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Re: Medieval bookbinding-Szirmai (long)



  In these murky waters I think we are all bound by conscience, Jack, as
to when and what to copy or give away.  It is odd, isn't it, that our
culture is agreed that trade of any sort in persons or body parts is
absolutely wrong, but we trade in our thoughts despite the
complications.  Few body parts are archival, of course (i.e. guaranteed
to last 100 years), while products of the mind trade as long as there is
a market.
  Knowledge itself is priced by social status, of course.  Most people
hesitate to ask lawyers and doctors for their services for free (except
at cocktail parties, for some reason).  I started life as a medievalist
and I have had numerous conversations with individuals, given papers and
lectures to groups, written papers, without money changing hands or any
indication from the recipient(s) that they were aware that information I
had just given them for free cost me thousands of dollars and years of
my life to acquire.   As bookbinders we all make decisions about what to
charge for, how much to charge, whether to charge at all for our work.
It is even harder when we need to evaluate what we know to price a
workshop or give lessons. I prefer not to charge if I think I will
receive as much as I give in the exchange. I notice on this list most of
us have made the decision to share what we know with each other and
value the chance.  From exchanges on and off the list with other members
I am also aware that we do this with the realization that it incurs a
heavy responsibility upon us for potential damage done to books and
other materials second or third hand as a consequence of something said
here.  Conscience may not actually make cowards of us all, but it ought
to make us careful.
  Dorothy A.

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