Thursday, August 2, 2007

Jihad & secondhand books

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required), under threat of a law suit, Cambridge University Press has just agreed to pulp all unsold copies of the 2006 book, Alms for Jihad: Charity and Terrorism in the Islamic World. According to the Chronicle, this is the fourth such book on terrorism funding to be pursued by a libel action.

more at National Review Online

Deborah Lipstadt discusses the issues here.

We've talked before about why we might want a scheme that enabled buyers of a secondhand book to send money to its author. Academic presses don't usually offer advances; if CUP pulps this book, a writer who took on an important and (evidently) dangerous topic will get royalties on copies already sold and no more. Since readers normally have no way of contacting authors directly, they can't show their support even if they want to.

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