Slashdot | The Implications of Google’s Digital Library: “I might agree with you on books that are still in print. However, for books that are no longer being printed, a socially responsible publisher would release the publication into public domain when it has run it’s commercial course. I particularly loved the publisher who said it was not the pubisher’s responibility to police their copyrights. ‘We don’t know if we published it or not, but we sure don’t want you to be able to use it!’ Wow. If you don’t know whether it’s yours, then you are not generating revenue on it any longer. Put it, then, where it truly belongs: in the hands of the public. There are so many useful things that could be done with it! But since you aren’t generating money with it, and don’t ever intend to, GIVE IT TO THE PUBLIC! Unfortunately, Congress has mangled and bungled copyright law to the point that this doesn’t happen automatically anymore, and never will. So the onus is on the publisher and/or author to earn a little karma and give back to the public. Do it!”
“That’s not necessarily an easy sell, though. Just see all the wars through the times over coding standards. If people could just agree on one way of placing their brackets, they could presumably reap more readable and uniform code. But for a lot of people, that didn’t work because the trade wasn’t appealing enough. Getting a more uniform code base is frequently not treated as importantly as individual ‘freedom’ by a lot of programmers.
Rails essentially tries to do the same as the coding standards did, but the reason it’s working better is that the deal is much sweeter. Getting a uniform code base is an abstract, group-centered goal. Seeing your application work in a fraction of the time it took you before is a very concrete, individually rewarding goal.”