Amazon Deletes Ebooks Automatically Generated From YouTube Comments Leaving Many Questions Unanswered
from the too-bad dept
MIT’s Tech Review had a fascinating article yesterday about a couple of “artist-coders” who had automated a system to turn YouTube comments into ebooks for sale on Amazon with somewhat (unintentionally) brilliant results, such as “Alot was been hard” by Janetlw Bauie:
The team who created this has put out an entertaining press release as well. In it, they point out how they’re demonstrating some big questions about publishing in the digital age:
The GHOST WRITERS project’s aim is to address and identify pertinent questions concerning the digital publishing industry’s business models, as well as to draw the lines of new trends for a possible new kind of digital literature, after the web.
The project wants to raise questions like: who do YouTube videos/comments belong to? Where does authorship start and end? To what extent does the e-book format have to be reconsidered with regard to the traditional book form, and what are its most innovative opportunities? How could we act and work on it?
Indeed. When I first read the TechReview about this, my first thought was about how long it would be until they were sued for copyright infringement. Still, I was intrigued by this so I went to check out some of “Janetlw Bauie’s” works… only to discover they’re all gone. No one seemed to mention this anywhere, but the creators just noted that Amazon pulled them because “they could lead to a poor customer experience.” Not sure that’s really true, but… Either way, it seems unfortunate to have them just “disappear” (poof!) like that. Were these books really so problematic that they had to be deleted entirely?