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  1. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Profanity-Scrubbing Apps

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by Steerpike, Mar 25, 2015.

    Chuck Wendig has a post about this here: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2015/03/25/fuck-you-clean-reader-authorial-consent-matters/

    Personally, I disagree with Chuck here. Once someone buys a copy of a work, they should be able to do whatever they like with their personal copy (this doesn't, of course, include making more copies and distributing them). In the digital publishing age, it seems authors and publishers are reaching out to exert more and more post-sale control, something they could never have done in the past.
     
  2. Adenosine Triphosphate
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    Adenosine Triphosphate Old Scratch Contributor

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    Honestly, I use a lot of cursing in my stories too, but this article strikes me as rather histrionic.
     
  3. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    If people have such an aversion to profanity,
    They really ought to live in their homes.

    I get you may not like it, but usually the profanity isn't excessive or plain vulgar.
    And some of those "clean" changes like Bitch to Witch is kinda offensive (As the article mentions)
     
  4. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wouldn't argue that it should be illegal, but I would argue that it's just plain wrong and I wouldn't be caught dead buying any other product from the company that makes it. And if any school, library, or other content provider tried to use it by default, I would absolutely consider that to be an actionable copyright violation. I only see it as copyright legal if the owner of a copy takes specific action to obtain and enable the software for their own personal reading. Anyone else who does, including a school that turns it on for students, is distributing a derivative work.

    And if there is someone that makes "dirty reader", as was joked about in the quoted tweet, I might find a reason to buy products from that company.
     
  5. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah I think anyone distributing an edited work has a copyright problem. For one's own use, this is less problematic than taking a marker and marking up a personal copy.
     
  6. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wouldn't say "less" problematic. I would say somewhat more problematic, since the process of reading an electronic work does involve copying it (from disk to memory, from memory to screen, etc.), and some people have tried lots of legal sophistry to try to claim that that means that copyright controls continue to apply after purchase. The process of defacing a printed book that you then keep does not involve copying or distribution, so it's none of copyright's business.

    But I would say that a sensible court should regard them as both the same. Probably.
     
  7. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    @ChickenFreak I don't think this should be prohibited by copyright law, and I can think of some arguments why it wouldn't be. However, when I said it was less problematic, I meant from the perspective of the author. All this program does is put an overlay over the work on a given user's own device, when the user has chosen to install the software. It doesn't change the underlying work, and of course neither the user nor software developers can distribute modified works.

    When you take a marker and black out certain words, or do anything else to your physical copy of a book, that copy can go back into circulation through used bookstores, eBay, and so on. I don't think either of those things are problematic, but if authors are going to get upset about either, it makes more sense to be upset about physical alterations to a book that can go back into the stream of commerce than what one person is doing when they display the book to themselves on their own device in the privacy of their own home.
     
  8. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I won't get into the legalities of this, because I'm not qualified to. But I kinda hate it. To me, it's like saying, "I like women with handlebar mustaches," and you buy a print of the Mona Lisa, draw a mustache on her face, and hang her in your living room. Then, someone comes along and says, "I've developed software that automatically puts handlebar mustaches on women's faces in all works of art you have." You buy it, and suddenly your house is draped with a mustached Venus de Milo, a mustached Botticelli's The Birth of Venus, various versions of mustached Pietas, mustached Playmates of the Month, etc. This is not illegal, but it is a Bad Thing and it would creep me out.

    Ugh.
     
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