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Battle between paper and cyber version

Jul 26, 1997 12:08 PM
by M K Ramadoss

In the recent days, I have had the interesting experience of watching the
current trend on the question of publications in the paper version versus
the publication in the cyberspace.

Two instances I am currently aware where an attempt was made to get the
print version put on the cyberspace. In both cases those involved in the
production of the paper version has either not willing to put it on the
Internet or have not been very responsive to the suggestion, even though in
real terms the potential for distribution is enormous and is likely to be
appreciated by large numbers especially in the former East European
countries where current economic situation is very tight, but they have
access to Internet. While the paper publishers have valid economic reasons,
it is interesting to watch the above instances.

One of the questions that is going to arise is how future publishers are
going to handle the Internet phenomenon where there is not much of current
opportunities to make money like selling copies of hard copy publication.
But on the other hand, the speed with which Internet is expanding is mind
boggling and there is no end in sight.

So this seems to present an unique opportunity for non copyright materials
having a good chance of distribution via Internet. Most of the Theosophical
Classics fall in this category. Already TUP and others have made some of the
classics available on the net. I see soon all classics being available on
the net. On the other hand this may kill the publishing industry which had
good sales of these classics.

Another thought occurs to me. Is it possible that when HPB and others took
great trouble in producing the classics in long hand, those Powers behind
her foresaw the coming of Internet and timed the classics in such a way that
the copyright expired when the time was ripe for Internet to grow and have
an impact on the world. Who can tell.


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