[SciPy-dev] Re: [Numpy-discussion] Purchasing Documentation

Fernando Perez Fernando.Perez at colorado.edu
Tue Oct 4 15:54:25 EDT 2005

Travis Oliphant wrote:
> Alan G Isaac wrote:
>>I also plan to ask our library to purchase the book, but 
>>I am concerned that your statement that multiple users each 
>>need their own copy might mean a library purchase is 
>>forbidden.  I assume it did not mean that, and that you 
>>just meant that making multiple copies is restricted.  (Our 
>>library supports electronic book check out.)  Ruling out 
>>library purchases would, I think, be a costly mistake for 
>>many reasons, which I can list if you are interested. 
> A library purchase is fine.   If that how a single copy is shared.  I'll 
> make that more clear.  But, really, if multiple users need to use it at 
> the same time, then the library should purchase several copies. 

Travis,  I think that what confused some people (and which I believe was not 
your original intent) was the impression that you meant to have terms on the 
printed version of the book which were more restrictive than those of 
traditional paper books.

With a single physical copy of a paper book, the rules are pretty simple and 
constrained by the laws of nature (one non-quantum object can't really be in 
more than one place at the same time).  Lending, borrowing, library use, 'lab 
bench' use, etc, are all accepted practices because while one person is using 
the book, nobody else has access to it.

Since your book is originally provided electronically, there is the technical 
possiblity to make multiple physical copies, which I believe is what you wish 
to prevent (and something I'm not arguing with).

So perhaps a clarification along the lines of the following could help (this 
is my wording, of course, so you should say what _you_ want, not what I get 
from trying to read your mind :)

'a single printed copy can be made from the electronic version, which is 
subject to the same restrictions imposed on paper books (lending is OK but not 
wholesale photocopying for redistribution, for example)'

This would put at ease a lot of people who normally buy a book in a lab or 
research group with the natural assumption that anyone in that lab can go to 
the shelf and read it.  Obviously if it's a book with very frequent use, 
traditional book purchasers buy multiple copies.  With your book, the exact 
same thing would be expected: just because they have the PDF doesn't mean they 
can print 10 copies of it for the whole lab.  Or at least that's my understanding.

Best regards,


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