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- To: Multiple recipients of list BOOK_ARTS-L <BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: Re: copyright
- From: Bruce Miller <sdipub@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 21 May 1996 04:34:23 +0000
- Message-id: <199605202128.RAA20613@listserv.syr.edu>
- Organization: SDI Publications
- Sender: "The Book Arts: binding, typography, collecting" <BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Dorothy Africa wrote:
> I also hope we can all accept Mr.Miller's statement that he did not
> intend to be insulting and go on from here. It is always advisable to
> remember that email is a flat space, and the smiles and gestures which
> lend nuance to what we say does not transfer readily in it. The replies
> several people sent in, including the experience of Richard Minsky, has
> been instructive reading. In my other life I am a research scholar, and
> thus involved in a number of academic publishing projects which have been
> very problematic. One goes into them for "exposure" of one's work, as
> Mr. Miller has observed. However, the sort of "exposure" seems to
> produce only more offers of a similar kind. One cannot pay bills, rent, or
> buy groceries with such "exposure". One wonders what the artist can
> offer the lawyer he needs to draw up the contract with the publishing firm.
> Perhaps some "exposure" of his legal talents which will impress the firm
> so much that it will want to hire the lawyer to write a contract more
> favorable to the firm!!!!
> Perhaps Mr. Miller could tell us what it is like to work in Thailand and
> what sort of book arts he finds there. I notice a number of places in
> the US now are marketing Thai decorative papers which they call marbled
> but look more like tie dye (Thai dye??) or batik to me. I have a couple
> sheets but I haven't used them yet, and would appreciate hearing from those
> who have used them.
> Dorothy Africa
> X-Mozilla-Status: 0000
Thank you for the courteous opportunity to clarify and finalize several
points. Several astute and patient list subscribers, including Mr.
Minsky, enlightened me to an important fact I had grossly overlooked.
Having not worked in America for over a quarter of century, I have no
real first hand knowledge of the difficulties faced by American artists
in their enviornment. Putting it bluntly, I was out of line and as such
I apologize to any and all who were offended by my messages, tone or
By way of attempting to make ammends I have requested my company's
lawyers to draft an English translation of Thai copyright and
International copyright laws . These will be available to interested
BOOK_ARTS subscribers. I'll also check with the US embassay for any
documents they distribute for Americans/ Ex-pats thinking of setting up
shop in Thailand- which should again be pretty much along standard
international treaties. We don't have a website yet, but if anyone
should want copies, they can send me their E-mail address and I'll
send whatever I can put together from those two sources.
Perhaps also a translation of local contracts regularly used between
commercial art companies and their clients.
Forget about Thai compliance with any international treaties.In theory
yes they have signed, in practice its a far different story.
Companies raid each others employees who depart with vital client data,
designs, work in progress,etc. Rarely does a commercial artist stay with
one company longer than 12 months- (again I'm generalising)- employees
contact clients after office hours and "freelance" or turn it over to
friends and split the commissions. Artists are equally exploited by
companies, receiving little pay and less acknowledgement. Companies do
cut and paste or scan ads from imported magazines to create local ads.
The American and international lawyers are here looking mainly after
pirated software and entertainment CD's & Videos. Shops are tipped off a
few hours before raids, they reopen within minutes after police and
copyright enforcement officers leave-almost everybody is in on it.
Virtually any software is available on CD for about $10. Competition is
so stiff they make "installer" CD'S where you get 630 mb of programs,
all for the same $10! Any movie, days after US release is available on
video for about $6-good quality laser knock-offs. Even computer manuals
like the "Dummy" series", T'shirts, Levis, designer anything from
perfume, handbags, pens, cigarette lighters, etc.etc. I believe the only
imports I haven't seen knocked off are MacDonalds and Boeing 747s. Fake
dollars and marks. Even fake Winstons and Marlboros! Companies pay up to
$8 for empty cognac bottles, guess why? Import duties are so high and
the knock offs are so cheap that few working Asians can afford the real
thing. I haven't a clue whats the practical solution to all this.
As for book arts materials- I am afraid that the only local materials
which may be of any interest that I am aware of is endpapers made from
mulberry, called in Thai- Kradaat Sai.(sounds like "sigh") One American
company, Magnolia Editions run by David Kimball imported quite abit.
Their address is 2527 Magnolia Street, Oakland 94607. I'm sorry I don't
have their phone or other details. But nice people.
For paper stock Thai wood free is alright, but we use Japanese or German
paper for our export work. Because of high humidity local boards for
export are out of the question- we use imported Dutch boards. Nice
leather is available- but with quality control in its present state I
wouldn't recommend importing any. The marbled papers you mentioned are
most probably printed.They shouldn't be more than 4 colour or then I
could be worng. Tie dye is a rather tedious process only used on thread
before its woven.
The most reknowned local textile art is Ikat or tie dye. Batik (wax
resist) here is all imported from Indonesia.
Thai silk is justifiably famous but there is also very beautiful silk
from south India- Bangalore and Madras, but I would think its too light
for a most books. Kampuchea or Cambodia, also has beautiful ikat, but
again mostly produced to use as clothing, and therefore quite light
weight. Burma and Laos also have cottage industy silk production.
I love Thailand, its been like a second mother to me. Its given me a
wonderful family, an opportunity to work and own my own company and
enjoy the certain freedom which only comes with living in chaos.
I recently published a 3 volume set on Angkor Wat- the famous 12th
Century temple complex of Kampuchea, I had serious doubts about locally
distributing it. it took over 9 months to produce, and having a retail
price of almost $300 it would be a tempting target for any printer to
buy one set, camera copy my plates,(only duotone) knock me off and flood
the market for @ $50- so it would be a softcover, lighter local paper,
and monotone,etc, but to the average buyer, probably a more attractive
deal since they would still get the same data, maps and 600 plus
illustrations. I can't even trust my printer to not produce an extra
500 sets from my plates and sell them out the back door! And they're a
huge "respectable"company, 500+ employees and listed on the local
exchange. Their employees on the night shift could do the same thing
without the management even getting a clue.
In short it's a warzone- people laugh when you say the word copyright
with a straight face. It doesn't excuse my previous messages to
BOOK_ARTS but I'm sure this frustration helped make my comments more
caustic than intended.
I hope to have the translations for any BOOK_ARTS list subscribers ready
by the 5th or 6th of June. Again if anybody would like a set, send me
your e-mail address. If I can be of any further asistance on local or
regional matters, please do not hesitate to contact me.