digital MEs

I have just posted in rec.crafts.metalworking this as an afterthought to a reply to Ed Huntress and thought some of you may wish to run with it
too. Does a Hundred dollars US sound reasonable to you? Mike Gray in BC
snipped-for-privacy@myhobbystore.com
Sirs, it would be of great help to those of us who constantly have to reference back copies of Model Engineer, but who don't have ready access to those back copies, if you would consider issuing a set of CDs similar in nature to those issued by the National Geographic magazine i.e. 100 years of back issues for a little over $100. I am quite sure that I am not the only person who would welcome such an offer. There would still be a demand for "hardcopy" back issues for those who prefer them, but a fully searchable CD would be of inestimable value to the rest of us. yours sincerely, Michael Gray
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HMMM sounds a lot for the first person to pay ...
but within months they would be on the P2P network free ..
all the best.markj
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You may also want to post that on Model Engineering Clearing House forum, there is a section for ME that the Editor respond to.
http://modeleng.proboards20.com /
I'd be up for a copy.
Jason
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On Sat, 21 Mar 2009 18:06:51 +0000, Michael Gray wrote:

Received this response this morning by email:
From:     Lorna (deleted) @myhobbystore.com>
Subject:     Re: digital back issues of ME Date:     Mon, 23 Mar 2009 15:42:41 +0000 (08:42 PDT)
Dear Michael,
We can at present offer <Model Engineer's Workshop> back issues on CD, but have not got digital archives for ME. Thank you for your comments - I am sure we will get something similar in time, but the only problem is that even with MEW (with considerably less issues than ME), the collection spanned around 40 CDs!
Kind regards, Lorna (deleted) HR | PA to Office Manager www.myhobbystoregroup.com
As the National Geographic 109 years issue came on 4 DVDs does anyone have any idea as to how many DVDs the 100 odd years of Model Engineer would take so that: it was printable/readable in print, and searchable?
Mike in BC
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Michael Gray wrote:

The data size and utility are largely a function of the amount of labor taken in the conversion to a digital format. A pdf of full page scans of an issue is minimal effort, but huge data size and no searchability. Scanning the pages, OCRing the text and only including graphic content were appropriate is a lot more labor, but much smaller data size and provides searchability.
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wrote:

Mike -
The major problem with stuff that old is that there is no electronic copy available. Creating a CD or DVD with files on it that are facsimiles of the original mags is perfectly possible - it is basically just (!) a problem of scanning the issues page by page - but what you end up with WON'T be searchable, any more than it would be possible to search on text that appeared in a JPG image that you shot with your camera.
With MEW, it is probably recent enough that they have the original copy in electronic form, and could therefore generate a searchable electronic version of the mag. However, the copyright position vis -a-vis that kind of reprinting is unclear for some of the authors, and is very clear for others - for example, the most recent contract that I signed with MEW allows them to generate electronic versions of my articles, but only if they are presented as part of an electronic facsimile of the original magazine in which they were first published. They could do that in the form of a searchable PDF as they have the original files from which the mag was generated; however, that contract has only been in use for a small number of years, and the contractual basis for reprinting the work of other authors may be different from mine, so they may not be able to do that for all of the issues of MEW just for contractual reasons.
The Nat Geographic DVDs must be based on scans of the mags, and so will not be searchable - they may have added a searchable table of contents or index, but the text of the articles won't be searchable.
Producing a scanned facsimile of a mag is likely to generate larger files tha a searchable PDF. I subscribed to the electronic edition of Everyday Practical Electronics mag for a while - each edition of their mag was about 12 megs of (searchable) PDF file after Zip compression - add about 25% to that uncompressed.
Regards, Tony
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Tony Jeffree wrote:

For personal use I've been scanning things for a number of years now ;) I've got a lot of the traction engine projects in electronic format. Finereader was a good investment, and produces electronic copies of the content which while there are occasional blips in the 'translation', even the first pass is normally readable, and the search facility then works nicely. I've picked up a pile of 1960's mags with another set of traction engine articles which I'll be processing soon - for personal use of cause - but it would be nice to be able to make them more generally available :(
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You're several years out of date now Tony, without dropping names every single larger "automatic" scanner and all the office rated flatbed scanners come with rather excellent OCR software that scans each pacge, detects layout, OCR's text and scans embedded images, and outputs the whole thing as a pdf file, a page at a time in the case ofthe flatbeds, or the whole sheaf at a time in the case of the automatic stuff...
Given 12 magazines a year at 100 pages each for 100 years you have a stack of 120,000 sheets of paper or 240 reams.
If you run an automatic scanner at a second a page there are 3,600 seconds an hour so including scanner loading time etc etc you are looking at less than a working week of 40 hours to do the job, or about 48 reams a day.
I bought an HP4070 a while back expressly to scan and OCR about 400 pages of this sort of material, and have since used it half a dozen times oin the same sort of thing.
It really is a foolproof automatic process.
Just yesterday as a matter of fact my copy of the 2nd edition The Cyclecar Manual (1912/3) got this treatment, basically all I did was turn pages, lay book flat on scanner, click mouse, turn pages, etc.
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From 1903 copies of ME were weekly up to 1963 then they went fortnightly up until the present so that a lot more than 120,000 sheets.
John S.
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John S wrote:

Guy was quoting figures for the NatGeo ..
But ME are only 50->60 odd pages per copy, and it's quicker to copy 2 pages at a time on an A3 scanner, so 120,000 is not too far off on the number of scans to cover ME. ME only went colour relatively recently as well, so not so much to scan IN colour as NatGeo.
Vol 201 was under 800 pages - earlier volumes get up to 1200, so we are probable over 200,000 pages
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Given that a DVD is 4.7GB and a CD is 650M, the disc count drops quite a bit -
Steve
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Steve wrote:

And a Blu Ray disk would take the lot.
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wrote:

....or round about three dual layer DVD's.

While modern copies of National Geographic are searchable the 1930's ones from the DVD are just scanned image pdf's with no searchable text. Each issue is roughly 10MB for 160 pages.
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Can anyone enlighten me as to where this is available. They only list back issues on the web site, no mention of any on CD. Am I missing something?
Regards Kevin
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Hi Micheal, As I understand the situation MYKNOBISORE, sorry, MYHOBBYSTORE do not have the rights to put all old ME issues on the Net. For those who remember the "hammer to crack a nut" tactics they used to stop an American chap and his efforts to put old articles on the web, this might sound odd. It seems that for articles where ME are not the copyright holder, they have to get permission from the holder to re-publish electronically. Clearly this could be a problem, not only were a lot of articles writen under a pen name, but the death toll amongst old writers is quite high. :) Ned Ludd
Michael Gray Wrote: > I have just posted in rec.crafts.metalworking this as an afterthought > to

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On Mon, 23 Mar 2009 13:40:50 -0500, ned ludd wrote:

OK, I remember reading "the letter" they wrote to JW Early which effectively killed about 5 or 6 Yahoo groups. So what is the position on magazine copyright in the UK, just reading the summary of the law it seems as if you have two choices on length of years? Is there a definitive cut-off? like, if it's more than 50 years old the copyright is extinguished? Curious.
Mike in BC
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75 years after the death of the author, ISTR
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On Tue, 24 Mar 2009 16:17:52 -0000, "Alun"

Depends whether you are talking about the content of the mag or its design/layout.
The former lasts longer, and probably belongs to the author, unless he/she signed away their rights to the mag, or are deceased, in which case, the ownership will have passed to thier heirs. A tricky job figuring out (a) who owns it now, and (b) how to contact them to get permission to reprint.
The latter lasts significantly less time, and belongs to the magazine's publisher.
I believe that Nat Geographic are able to do what they have done because in US copyright law, the electronic versions are treated as if they were a simple reprint of the original mag rather than a new publication, and therefore don't require any further permission from the copyright holders. Not clear whether or not the same applies in the UK.
Regards, Tony
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wrote:

Details of UK copyright law are here:
http://www.copyrightwitness.com/copyright/p01_uk_copyright_law
70 years for the author, 25 years for "typographical layout of published editions" (the magazine design/layout).
Regards, Tony
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Michael Gray Wrote:

Hi there Mike, If I could answer that definitively, I could earn a fortune in the Law Courts. Ned Ludd
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