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May 07, 2012

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CMcM

a swastika in a children's book

Jeez, I wish I hadn't googled that in a idle moment.

ajay

If we have to have horrible right-wing political parties, ones committed to the Sacred Symbol of the Meander are probably the best ones to have.

"Forward to crush the Race Enemy and establish the Supremacy of the Hellenic Nation! Then left a bit! Then back on yourself! Then right, then forward again, then wiggle around, left, form an oxbow lake, split in two, join up again, left, forward, and sort of peter out in a large brackish bog."

chris y

I'm not sure I can put myself convincingly into the mindset of a Greek fascist, but to the extent that I can, and I can imagine such a person casting around for a political symbol which was clearly not (oh dear me, no) a swastika, the idea that they'd settle on a design which is universally known as a "Greek Key" seems quite logical.

ajay

chris y: good point. I hadn't made that connection.

ajay

Ironically, of course, the River Meander is now in Turkey.

Myles

"Ironically, of course, the River Meander is now in Turkey."

Sadly, it is not possible to "like" this comment.

ajay

It certainly isn't if you're a member of Golden Dawn, Myles. I imagine that's one of the things they'd like to see changed pretty sharpish.

Richard J

Which reminds of one of the general themes of Neal Ascherson's Black Sea (thanks to malcs/Charlie for the recommendation, BTW) to the extent that the first half of the twentieth century was a reification of the previously untrue statements that 'Greeks live in Greece', 'Germans live in Germany' &c.

chris y

'Germans live in Germany'

Good point.
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm' aus Litauen, echt deutsch.

Stephen

Back in the 1930s the Minoan double-axe was used as the symbol of EON (Metaxas' fascist youth). These days it's apparently used by Black Metal fans, Greek neo-pagans, feminists, and as an LBGTQ symbol. One day I will write a paper about this.

belle le triste

Unclear which Order of the Golden Dawn he was at this point trolling, but Crowley named one of his children Aleister Atatürk

ajay

"The Wages of Destruction" is pretty good as well - I've read it just after finishing Edgerton's "Britain's War Machine", to which it is an excellent companion.

Key points: the extent to which Germany was still a peasant nation, with lots of very poor people working very hard on small, unproductive farms - very unlike Britain.

And the extent to which, because of this, Nazi economics was a series of flailing attempts to get out of one terrible problem by getting into another terrible problem.

ajay

Back in the 1930s the Minoan double-axe was used as the symbol of EON (Metaxas' fascist youth). These days it's apparently used by Black Metal fans, Greek neo-pagans, feminists, and as an LBGTQ symbol.

Quite a lot of overlap between some of those groups, I should think.

Barry Freed

Back in the 1930s the Minoan double-axe was used as the symbol of EON (Metaxas' fascist youth). These days it's apparently used by Black Metal fans, Greek neo-pagans, feminists, and as an LBGTQ symbol.

And for centuries as an emblem of the Nimatullahi Sufi order, one of the few orders to fully cross the Sunni/Shia divide.

ajay

Fascist pagan metalhead gay feminist Greek Sufis of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your confusing brand images!

Phil

Aleister Ataturk Macalpine, who died in a car accident in 2002, was a senior Freemason and styled himself "Count Charles Edward d'Arquires". Which suggests that charlatanry is genetic.

Richard J

Which suggests that charlatanry is genetic.

A property shared with most proper aristocracy, of course. It's suprising how many noble family trees get very murky at some suprisingly late times.

Stephen

ajay: That will now be the title of the paper.

Barry Freed

I don't get it. What's wrong with Aleister Ataturk Macalpine? I'd be feeling pretty good about myself going through life with such a moniker. If I felt the need to gussy it up at all I'd just append a Bey or Effendi to it and have done with it. Maybe even add ibn Shaitan on those days when I was feeling especially naughty.

CMcM

Blimey: Aleister Ataturk's Dad has got his own write-in campaign for the 2012 Presidential election. (Neat campaign t-shirts I thought)

Alex

I always thought that line of Eliot was down to him remembering vividly the last thing that was said before he got slapped.

Jakob

'Wages' is among my books of the decade; I suspect it's what got Tooze his current gig at Yale. (Mysteriously, his previous monograph on the development of economic statistics in Germany 1900-1945 doesn't seem to have gained the same broad audience...)

ajay

He's also surprisingly keen on strategic bombing, especially of the Ruhr. Haven't come across that before.

Alex

I noticed that too. Bit of a Peterhouse Tory, perhaps.

ajay

I missed your review first time round - thanks for the link. I too kept expecting him to say something about the effectiveness or otherwise of "dehousing", but he just... didn't.

And he seemed a bit weak on the naval side - he misses the point that the statistics that matter in the Battle of the Atlantic aren't "number of ships sunk" or "number of U-boats sunk" but U-boat days on station and the daily potential - the tonnage sunk per U-boat day.

Alex

also, he just chops from talking about the "operational stranglehold" on the Ruhr, to gloating over Hamburg (and in fact the major sources he uses are all talking about Hamburg), and then to the winter of 1944/1945 when the Kammhuber radar line had been overrun by the Army and the Nachtjägers' biggest problem was finding enough fuel to put any aircraft in the air and finding pilots with more than 10 hours on type to fly them. It is true that Bomber did a pretty thorough job on Krupps in 1945, but that was 1945 and the war in the air was won.

(he also mentions that the specific target system that finished off the Krupp Gußstahlfabrik was the power station, and that really wasn't Harris's style...)

Alex

I had the feeling he opted out of proper history for that section in order to fight the real war, the one against the legacy of AJP Taylor and John Terraine.

But the stuff on the German economy pre-war and the Nazi corporate world and Nazi defence procurement planning and Germany's special relationship with America and the links between Nazi agrarian politics and the Holocaust: superb.

ajay

Yes to both paras there.

Chris Williams

_Wages_ also strikes me as a very pre-2008 sort of book, when it was Peterhouse gospel that the UK was intrinsically or potentially a very rich state, and Germany wasn't necessarily always (in future as well as in past) in a different and better economic league. But yeah, I like it, and have just embedded a short passage from it in the course unit I'm writing.

Phil

have just embedded a short passage from it in the course unit I'm writing

As long as you used quotation marks or clear indentation, and author/date referencing which tallies with the bibliography. (Author/date/page is ideal, but you won't actually lose marks for author/date - we'd have no marks left if we started docking them for author/date.)

No, I'm not marking at the moment. (I'm avoiding marking at the moment.)

ejh

Funnily enough, I'm presently in correspondence with a major UK newspaper about whether it's OK to copy large chunks of material out of other works without any attribution at all. They seem to think that it is.

ajay

"...but it was on the internet! That means it's publicly available and therefore can't be copyrighted!"

ejh

Well quite.

The actual, pertinent question, is this: how much work can you take from somebody else's text without crediting them, if that text is a quotation? (We're talking about several paragraphs' worth of quotation, by the way, not a sentence or two.)

If anybody actually knows their stuff on this, I'd be glad of advice. (My access to the internet may be next to nothing for a couple of days, but if it is, I'll be catching up at the weekend.)

ajay

The actual, pertinent question, is this: how much work can you take from somebody else's text without crediting them, if that text is a quotation?

Obviously IANAL, but the answer is, essentially, none.

You can quote someone else's work under the UK fair use/fair dealing exemption from copyright, but there are three conditions, all of which have to be met:
acceptable purpose;
justified quotation;
attribution.

You have to have a good reason for quoting them. This exemption is a lot broader if you're writing research than if you're writing for commercial reasons, but there are good commercial exemptions too, especially for criticism.

You have to only quote what you need to. No reprinting the entire document. (If you're criticising a work of art, you can reprint a picture of it, though.)


And you have to attribute it.

ejh

I think I knew (or reckoned I knew) that much from when I trained to be a librarian, but the potential or alleged complication is this - what has been taken (for, shall we say, piece A) is a long quotation from person X, reported in works B and C by authors Y and Z. You see what I mean?

ajay

Hmm. Not really. Does the author of piece A attribute the quotation to X?

Let's use names rather than letters. Do you mean this:

Alice has written a piece including this passage:

Hampton, however, disagreed. In a letter to his brother on 22 May the same year, he wrote "I shall never be able to reconcile myself to this disgraceful compromise."

But the problem is that Alice actually got that quote from Bob, who edited Hampton's "Collected Letters", and from Charlotte, who wrote the definitive biography of Hampton, and she hasn't credited either of them.


Have I got it right?

ajay

If my description is accurate, then I am pretty sure that Bob and Charlotte are out of luck. The only person who has standing to complain is Hampton. And if he was OK with Bob and Charlotte reprinting the passage, he's probably going to be OK with Alice reprinting it too.

dsquared

In terms of university plagiarism codes, Alice ought to cite Bob and Charlotte. In terms of copyright law, I think Ajay is right; there is a very, very slim possibility that Bob's editing of the Collected Letters might give him something approaching database rights but even this would be a stretch.

For example, if I were to want to record a cover version of "Hanging on the Telephone", I would be discussing the rights with the authors of the song (iirc, The Nerves) even though I and everyone else only really know about that song because of the Blondie version.

Phil

I'm afraid your ice is thinnish, ejh. You make a very good case for what the obituarist has almost certainly done; assuming you're right - and I'd be amazed if you were proved wrong - I think it's sharp practice. In academic publishing it'd deserve censure. In journalism, I'm not sure. If it's true that Elaine P. "subsequently wrote" X or Y, and the Australasian Mercury did big her up in 1938, I don't think editors will worry too much about how the writer knew those things.

Jakob

ajay: could you elaborate on why ships and U-boats sunk aren't the most useful for the Battle of the Atlantic? I can see that days on station is a better measure than raw numbers of boats, but the daily potential seems like an efficiency measure, whereas surely absolute losses were what counted?

I'll have to re-read _Wages_, as all I remember about the strategic bombing section is that Tooze seemed to think it was reasonably effective; ISTR part of the argument being that whatever its efficiency, the Allies could afford the economic costs to a greater degree than Nazi Germany, but I may be misremembering and putting in arguments from the likes of Richard Overy.

Barry Freed

I thank dsquared for giving me an excuse to listen to the Nerves again. Great power pop stuff.

ajay

Jakob: more to do with the metrics Tooze used in describing the course of the battle; there's no real significance to the point where, frex, U-boat losses outnumber shipping losses.

dsquared: true. Of course, it would be good academic practice to source the quote to Bob or Charlotte, both for code-of-conduct reasons and to help your readers - but there's no legal requirement to do so.

I'm not even sure that it counts as sharp practice in journalism; I'd say it's pretty unexceptionable. If I'm writing an obituary of a politician and I quote one of his best-known public speeches, I certainly wouldn't feel the need to source that quote to a particular newspaper report of the speech, any more than I'd feel the need to source another objective and uncontroversial fact. No one would. Newspapers write about New Orleans being on the Mississippi without crediting the Oxford World Atlas as the source of the information.

ejh

In journalism, I'm not sure.

No, neither am I. I think in the particular context, it's at least very bad practice, but I'm not sure enough of what it is precisely (if you follow me).

If I'm writing an obituary of a politician and I quote one of his best-known public speeches, I certainly wouldn't feel the need to source that quote to a particular newspaper report of the speech

No, nor would I.

If, however:

(a) it wasn't a speech, but something he'd said in a particular interview, not otherwise quoted elsewhere, and ;

(b) if there were paragraphs of it

then....?

Chris Williams

Since I appear to have started this tangent, can I please make clear that: I will credit Tooze; the editor will make sure it's in the right format; the rights department will buy the copyright off his publishers. There will be smiles all round, depend on it.

ajay

Ah ha. That is a rather more interesting point. As a matter of good practice I wouldn't do it. And I instinctively feel that it might also be breach of copyright. The journalist has copyright on the text of the interview article, after all.

I wouldn't feel bad about quoting Lloyd Blankfein saying "We are doing God's work" even though he said it in an interview with the Sunday Times. But quoting para after para might be...

You should talk to an actual lawyer on this one.

Phil

Having slept on it, I think you're on much stronger ground where there are actual misquotes or misrepresentations. There are two examples that struck me as really iffy: the Golombek quote (which is essentially misquotation by omission, but it might be simpler just to call it a distortion) and that odd thing where what's basically a picture caption/copy-breaker in a CHESS article gets quoted as direct speech. I'm sure you've made these points already, but if I were you I'd put a lot of emphasis on "Golombek didn't actually say X" and "nobody appears to have said Y" - not because they're distortions, but because they seem to be evidence of sloppy copying, & hence evidence of copying.

The slips are always more revealing than the perfect copies - if the source says "John worked in a low-ranking position at the Ministry for many years" and the suspect copy says exactly the same thing, that's suggestive; if the suspect copy says "John laboured in a low-ranking position at the Ministry for numerous years", you've got 'em bang to rights. It's like they say, it's the cover-up that gets you.

(No, I'm not marking. I'm on strike.)

ejh

I'm not sure I agree with that (I think paragraph after paragraph of word-for word is the best evidence of copying you can get) but anyway it doesn't matter so much if the publication responsible isn't remotely interested in looking into it.

Until they get an official complaint of plagiarism from one of the affected authors, which has now happened.

[This is all set out here, by the way.]

Barry Freed

[This is all set out here, by the way.]

Which, BTW, always crashes or freezes one of the browsers I use whenever I go there (IE9, I know, and I do use Firefox and Chrome, just for different sites).

Barry Freed

I'm referring to your chess blog I mean, I hope that's clear (I just got up a little while ago).

ejh

How odd. I wonder if it does that to anybody else?

As it happens I'm having a similar problem with mediafire.com.

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