[open-literature] The 'Northwestern' Shakespeare: New Texts for Open Shakespeare

Rufus Pollock rufus.pollock at okfn.org
Tue Mar 23 12:11:27 UTC 2010

On 19 March 2010 10:52, James Harriman-Smith <jam3s.h.s at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> We got an email the other day from a Professor at Northwestern University
> offering us the use of an online edition of Shakespeare that they have
> prepared, and of a much a higher standard than the Moby Shakespeare. (The
> correspondence is appended below).

Excellent news.

> Obviously we would love to use this, but there are one or two questions.
> First (and I profess complete ignorance on this count), the Northwestern
> texts are coded in TEI XML, and I'm wondering if this may cause problems
> with our annotation tool? Or will just the fact of changing our base texts
> for annotation cause considerable problems when it comes to transferring the
> glosses that have already been made?

TEI XML itself is no problem. The second point: that any change in our
base texts will cause problems in migrating annotations is an issue
but no worse in this case that in any other ...

> Secondly, the Northwestern texts are copyrighted (again, see below) and this
> may conflict with our Open licence. The professor has said that he doesn't
> mind their distribution for non-profit use, but would want a cut of any
> future profits since he and others have invested a lot of time in
> establishing these texts.

The simple answer here is that we cannot support a non-commercial
restriction. We could offer to put out the texts under an
attribution-sharealike. This would likely prevent "free-riding" of the
kind he is worried about.

> Anyway, what does everyone think? All the details are appended below,

I think we should go back and say we would love to use the text but
could only do so if licensed under an attribution of
attribution-sharealike license.



PS: a few more comments below

> The WordHoard Shakespeare is a joint project of the Perseus Project at Tufts
> University,
> The Northwestern University Library, and Northwestern University Academic
> Technologies. It is derived from The Globe Shakespeare, the one-volume
> version of the
> Cambridge Shakespeare, edited by W. G. Clark, J. Glover, and W. A. Wright
> (1891-3). The
> Internet Shakespeare editions of the quartos and folios have been consulted
> to create a
> modern text that observes as closely as possible the morphological and
> prosodic
> practices of the earliest editions. Spellings, especially of contracted and
> hyphenated
> forms, have been standardized across the corpus. The text has been fully
> lemmatized
> and morphosyntactically tagged.

Wow, this is a really *excellent* edition of shakespeare it seems.

> © 2003. The copyright to The WordHoard Shakespeare is owned jointly
> by Northwestern
> University and Tufts University. The WordHoard Shakespeare is provided for
> free solely
> for non-commercial use by students, scholars, and the public. Any commercial
> use or
> publication of it, in whole or in part, without prior written authorization
> of the
> copyright holders is strictly prohibited

This is the part that would make it incompatible with us at the
moment. I think we should propose attribution-sharealike and see what
they think.


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