Author Topic: Mainline Modeler digitization  (Read 4147 times)

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sirenwerks

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Mainline Modeler digitization
« on: December 07, 2015, 01:53:44 PM »
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The importance of the TrainLife site as a resource keeps becoming apparent to me.  The problem is I was never quite happy with the quality of the TrainLife page images.   Not long ago I bought a practically complete collection of Mainline Modeler and some other MRR mags.  Since MM is OOP and likely never to be seen again I feel almost a responsibility to handle it properly.  My original idea was to scan the articles I want and dispose of the issues.  Now I'm thinking it should be turned into high-quality scans of each issue cover-to-cover.


My ability to undertake such a project on my own is questionable.  I have the organization skills and can do the scans over time, but then there's the rest.  The way I see it is each page needs to be scanned, potentially color corrected, edited to page edge, and then all the pages reassembled into a PDF or catalogued by issue/page like the TrainLife collection.  Then it's got to find a home.  With the latter, I am thinking about reaching out to TrainLife since it already has a system established.
While the MM collection is in storage at this time and this project is in the future, I'm trying to figure out its future and wondering if there are others out there that would be willing to help with such a project and, if so, how?

Bumped up font size for readability.  If it's supposed to be secret, don't post it to the internet. -gfh
« Last Edit: December 07, 2015, 05:59:10 PM by GaryHinshaw »
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wcfn100

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Re: Mainline Modeler digitization
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2015, 02:10:18 PM »
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I may be able to help depending where you want to go with this.

As for the how.  Most scanners can scan to a multi-page pdf document or even use an OCR to scan to a searchable document.  After that there are lots of pdf to jpg converters that will spit out the individual pages as pictures.


Jason.

thomasjmdavis

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Re: Mainline Modeler digitization
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2015, 03:37:22 PM »
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Do remember that the fact that something is out of print, or the publisher out of business, does not mean it is in public domain.  There may still be a copyright owner who is holding the rights to print and distribute.  Several years ago, a number of useful websites were shut down because they did not secure the rights to sue the photos and documents on their sites.

That said, I hope that these can be published on the web someday, as MM is one of my favorites, and there were many useful articles and drawings.

And what is the trick to reading the little tiny type? Or do we just "cntl +" 10 times?
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peteski

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Re: Mainline Modeler digitization
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2015, 04:55:43 PM »
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The tiny text seems to be the result of incorrect formatting of the original post.  The [ size ] tags are partially showing up as plain text.

I think shat a simple scan and then storing these as bitmaps in PDFs is not the best solution.  They should really be scanned then all the text on each page converted to text. Not only that will make the document searchable, it will greatly reduce the file size.  I think some Adobe apps can do that but I'm sure there are many others too.
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jmlaboda

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Re: Mainline Modeler digitization
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2015, 06:35:30 PM »
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I am familiar with doing .pdf files... will be glad to help.

As for copyright, Hundmann was contacted several years ago by Donnie Dixon about some drawings of Southern Railway equipment that he wanted to include on his Southern Modeler site (now on my Southern website) and he really didn't care if they were used.  Its behind him so doing such likely would not be a problem.  Might actually be able to help with hosting the files once they are compiled, as well.

loyalton

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Re: Mainline Modeler digitization
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2015, 04:34:32 PM »
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I am familiar with doing .pdf files... will be glad to help.

As for copyright, Hundmann was contacted several years ago by Donnie Dixon about some drawings of Southern Railway equipment that he wanted to include on his Southern Modeler site (now on my Southern website) and he really didn't care if they were used.  Its behind him so doing such likely would not be a problem.  Might actually be able to help with hosting the files once they are compiled, as well.
That was because they were Hundman's drawings. Not neccessarily so for MM articles created by others. Those are paid to the authors on the basis of one-time use; reprint issues therefore require getting permission again (and payment again). The authors have ownership except for photos borrowed from others. Photos used work the same way. You can probably get away with it with the standard online offer to remove content if ownership is claimed (and proven), but just wait until one author decides that siccing a lawyer on you is the way to go.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2015, 04:39:02 PM by loyalton »

peteski

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Re: Mainline Modeler digitization
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2015, 05:06:34 PM »
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That was because they were Hundman's drawings. Not neccessarily so for MM articles created by others. Those are paid to the authors on the basis of one-time use; reprint issues therefore require getting permission again (and payment again). The authors have ownership except for photos borrowed from others. Photos used work the same way. You can probably get away with it with the standard online offer to remove content if ownership is claimed (and proven), but just wait until one author decides that siccing a lawyer on you is the way to go.

So for example when N-Scale Magazine or Model Railroader Magazine decided to offer their magazines in electronic form on a CD, they had to contact all the authors to get permission to re-publish the articles again, in electronic form?  What about the authors that had passed away? :|

Actually, since you seem to be quite knowledgeable in this subject, I have a question.  About 10 years ago FineScale Modeler Magazine purchased an article from me.  They paid me but never published the article (and most likely never will since the subject matter is not typical of what they publish).  Can I sell another copy of that article to another magazine which will most likely publish it (as it is in line with what they cover)?  Or can I buy back the article from Finescale Modeler?  I contacted the editor several times (email) but never received any replies.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2015, 05:13:45 PM by peteski »
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Kisatchie

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Re: Mainline Modeler digitization
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2015, 05:16:21 PM »
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So for example when N-Scale Magazine or Model Railroader Magazine decided to offer their magazines in electronic form on a CD, they had to contact all the authors to get permission to re-publish the articles again, in electronic form?  What about the authors that had passed away? :|

The only thing I can see that gives MR an "escape clause" is that the articles converted to electronic form are "back issues" of the magazine being put up for sale. MR may have paid for one time usage of the articles, but since the original articles have not been modified in substance, the articles merely count as back issues being sold in electronic format. I think if MR collected several articles and electronically published them in a separate issue, they would have to pay royalties again.


Hmm... for legal advice
on this matter, please
consult Ms. Dee Rayle,
attorney-at-law...


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daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: Mainline Modeler digitization
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2015, 09:04:00 PM »
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I am not an expert on copyright, but my experience publishing articles goes something like this:

Once you (or  publisher) pays for work, it is now their material to do so with what they want within the confines of the agreement. If you buy an original slide, you now own that photo. This is why you see a lot of captions state "D Leavitt collection" and not necessarily the photographers name. When I needed some prototype photos of Conrail SW1500 and C30-7As, I contacted a slide collector, not a photographer. I sent the slides, along with a written agreement to use said slides to N Scale. I believe the agreement was to use the slides in the article only, and not to become property of the magazine. In this case, the magazine just leased the work.

However, most agreements stipulate that the author give up ownership of the article to the publisher in exchange for payment. I have no rights to my C30-7A article (or any of my others for that matter). They belong to the publisher now. If I wanted to post work from my own article, I would actually need to seek permission first.

So Pete, yes you would need written permission from FSM to try and republish that piece.
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jmlaboda

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Re: Mainline Modeler digitization
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2015, 09:48:51 PM »
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Quote
So Pete, yes you would need written permission from FSM to try and republish that piece.

Whose FSM???

sirenwerks

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Re: Mainline Modeler digitization
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2015, 10:08:42 PM »
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Mere ownership of a physical photograph, including original slide, does not give the possessor copyright. The law provides that transfer of ownership of any material object that embodies a protected work does not of itself convey any rights in the copyright.  If the photographer copyrighted the image, it remains the photographer's copyright even if the surviving original is in another's possession, even if the photographer has passed, in which case the copyright belongs to the photographer's estate.  There are more formal means but copyright can be self-assigned by the originator very simply, all it takes is writing the copyright symbol, year, and name of the photographer on the slide frame or photo.  No registration is necessary, though being so loose can create issues in court.


As for mags, IIRC copyright expires after 95 years of publication or 120 years after the original writing of the latest article, whichever comes first.  There are ways to work around that - like written permission from the publisher.  I believe there is a means to offer them in a way not for sale that would route the issue too, but need to do some more research.  But at the moment I'm not asking for help on copyright, I have knowledge enough to navigate that aspect. 


I am putting feelers out for folks interested in helping with the production end.  Each page needs to be scanned into a digital photo format like TIFF, trimmed and straightened, and, then reformatted as a PDF.  I am willing to sit at the scanner for an hour or so every night to perform the scans and am hoping to find folks willing to help with the editing part.  I'm still toying with 600 or 1200 DPI, obviously the latter takes longer to scan, but it will still be at a 10 to 20 page a week rate with time off for good behavior.  I don't have Acrobat and plan on using freeware to do the editing and stitching together of the PDFs - GIMP and PDFsam - and the shared work would be performed via my Dropbox account.  Still not certain about the format, if the PDFs are assembled back into whole issues they will be massive files.  That's where the TrainLife format and distribution system makes the most sense. 


If no one's interested, I'll just do it myself and keep them for myself.  Nyah!  :D   But honestly, I think they'll do the most good in a public domain if it's possible.
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peteski

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Re: Mainline Modeler digitization
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2015, 10:11:31 PM »
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Whose FSM???

FineScale Modeler. We got a bit OT here (as usual).  :oops:  Sorry. Not even model RR related (but hobby related).  :)
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peteski

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Re: Mainline Modeler digitization
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2015, 10:18:41 PM »
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I'm still toying with 600 or 1200 DPI, obviously the latter takes longer to scan, but it will still be at a 10 to 20 page a week rate with time off for good behavior.  I don't have Acrobat and plan on using freeware to do the editing and stitching together of the PDFs - GIMP and PDFsam - and the shared work would be performed via my Dropbox account.  Still not certain about the format, if the PDFs are assembled back into whole issues they will be massive files. 


If the scanned page was ran through OCR and  text (in bitmap format) was replaced with plain formatted text (leaving only photos as bitmaps) would greatly reduce the size of the document.  I would ting that 600 dpi is plenty high of a resolution.  Magazines are usually printed in 300 dpi (or lower) resolution.  But I don't know if GIMP or PFDsam are capable of doing that.
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sirenwerks

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Re: Mainline Modeler digitization
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2015, 11:11:56 PM »
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My original thought is to leave the pages as images.  Yes, they're larger but I no longer have any OCR software and, besides, they never quite get font matching and layout down where it would look like the original mag.  I used to use OmniPage but it's gotten ridiculously expensive for personal use.  I have heard good things about ABBYY FineReader, and it is cheaper.  Some more research is due on this idea, it would be nice to provide text search-ability through metadata at least.
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JMaurer1

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Re: Mainline Modeler digitization
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2015, 12:24:10 PM »
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First of all: INTERESTED! Mainline was a great magazine. I have kept my old issues as well but would much rather have digital copies.

Second: I would be willing to help in any way necessary.

Third: When is Trainlifes search going to be fixed? I've contacted them several times offering help and was always told that the problem would be fixed and be working in a week...several times and more than several weeks ago. Trainlife is a HUGE VALUABLE resource and needs to be 100% operational. I've offered to scan issues that they are missing and was told thanks but no thanks. :(

I do wish that they would use PDF instead of JPG...
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