Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

From a Linux Journal author

Author:Dave Winer
Posted:8/26/1999; 5:03:24 AM
Topic:Opening Up Linux Journal and O'Reilly
Msg #:9922 (In response to 9916)
Prev/Next:9921 / 9923

This email came from Reuven M. Lerner,, in response to the thread about Linux Journal here on Discuss.UserLand.Com. I usually ask people to post messages here in their own name, but I wanted to make sure Mr. Lerner's comments got on the record asap.

Hi, Dave. I have read Scripting News and DaveNet for several years now, and I generally enjoy it quite a bit, even when I disagree with you.

Some background: I have been writing for Linux Journal for several years now, as their Web/CGI/database columnist. Most of my columns have to do with some combination of Perl and Apache, technologies that I use every day in my consulting practice.

I think that your comments regarding Linux Journal are way off base. If anything, you should be pointing fingers at the authors of articles that appear in LJ, and praising the publisher. LJ's reprint policy, which appears in every issue, explicitly allows authors to reprint or repost material that originally appeared in the magazine.

My articles have been translated and republished numerous times in various languages, without repaying either LJ or myself. (I always ask for a copy of the foreign-language translation as compensation. Sometimes people are even nice enough to oblige.)

Authors interested in republishing their own work are welcome to do so, including on the Web. I even got my editor's blessing, and the URL of my Web site ( is published underneath my monthly column. I admit that recent work-related and personal pressures have stopped me from updating the site as often as I might like -- but I'm to blame for that, not Linux Journal or its publisher.

How many magazines allow their authors to freely reprint materials on the Web? I can't think of too many others.

So if you're going to point fingers, I suggest getting upset with the LJ authors who fail to publish their stuff on the Web. Perhaps they don't know the conditions, perhaps they're too busy, and perhaps they don't care. And perhaps it would be nice for to make its site freely available. But you should acknowledge the relative openness of their current policy.

Some quick disclaimers: I'm not a full-time LJ employee, and don't speak for them in any way, shape, or form. I have enjoyed the magazine since before I began writing for it, and feel privileged to be a contributor to a magazine that I respect so much, and from which I learn a great deal. To top it off, my editors have been extremely courteous and professional in all of our dealings.

Please feel free to post this note wherever you feel appropriate.


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