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The Boy Who Couldn’t Change the World: An Open Letter to Verso Books and The New Press

Published onFeb 18, 2020
The Boy Who Couldn’t Change the World: An Open Letter to Verso Books and The New Press

[originally posted April 7, 2016]

There is no justice in following unjust laws. It’s time to come into the light and, in the grand tradition of civil disobedience, declare our opposition to this private theft of public culture.

~Aaron Swartz (1986–2013)

… open-access publishing is a brilliant way around the failure of academic and trade publishers to fend off corporatization and the consequent loss of quality (such as the ever-intensifying limits on page-length and reference apparatus) and even corruption. Open-access publishing also helps us to resist growing administrative and corporate attempts to interfere with academic intellectual property rights (… academics, unlike journalists, do not “work for hire,” and therefore legally retain the right to publish their own material as they choose)—unless, as so many scientists have done, we sign away said rights on behalf of the corporations funding our research. When taxpayer money is also used in such projects, the “public” university becomes yet another covert means of transferring wealth from taxpayers to private corporations. Openness cannot guarantee fairness (only because nothing can), but in these days of plummeting transparency, it seems both strategic and joyous to embrace it. Share what you know.

~L.O. Aranye Fradenburg, Staying Alive: A Survival Manual for the Liberal Arts

*UPDATE // 23 June 2016: Sean B. Palmer, the executor of Aaron Swartz’s estate, after securing the approval of Swartz’s circle of family and closest associates, and as a direct result of the gentle urging of staff and friends of both punctum books and Discovery Publishing, has appended to Aaron Swartz’s archived writings this notification — “Original articles on this site are CC BY-NC-SA licensed unless otherwise stated.” Palmer has also indicated in our correspondence with him that he will also be adding “a universal waiver allowing specific charitable commercial use” in the near future, once he works out the wording with legal counsel. We thus offer a huge THANK YOU to Sean B. Palmer and the friends and family of Aaron Swartz for this humane and forward-looking decision, and to all of YOU who supported punctum’s petition. Thanks also go out to Carl Straumsheim at Inside Higher Ed, the only reporter who cared enough to cover the story. The New Press and Verso Books UK never responded to our letter.

*NOTE // As of 5:00pm Pacific Standard Time on 25 April 2016 at West Campus Beach, Santa Barbara, California, this Open Letter has been closed for signatures. However, the Letter will remain permanently archived here and will always remain open for further comments. You might be interested to also read Inside Higher Ed’s coverage of this letter HERE, and Steven Berliner’s blog post “What’s Wrong with the Aaron Swartz Book” HERE.

25 April 2016

Dear Verso Books (UK) and The New Press,

On March 31st, Eileen A. Joy, punctum books’s Founding Director, posted on Facebook a meditation on Aaron Swartz and his legacy, vis-à-vis Verso’s blog announcement on that same day, “Pssst! Downloading Isn’t Stealing [for today],” that they were giving away for free for a limited amount of time the e-book edition of Aaron Swartz’s posthumously published writings, The Boy Who Could Change the WorldWe will share here what she wrote that day on her personal Facebook page —

I am thinking a lot about Aaron Swartz today, thanks to the fact that Verso has recently published a collection of his writings titled The Boy who Could Change the World. After “illegally” downloading thousands and thousands of MIT’s shuttered journals holdings (with a laptop hidden in a janitor’s closet) and making them freely available, and facing 35 years of jail time as a result of overly aggressive federal and university lawyers, Aaron committed suicide at the age of 26. The legacy he left behind at such a young age is breathtakingly immense — for starters, he helped to develop Reddit and with his mentor, Lawrence Lessig, he helped to create our Creative Commons. But some lessons never get learned. Today, there are three ongoinlawsuits against the founders of three open, online academic libraries — LibGenSciHub, and aaaaarg — all of whom are vulnerably precarious in terms of their insecure employment (such as Sean Dockray, who while a graduate student founded aaaaarg as well as The Public School in Los Angeles). These three libraries were all founded to provide access to published academic work (books and journal articles) to vast numbers of people throughout the world with no access to institutional libraries but who are students and scholars nevertheless and who, without this access, would not be able to further their knowledge or careers. At the same time, publishers such as ElsevierInforma/Taylor&Francis, and the recently merged Holtzbrinck-Macmillan-Palgrave-Nature Publishing Group-Springer, thanks to their bloated profit margins depending upon obscene subscription “packages” and “bundles” being forced down university libraries’ throats, have brought about a state of affairs whereby librarians within the University of California system, for example, must choose between books or journals. They can no longer afford both and some are calling 2016–2017 “ground zero” for the academic monograph as a result…. I am someone who, because I no longer have an official university job, can no longer access any university library holdings. Therefore, while working on an essay with Jeff Butcher about the Academic Jobs Wiki, I “illegally” downloaded an article by Lauren Berlant (“Cruel Optimism”) and a book by Marc Bousquet (How the University Works). If I had Swartz’s skills, I would hack into every journals database in the world and give it all away to everyone. I consider it an ethical imperative that more of us within the so-called Radical Open Access movement should work harder to make such a state of affairs as Aaron dreamed a reality (and a revolution is brewing thanks to selfless and heroic academics such as Martin Eve, who created, with Caroline Edwards, the Open Library of Humanities, or the folk behind Open Humanities Press, and even punctum books — shameless plug — and so on). It might require walking away from corporate publishers, resigning our positions as editors of journals published by corporate publishers, and taking our work elsewhere under different names (because corporate publishers take 100% of our copyright away from us — even the names of journals we dream up in the middle of the night belong to them). It might mean some of us resigning our academic positions or not pursuing traditional academic jobs, post-PhD, in order to devote all of our energies to building new platforms for more open and more creatively contoured dissemination of our research and writings. It might mean “turning pirate.” It might mean breaking the law, where the “law,” as Martin Luther King, Jr. taught us, is unjust. The “laws” of academic publishing, even within university presses, are becoming more and more untenable and unlivable for those of us who believe in the Public University and the ways in which that University contributes, as Aranye Fradenburg has written about so movingly (in her book Staying Alive: A Survival Manual for the Liberal Arts), to eudaimonia (in the Greek, the “good demon, or good spirit, within ourselves”), or more plainly, to our thriving and flourishing. The Public University, and all of its work and ideas, must be Open to All. Where it is not, and under the aegis of the Techno-Managerial Neoliberal University (as illustrated so well at Chris Newfield and Michael Meranze’s Remaking the University weblog), we have a moral obligation to steal back our own work and to make it freely available to everyone. Where the State, or the Nation, or the University Administrators, fail us in this endeavour, we must do it ourselves. There is no other way.

When Eileen went to download the book herself several days later, she noticed two things that bothered her:

  1. that the book was not available for free download in North America, and

  2. that the period for accessing the download was over and she had somehow missed the language on Verso’s blog post explaining that the giveaway was for one day only.

FIRST, it is disconcerting that the writings of one of Open Access’s fiercest advocates (who also committed suicide while under federal indictment for downloading a large number of academic journal articles from the JSTOR library) should be under any sort of interdiction at all, as regards their mobility, in whatever form, derivative or otherwise. Granted, the majority of the writings of Aaron’s compiled in these particular volumes (print and digital) are freely available via Aaron’s own weblog archives, and both of you may only be asserting your so-called “rights” over your uniquely edited and designed derivative versions of those writings (but please also see our fourth concern below, since it is possible that The New Press is also claiming “exclusive” rights over Aaron’s entire corpus of writings, or some portion thereof). Nevertheless, it is really dismaying to see Verso in particular run a blog campaign for this book that implies anyone downloading the Verso e-book for “free” after your one-day “giveaway” is “stealing,” especially since “Downloading Isn’t Stealing” is a direct nod to the title of a 2004 op-ed by Swartz, in which he wrote, “Even if downloading did hurt sales, that doesn’t make it unethical….We live in a democracy. If the people want to share files then the law should be changed to let them.” This is all further exacerbated, ironically, by the fact that one of the chapters in the book is Aaron’s “Guerrilla Open Access Manifesto,” which the FBI used against Aaron in their ongoing case against him. Verso’s ad campaign was therefore in horribly bad taste at best and not at all in keeping with the spirit of Aaron’s own writings at worst.

SECOND, by applying copyrights to the derivative editions that ostensibly reserve “all rights” to the publishers and which also assert the “moral rights of the author” (more on which below), and by also cordoning off certain “regions” (sales and distribution-wise), both of you have decided not to honor the stipulation of the one Creative Commons license that Aaron himself seemed to have preferred (because it is the only one he ever appended to one of his own writings) — CC BY-NC-SA — which allows others to “remix, tweak, and build upon” work non-commercially, “as long as they credit [the original author] and license their new creations under the identical terms.” While you may have sought, and been granted, “permission” to republish Aaron’s writings from the “virtual executor” of his corpus, Sean B. Palmer, that does not obviate Aaron’s own wishes, as much as you can glean of those from his own testimony (which is copious throughout the volume itself, especially in the first section, titled “Free Culture,” and also on his blog, Raw Thought).

THIRD, e-books sold by Verso (delivered to purchasers as EPUB or MOBI files) come with this caveat: “Ebooks from the Verso website are watermarked and DRM-free, and will work on any of your devices — but they can’t be uploaded to websites or file-sharing networks.” Of course, the e-book actually is available on file-sharing sites such as Library Genesis (LibGen), in both EPUB and MOBI versions that can be easily downloaded for free, but according to Verso’s own more fully detailed “terms and conditions,”

Verso ebooks are free of Digital Rights Management (DRM-free), but are subject to the terms of this license. You own the file once you’ve downloaded it, and you can use it on any of your devices in perpetuity. It has visible and invisible watermarks, applied by Booxtream, which contain your name and email address. You are prohibited from uploading Verso ebooks to any website or file-sharing network, or in any other way making them available for distribution, sharing, copying, downloading, or reselling. Royalties from every sale will be paid to the author: if you’re reading someone else’s copy, then please buy your own license from Verso Books.

And what is really discomfiting about this watermark is that it “tags” each purchased e-book edition with a name + email address that can be used later to penalize (or prosecute) a reader-purchaser who may later upload the e-book file to a file-sharing service such as LibGen or aaaaarg. At the very least, Verso should remove this watermark from their edition of Aaron’s writings as it calls to mind, again, the federal lawsuit that threatened to put Aaron behind bars for a minimum of 35 years for “illegally” downloading JSTOR database files. Further, there is something called “the moral rights of authors” and because one of you, Verso, actually invokes them on the Copyright page in the e-book edition, we can only ask: Who is the “author” here? Is that not Aaron Swartz? Would Aaron believe his “moral rights” had been violated because copies of the e-book had been uploaded to file-sharing sites? Would he have appreciated his work being watermarked in this manner? This is doubtful in the extreme.

FOURTH, further digging has revealed to us that in August of 2014, Jed Bickman, Associate Editor at The New Press, contacted the CreateSpace Legal Department and also Adriano Lucchese, Editor in Chief at Discovery Publishing (see more full memorandums HERE), and invoked the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act 17, § 512, in order to request a “takedown” (from CreateSpace’s publishing platform and its distribution channels, such as Amazon and Ingram) of Discovery Publisher’s 2014 edition of Swartz’s collected writings, Raw Thought, Raw Nerve: Inside the Mind of Aaron Swartz (which edition is now available for free download in e-book format at The Internet Archive, where it has been tagged with a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license), which “takedown” did, in fact, occur. While CreateSpace indicated to Bickman that they do not involve themselves in third-party copyright disputes, they did remove the title from their “systems” and distribution channels (since its copyright was “in dispute”), which essentially killed Discovery Publisher’s print edition. According to Bickman, in his correspondence with Lucchese, Sean Palmer supposedly granted to The New Press the “exclusive right to reprint these materials [Aaron’s blog] in book form.” We say “supposedly” because Sean Palmer himself claims that he did not grant any “exclusive” rights to anyone, and if there is, in fact, a contract somewhere that demonstrates that he did, indeed, do this, we want to see that contract. And we want someone (anyone) to explain to us how this state of affairs could have come to pass. Moreover, what does The New Press mean by “these materials”? Just above that, Bickman references Aaron’s entire blog, Raw Thought, so are you asserting exclusive rights over the entire blog or just your derivative versions? We recognize the legal right that Palmer has to grant rights over Aaron’s intellectual property to other entities, under any terms and conditions he might devise, but all of this seems ethically and morally wrong in the extreme, given Aaron’s own activism on behalf of the Open Access movement. In 2009 he penned a blog post “Is the DMCA a Scam?” in which he argues that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is abusive, and earlier, in 2003 he wrote,

A copyright is an entirely negative right: it gives you no new freedoms, merely the ability to prevent others from something they would otherwise be allowed to do. It gives one individual (the copyright holder) full control of a whole market (the sale of their writing). This is a monopoly, something governments must protect us from.

Copyright is not a natural right, but merely an outdated invention from the era of the printing press. To call copyrighted works “intellectual property” corrupts thought, by subjecting those who want to replace the invention with a more effective one to nonsensical claims of “you’re stealing my property”.

To those who might point out that Aaron himself would have been in favor of the re-uses and re-publications of his writings (without necessarily any specific restrictions), we would simply say that we doubt he would have been wholly in favor of the language both of you have employed on your copyright pages for the book, such as, “all rights [are] reserved” to the publisher (both editions), and further, “No part of this book may be reproduced, in any form, without written permission from the publisher” (New Press edition), and “The moral rights of the author have been asserted” (Verso edition). We believe that the language on the copyright pages purposefully sets up a forbidding (if even ultimately flimsy) barrier to access over material for which both of you really have nothing like a “sole” copyright, so why posture otherwise?

Then again, if we are mistaken, we will repeat: show us the contracts. We request permission to view any contracts between yourselves, and between The New Press and Sean Palmer. At the very least, all of this represents a disconnect not only between Aaron’s own activism on behalf of Open Access publishing and how you have both “legally” determined your own “rights” over the distribution of these two editions, but also between how both of you frame your rights in the text of the book itself and what may actually be a more nuanced (and possibly an even more open) arrangement as stated within the longer publishing contracts, which are hidden from public view. In addition to expressing our disappointment with both of you, we are asking for illumination on these points, especially because we have long admired both of you for your contributions to a progressively radical cultural-intellectual commons.

As publishers ourselves, we realize that economic sustainability for radically innovative and politically progressive presses who foster and cultivate what we call “intelligent matter” is a precarious situation (and we do consider both Verso and The New Press to be both innovative and politically progressive), and this is a situation that has many of us scrambling for creative and better long-term solutions, and one hopes we might do so more collectively, even. But here’s the thing: if neither of you — Verso nor The New Press — can see your way to figuring out how to make the archive of Aaron Swartz’s writings more widely available, while still managing to recoup your costs in bringing these writings out in beautifully designed, tactile editions (which, of course, requires financial expenditures), then we simply despair. But more than that, we at punctum (and elsewhere throughout the Public Academy and Para-Academy) are upset. We feel you have undermined the important and culturally valuable legacy (and memory) of Aaron Swartz. And while you may have labored with all good intentions to “compile” his work in elegant and mobile form, you have done so in a way that nevertheless asserts certain “rights” over that work as well as over its presentation and dissemination in these particular editions in a way that, if perfectly “legal,” is also intellectually and morally dishonest.

And therefore, to the directors of Verso and The New Press, we the undersigned are asking you to reverse and repair this unfortunate damage to the culturally significant legacy of Aaron Swartz in the following ways —

  • revise the wording on the colophons of all editions to better represent Aaron’s own (likely) wishes for how he would have wanted his work to be re-used, re-published, and re-disseminated, or to better represent what Aaron’s virtual executor Sean Palmer believes should be the copyright (or copyleft);

  • remove all watermarks from the e-book editions;

  • issue a public apology for Verso’s misleading blog campaign for the “free” download of the book, or at the very least, admit that the blog post announcing the one-day giveaway of the book was in obscenely poor taste;

  • reverse the “takedown” action against Discovery Publisher’s edition of Aaron’s collected blog writings; and

  • produce the full texts of all publishing contracts.

We would like to close by saying that we do not want to assume any bad faith on the part of any of the entities involved in the re-publication of Aaron Swartz’s writings — neither on the publishers’ side, nor on the side of the executor of Swartz’s literary estate (or, more specifically, Aaron’s “hard drive”). As a publishing house that locates itself squarely in the intellectual heritage of Aaron Swartz and his collaborators on the Creative Commons licensing project, we merely seek to address the incongruities between the initial publication of materials under a specific CC license (such as CC BY-NC-SA), or under Open Access terms and conditions more generally, and their re-publication under a variety of traditional copyright markers, including watermarking, the assertion of “moral rights” (such as in the Verso e-book), and the prohibition on re-publication of any portion of a work (such as is indicated in The New Press edition’s colophon and in their DMCA “takedown” action against Discovery Publisher’s print edition). Simply put, we would like more clarification as to how traditional publishing houses (whether progressively “leftist,” not-for-profit, or otherwise), which often aggressively act against file-sharing platforms and their users, regard the conflict that seems to have ensued in the case of these particular editions of Swartz’s writings between the stipulations of Creative Commons licenses and traditional copyright terms. More broadly still, we seek to challenge traditional copyright law, just as Aaron did himself when he was alive.

With best regards,

for punctum books >

Eileen A. Joy, Founding Director, punctum books, Santa Barbara, California

Chris Piuma, Co-Director, punctum books, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei, Co-Director, punctum books, Tirana, Albania

Dan Rudmann, Principal Director, StudiumPunctum Records, & Human Sciences, Austin, Texas

David Hadbawnik, Associate Director, punctum books, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Arthur Russell, Assistant Director, punctum books, Cleveland, Ohio

Andrew Doty, Editor-in-Chief, punctum books, Saint Louis, Missouri

Michael Munro, Associate Editor, punctum books, Edmonds, Washington

Paul Megna, Associate Editor, punctum books, Santa Barbara, California

Kristen McCants, Associate Editor, punctum books, Santa Barbara, California

Natalia Tuero, Associate Editor, punctum books, New York City, New York

PJ Lilley, Production Editor at Thought | Crimes (a punctum imprint), Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Maggie Williams, The Material Collective + Director, Tiny Collections (a punctum imprint), New York City, New York

Christian Hite, Managing Editor at Keep It Dirty (a punctum imprint), Los Angeles, California

other signatories >

Jen Boyle, Coastal Carolina University

L.O. Aranye Fradenburg, University of California, Santa Barbara

Bonnie Lenore Kyburz, Lewis University

Robert Lestón, NYC College of Technology, City University of New York

Jared Rodriguez, Northwestern University

Steven Shaviro, Wayne State University

Katerina Kolozova, Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities, American University in Skopje, Macedonia

Martin Paul Eve, Open Library of Humanities + Birkbeck College, University of London, London, United Kingdom

Karl Steel, Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York

Ben Ambler, Arizona State University + TEAMS

Mike Smith, George Washington University

Deborah Madden, Institute of Design, Art and Technology, Dublin, Ireland

Asa Simon Mittman, California State University, Chico

Ed Keller, Parsons School of Design, The New School

Alex Mueller, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Miranda Merklein, Independent Researcher, Seattle, Washington

Holly R. Silvers, Elon University

João Florêncio, University of Exeter, United Kingdom

Kathleen Biddick, Emerita, Temple University

Germán Sierra, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain

William L. Benzon, Independent Researcher, Hoboken, New Jersey

Jeff Shantz, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Margaret Hanzimanolis, City College of San Francisco

Eric Wilson, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Serpil Oppermann, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey

Marget Long, Artist, New York City, New York

Luca Ferrero, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Giancarlo Sandoval, The New Centre for Research and Practice

Lesley Curtis, Independent Reearcher, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Julie Orlemanski, University of Chicago

Tom White, Birkbeck College, University of London

Craig Dionne, Eastern Michigan University

Benjamin D. Utter, Independent Researcher, Little Rock, Arkansas

Jamie Allen, Paul Boshears, and Bernhard Garnicnig, Editors, continent.

Jennifer Borland, Oklahoma State University

Daniel T. Kline, University of Alaska, Anchorage

Dorothy Kim, Vassar College

Scott Abbott, Utah Valley University

Haylie Swenson, George Washington University

Jeremy Trombley, University of Maryland, College Park

Juliet O’Brien, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Lisa Weston, California State University, Fresno

Gary Hall, Open Humanities Press + Coventry University, Coventry, United Kingdom

Zach Rivers, New York University

Martyn Hudson, Newcastle University, Newcastle, United Kingdom

Roy Christopher, University of Texas at Austin + University of Illinois, Chicago

Elena Loizidou, Birkbeck College, University of London

Erich Berger, Academy of Fine Art, Vienna, Austria

Slawek Krolak, Translator, Teacher & Student, Warsaw, Poland

Jeremy Fernando, European Graduate School + National University of Singapore

Laurie Finke, Kenyon College

Cheryl Lynn Jaworski, University of California, Santa Barbara

Nathan Kelber, University of Maryland, College Park

David Klausner, Emeritus, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Carla Leitao, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Erik H. Zepka, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Bishnu Ghosh, University of California, Santa Barbara

Anna Klosowska, Miami University of Ohio

Dan Hassler-Forest, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Karen Eliot, Automaton, Vancouver, British Columbia

Mary Beth Sullivan, Buffalo State College, State University of New York

Robert Craig Baum, European Graduate School

Ross Wolfe, Autodidact Crank, New York City, New York

Nina Paley, Artist + Free Culture Activist, New York City, New York

Julie Carlson, University of California, Santa Barbara

Mahnaz Marashi, SOAS, University of London

Kate Laity, College of Saint Rose, Albany, New York

Dona Kolar-Panov, Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities, Skopje, Macedonia

Maija Birenbau, Independent Researcher

Melissa Jane Hardie, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Surbhi Goel, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India

Jonathan Basile, Emory University

Steve Mentz, St. John’s University, New York

Holly Dugan, George Washington University

Lara Farina, West Virginia University

Mary Rambaran-Olm, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom

Adeline Koh, Stockton University

Benjamin Hiltzheimer, Attorney + Partner, Chetson Hiltzheimer, PLLC

Renata Lemos Morais, Deakin University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Karum B. Boughida, University of Rhode Island

Dianne Berg, Tufts University

Claire Colebrook, Pennsylvania State University

Catherine Grant, University of Sussex, Sussex, United Kingdom

Maija Birenbaum, Independent Researcher, Madison, Wisconsin

Chris Taylor, University of Chicago

Ricky Varghese, Psychotherapist + Advisory Editor, Drain: A Journal of Contemporary Art and Culture, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Prue Gibson, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Leah Benedict, Washington State University

Jeffrey Butcher, Oklahoma State University

Tessa Kostelc, English Teacher, Jeonju, South Korea

Becky King, Middle Tennessee State University

Nicklas Weis Damkjær, Copenhagen, Denmark

Alec Magnet, The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Saulo Macedo, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói, Brazil

Matt Bernico, Greenville College + European Graduate School

Dolsy Smith, George Washington University

Duane Rousselle, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada + European Graduate School

Stefan Keydel, Independent Researcher, Austin, Texas

Julie Orlemanski, University of Chicago

Kim H. Carrell, College of the Holy Cross, Massachusetts

Erin Manning, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Ruth Evans, Saint Louis University

Adam Miyashiro, Stockton University

David Perry, Dominican University

Richard Grusin, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Robin DeRosa, Plymouth State University

Matthew A. Trobaugh, Montclair, New Jersey

Dot Porter, University of Pennsylvania

Ryan Anderson, San Diego State University

Marie Thompson, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, United Kingdom

Dana Luciano, Georgetown University

Nilanjana Bhattacharjya, Arizona State University

Sam Stimpson, London, United Kingdom

Sara Feldman, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Neepa Majumdar, University of Pittsburgh

Ira J. Allen, American University of Beirut

Ann Kottner, New Jersey City University

Bhaskar Sarkar, University of California, Santa Barbara

Cristina Venegas, University of California, Santa Barbara

Martin Vega, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

James L. Smith, University of York, York, United Kingdom

Tara McPherson, University of Southern California

Cheryl E. Ball, West Virginia University

Jonathan Forbes, University of California, Santa Barbara

Rick Godden, Tulane University

Deirdre A. Joy, Washington, DC

Lester K. Spence, Johns Hopkins University

Steven Ray, Photographer/Artist, San Francisco, California

John Walter, George Mason University

Megan Berkobien, University of Michigan

Robert McRuer, George Washington University

Alan Montroso, George Washington University

William Marshall, Dunedin, New Zealand

Elena Razlogova, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Samuel A. Chambers, Johns Hopkins University

Urvi Nagrani, Photographer, San Francisco, California

Jeffrey J. Cohen, George Washington University

Abraham P. DeLeon, University of Texas at San Antonio

Shane Mayson, Washington, DC

Jonathan Hsy, George Washington University

Tristan Clutterbuck, Queen’s University Belfast, Ireland

Rachel Levinson-Emley, University of California, Santa Barbara

Elizabeth Randall Upton, University of California, Los Angeles

Huw Griffiths, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Kevin Kiernan, Emeritus, University of Kentucky

Giacomo Pezzano, University of Turin

Martin E. Rosenberg, The New Centre for Theory and Practice

Christina Victoria Cedillo, University of Houston-Clear Lake

Valerie Vogrin, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Amy L. Friedman, Temple University

Carla Freccero, University of California, Santa Cruz

Caroline Edwards, Open Library of Humanities + Birkbeck College, University of London, London, United Kingdom

Amelia Freduomo, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Rebecca Gould, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom

Serena Anderlini, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez

Michael J. Kelly, Binghamton University, State University of New York

Michael McLaughlin, Saint Leo University

James Estes, Library Director, Wesley Theological Seminary

Andrew Jackson, London, United Kingdom

Masroor Bukhari, University of Houston

Sheridan Phillips, European Graduate School

Nedda Mehdizadeh, University of California, Los Angeles

Alexandra Karakas, Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Budapest, Hungary

Michael Safranek, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Asher Lewis, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Seumas R. Coutts, European Graduate School

Diego Fernandez Vega, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Jackie Hendricks, Santa Clara University

Beth Cooper, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Martin Winslow, University of Illinois at Chicago

Carolyn Guertin, University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Karina F. Attar, Queens College, City University of New York

Una McIlvena, University of Kent, Kent, United Kingdom

Chris Alexander, LaGuardia Community College, City University of New York

Martin Goffeney, University at Buffalo, State University of New York

Edward Greig, Printer / Free Book Authoring Software Developer, Decatur, Illinois

Gökhan Turhan, Istanbul Bilgi University, Istanbul, Turkey

Hale Turhan, Istanbul Bilgi University, Istanbul, Turkey

Trevor Jones, San Diego, California

Jacob Siefring, George Washington University + McGill University

Tim Becker, University of New Mexico

Tom Sparrow, Slippery Rock University

Snezana Zabic, Chicago, Illinois

Jonathan Kemp, Birkbeck College, University of London, London, United Kingdom

Katherine Behar, Baruch College, City University of New York

Marina Zurkow, Interactive Technology Program, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University

Michael D. Snediker, University of Houston

Adriano Lucchese, Discovery Publisher, New York City, New York

Teresa Numerico, Roma Tre University, Rome, Italy

Leopold Lambert, The Funambulist Magazine, Paris, France

Joseph Nechvatal, Artist, Paris, France

Michael Curtin, University of California, Santa Barbara

Christine Neufeld, Eastern Michigan University

Heather Bamford, George Washington University

Christian Beck, Central Florida University

Claudio Fogu, University of California, Santa Barbara

Daniel O’Connell, C.S. Mott Community College, Flint, Michigan

Sakina Bryant, Sonoma State University

Bob Stein, Institute for the Future of the Book, New York City, New York

Sherrin Frances, Saginaw Valley State University

Edmond Caldwell, Boston, Massachusetts

Angela R. Bennett, University of Nevada Reno

Matthew Evan Davis, Independent Scholar, Laguna Hills, California

Spencer D. C. Keralis, University of North Texas

David Gersten, Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

Joseph Derosier, Northwestern University

Isaac Linder, European Graduate School

Sergio C Figueiredo, Kennesaw State University

Louis-Georges Schwartz, Ohio University

Mae Kilker, University of Notre Dame

Zachary McDowell, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Henry Warwick, RTA School of Media, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Liza Blake, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Leila K. Norako, University of Washington, Seattle

Paige Alfonzo, University of Denver

Rosanna Cantavella, Universitat de València, València, España

Lowell Duckert, West Virginia University

Sherri Barnes, University of California, Santa Barbara


photo by Quinn Norton, taken on Feb. 9, 2008

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