Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Caveat Emptor!

Looks like there's a whole new reason for the buyer to beware (and it's the perfect season for it, too).

There's an outfit called "Alphascript Publishing" that are, among other things, selling a book on MST3k over at Amazon. Sounds good so far, but someone took the time to look at the fine print on the book and discovered that all the material was simply reprinted from Wikipedia.

The first thing that comes to mind is: Is this legal? I'm not quite sure if it is or not, but the fact that there is an article on Alphascript in Wikipedia that spells out what it is doing, I'm guessing Wikipedia doesn't give a flying fig.

I suppose I wouldn't give a flying fig myself if it weren't for the fact that (a) they're doing it very badly and (b) they're charging pretty high prices for these books.

Never mind the questionable veracity of articles on Wikipedia. According to the above sources, these guys didn't even clean up grammatical or font errors before they published. And look at that cover! I mean, other "unofficial guides" manage to give it some art that evokes the subject without violating any copyrighted images. These guys just grabbed a generic image off the NASA website and called it a day. And they have the balls to sell these measly 84 pages of half-assed effort for forty dollars?!?!

It's all very corporate and impersonal. If some MST3k fan had happened upon this Wikipedia loophole and took it upon themselves to put together a volume, they probably would have put forth a lot more work because of their love for the subject. There's no love here; Only greed.

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