(urth) Lexicon Urthus

pthwndxrclzp aquastor at gmail.com
Fri Jul 22 11:28:34 PDT 2005

Wait, now I'm confused. I thought the previous email noted that one
can get a spiral-bound copy for about twenty-five bucks plus shipping.
Isn't that sufficient for most any need for the present? I'd hate
Mantis to feel like we were pushing him, given that the text is
apparently readily available (assuming you don't inherently loathe

On 7/22/05, Maru Dubshinki <marudubshinki at gmail.com> wrote:
> Alright, I'm done. Here's the rough draft; critique as you will:
> Dear Mr. Andre-Driussi:
> On behalf on the Urth.net mailing list [0], I would like to ask you to
> re-license ''Lexicon Urthus'' with a free-er license; by 'free' I mean
> free as in speech [1], or the 'free software' sense [2].
> I ask because your work is very well-known on the list, as are you,
> but it is nigh impossible to acquire.  People like myself, who were
> not around during the original printing of "Lexicon Urthus", now find
> it impossible to acquire a copy.  No physical book stores possess any
> of the run of 1000 books; Sirius Fiction says it is completely out,
> with no plans for a corrected second printing, or a second edition
> [3].  Abebooks, Amazon, Ebay etc. all demand a absolute minimum of 100
> US$ for a copy, which may not even be in mint condition!  Simply put,
> $ 100 is not doable for the vast majority of Wolfean readers, and a
> year is a long time.
> Releasing your work under a permissive license would cost you very
> little; commercial prospects for "Lexicon Urthus" appear minimal, due
> to the fact that by its very nature it appeals to a limited and select
> group, so potential profit is very slim (though there is some demand
> [5]).  Furthermore, if you feel there are opportunities for future
> editions, you could simply release it under a Creative Commons [6]
> license reserving commercial use of "Lexicon Urthus" exclusively to
> yourself, but freely allowing non-profit usage of it [7], or perhaps
> under another similar license [8]; or possibly even into the public
> domain [9] (which, however, from our perspective would be ideal.
> Public domain is the freest licensing scheme, and the simplest to
> understand and work with). Or you could choose the GNU Free
> Documentation License [10].
> There are strong reasons to believe that a freely available online
> edition will not cannibalize sales of "Lexicon Urthus"- Firstly, the
> person who will read more than a smidgen of an online edition is very
> probably a fan of Gene Wolfe's work, and so would buy an edition for
> convenience, as reading online fatigues the eyes and is not always
> possible, if they don't buy just to support critical Wolfe literature
> or for their collection; Secondly, more likely, viewers will be
> looking up a few entries. Seeing the quality of the entries, they may
> well be more motivated to buy, since "Lexicon Urthus" would then not
> be a book of unknown quality with a deterring price (Cory Doctorow
> [11] notes on the Wikipedia article on him (a project known for its
> sucess and its use of a free license [12]) that his books have sold
> very well, thanks to his licensing practices [13]). Thirdly, all the
> licenses suggested would allow you to incorporate our work into any
> future editions for free.
> Whichever you choose, be it one of those I suggested or a license of
> your own devising, you need only reply with a refusal, or with a
> simple statement saying "I hereby release my "Lexicon Urthus" under
> the X license." And that's it- one of your fans has already
> volunteered [14] to scan and format it; then the rest of us can set to
> work improving it, fixing the small errors others have caught [15],
> etc.
> What motivation do I have to ask?  Simply that "Lexicon Urthus" could
> be an excellent basis for the long-discussed Urth.net FAQ, since it
> disposes of just about every vocabulary related question, is a primary
> source document for many of the most popular theories, and is
> comprehensive.
> Thank you for your time. I hope you will consider my suggestions seriously.
> ~Maru Dubshinki
> [0] http://www.urth.net/
> [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_speech
> [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_software
> [3] http://www.siriusfiction.com/#lexicon
> [4] http://lists.urth.net/htdig.cgi/urth-urth.net/2004-December/000159.html
> [5] http://listserver.dreamhost.com/pipermail/urth-urth.net/2005-July/001275.html
> [6] http://creativecommons.org/
> or
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons
> [7] http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/
> [8] http://creativecommons.org/license/
> [9] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain
> [10] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Free_Documentation_License
> or
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Text_of_the_GNU_Free_Documentation_License
> [11] http://www.craphound.com/
> or
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cory_Doctorow
> [12] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Cory_Doctorow
> [13] http://craphound.com/someone/000362.html
> [14] http://listserver.dreamhost.com/pipermail/urth-urth.net/2005-July/001269.html
> [15] http://www.siriusfiction.com/errata.html
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