March 23, 2013

Copyright trolls bully Dutch author so much he stops blogging

Filed under: Literature by Branko Collin @ 5:00 pm

Ray Kluun has stopped blogging … for now.

The author of Love Life keeps being bombarded with ridiculously high copyright claims over images that he naïvely had been plucking off Google Images in the past to adorn his postings.

In a message that replaces his blog’s frontpage he explains:

Bloggers who borrowed from Google Images in the past have been declared outlawed. Unfortunately I (and many others with me) only found this out recently. All of this has cost me thousands of euros and lots of irritation. Of course I have stopped publishing photos [on this blog] for this reason.

It is however pretty much impossible to remove all photos that I have added to postings on since 2003. I would have to check thousands of articles and remove the photos one by one.

Basic legal tenets, such as the right to a fair trial and the right to a punishment proportional to the wrongdoing have been thrown out the window in the Netherlands in the past few years where it comes to intellectual property. There is an entire cottage industry of so-called copyright trolls who scour the web for infringements. If they find one, the send out bills ten times the price of the license or more. These companies even have their own go-to court, the one of The Hague, where especially judge Chris Hensen is a good friend of the copyright industry.

(Illustration: screenshot of Kluun’s website)

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June 28, 2009

Hans Koning’s aphorisms online

Filed under: Literature by Branko Collin @ 10:36 am

Hans Koning (1921 – 2007) was one of that rare breed, an author who successfully traded his native tongue for another, in this case Dutch for English. A member of the Dutch resistance and a writer for the Groene Amsterdammer weekly, Koning emigrated to the USA in 1951. His publisher has put his book of aphorisms online, Hans Koning’s Little Book of Comforts & Gripes:

The tool for judging by those who don’t understand a thing about the arts is: categorizing. “What kind of books do you write?” they ask. “What kind of painting do you do?” It may seem harmless until art becomes dependent on money controlled by these ignorant men. Recently some people made a motion picture ‘based’ on Dostoyevsky’s “Crime and Punishment.” They hadn’t really understood much of the book and the film was a disaster. Now Hollywood producers know that “Dostoyevsky movies don’t sell.”

(Slide 53. It’s a pity that the book is published as images rather than text, and that it is riddled with spelling errors.)

See also: his New York Times obituary; his ever changing Wikipedia entry.

(Via Eamelje.)

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June 17, 2009

Van Deyssel’s beautifully indecent book, or: how to return a compliment

Filed under: Literature by Branko Collin @ 9:30 am

Albert Verwey wrote about Lodewijk van Deyssel’s 1887 novel Een Liefde (A Love), considered pornographic at the time:

Van Deyssel’s novel has two qualities. It is beautiful and it is indecent. Because of its indecency, it is either being ignored or called names—in turn I want to praise it for its beauty. That novel is like a person who knocks at a door, the door of literature. Some pretend they do not hear the knock. Others say: “go away, you are indecent.” Now I am going to say: “Enter, because you are beautiful.”

Van Deyssel knew how to take a compliment, and replied:


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