Bailii Books!

Professor Philip Leith (Queen’s University Belfast, former chair of BILETA and a trustee of Bailii) tells Jeremy Phillips at IPKat that

Bailii is currently undertaking a trial of publishing out of print monographs dealing with legal issues … Most publishers have no commercial interest in books after the print run has finished and they are happy to reassign copyright to the author, if copyright was assigned to them. Bailii will only republish a text if there are no copyright limitations. An author wishing to make his out of print monographs available to Bailii will normally thus provide the original word processed files from which the publisher worked….Authors can also revise a work before it is republished….Bailii has no password protection, students can link directly from reading lists to the specified work, and there are none of the constraints on making copies/printing/saving which are usual with commercial systems…It would be helpful if you gave feedback on formatting, ease of system use, and any other comments you might have. Bailii’s structure is oriented towards case law, so comments on how books might best be handled are particularly relevant. Please email me here, with the header ‘Bailii Books’. (edited; read full post here)

Two books that Leith himself worked on are already available – who will be next?

I had some useful conversations with library and disability service staff in my own institution this year about the availability (or non-availability) of in-print texts in various computer formats (frequently, no document or text version was available, just PDFs – this normally means that the text was submitted in document, laid out in something like Quark and then further changes made, thus the Quark version (as subsequently PDFed) is the only accurate version). However, in the case of older, out-of-print texts, there may well be a few authors out there that have a decrepit WordPerfect version lying around on a floppy disk somewhere (what’s a floppy disk, Daddy?). If so, Bailii would love to hear from you!