank you for your time, and for your care to inform me, it is appreciated, though I strongly disagree with GR position.

Alfaniel.

 

My copy of Hydra review was also removed.

 

Preliminary conclusions

 

I think the only option long time, for readers and writers, is to fight directly the monopoly of sites owned by an Amazon, GoodReads, whichever. We have to build the software, freely licensed, and with a networked architecture.

I will continue to use GoodReads (unless something else happens), and whatever other solution in the meantime. But in the long run, users will never be free unless they choose freedom from the bottom up. Corporations don't know freedom, it's in their nature. They live and breath on controlling the users freedom.

 

There came the time for off-topic reviews removal on GoodReads.

A few hours ago, 5 reviews by mark monday were removed by GoodReads:

https://www.goodreads.com/user_status/show/33939091

 

They were all written in protest to the new GR review rules. mark has written them to be flagged. Some of us have flagged them, with justifications targeted at the essential unenforceability of the policy, sarcastic or parroting the corporate narrowness underlying the policy of "directly related to the book".

 

4 out of 5 of the reviews were explicitly against GR, and it alone. They were not "about author behavior" in any shape or form. (There is one exception.)

 

They have been removed, with mark receiving copies.

Reason: because they were off-topic.

 

[Reblog] Booklikes Tutorials

Reblogged from MandyM:

Links to various Booklikes tutorials around the site. Thanks to all the hardworking BL members and team who contributed. This is a work in progress. More links will be added as I find them.

 

Bookmark reblog of MandyM's original compendium, linked by the source URL.

Source: http://mandym.booklikes.com/post/470414/booklikes-tutorials

[Reblog from BL] Synchronization With Goodreads

Reblogged from BookLikes:

We're very sorry to inform you that BookLikes -> Goodreads Synchronization is switched off. We've received mail from Goodreads Staff who are blaming BookLikes' sync for not working right. 

 

All BookLikes Team hopes that this is just misunderstanding and will be sorted out soon. Until then we decided to switch off the BL->GR synchronization option. The text below describes in details how  the synchronization proceeded.

 

How synchronization works

 

1. You registered...

 

See the rest of the post at its original place:

http://blog.booklikes.com/post/576136/synchronization-with-goodreads

Source: http://blog.booklikes.com/post/576136/synchronization-with-goodreads

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