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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 5:25 pm 
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Today I received a copy of the Christies Auction Sale Catalog for the sale of "Important Early American Bank Notes 1810 - 1874 From The Archives of the American Bank Note Company". I've anxiously awaited this, as I believed it contained information that amounts to a rarity guide for bank note proofs.

I found it interesting that the notes are well described, but not described as proofs. In most cases they describe the sales of uncut sheets of notes. They describe the notes as being mounted on cards (which some proofs are) or stamped (which applies to unmounted proofs), and they describe some as having pinholes. Does "pinholes refer to the four or six holes intentionally punched into proofs?

Anyway, I'm thrilled to have the catalog and will probably spend some time summarizing the data into a spreadsheet.

If you are interested in obsoletes you should try to acquire one of these catalogs.

- Greg

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 2:54 pm 
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Here is a preliminary draft of a spreadsheet I derived from the Christies catalog listings for Tennessee proofs from ABNco.

- Greg


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:06 pm 
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Hi Greg, Any idea how to purchase this catalog. I've tried for a while but can't locate one. I lost a bid on ebay a while back and never came across one again.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:44 pm 
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One just popped up on eBay yesterday -- it closes Monday night. I'm too tired to link to it correctly, but it's item number 110297805034.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 am 
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It occurs to me to wonder whether Christies would have any objection to having this catalogue converted to PDF and made available on this web site. I'll ask them.

- Greg


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:54 pm 
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Thanks for the info, I'll check it out.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 8:49 pm 
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Greg Davis wrote:
It occurs to me to wonder whether Christies would have any objection to having this catalogue converted to PDF and made available on this web site. I'll ask them.

Great idea Greg.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:48 am 
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Christie's VP and Associate Counsel declined "for a variety of branding and legal risk reasons". Oh well, it was worth a try. In ten years we could do it without asking. ;)


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 2:11 pm 
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I did bid on the ebay catalog and won, so in a way I'm glad it won't be online. :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 2:35 pm 
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Yes, I understand that sentiment.

On the other hand, I'm a strong advocate of putting information into the public domain, and would very much like to see this particular information available to all who are willing to assist with this project. I don't like the fact that to be an effective part of the database project you first have to buy an expensive used book that is of no business use to the original publisher, but is withheld from the public domain simply to protect the "brand". If I'd been given permission I would have gladly destroyed my copy to make the information available to all at no cost.

- Greg


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:05 pm 
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Also since the catalog is only available in the secondary market, Christie's is not loosing any money by the digitization. It would be different if they were still selling the catalog.

Since, they do digitize their new catalogs, would it be worthwhile asking if they would digitize the catalog and put it on their website? It could be available for free as the present catalogs are or they could even sell the pdf file?

Since you have "digitized" the whole catalog (except for the pictures) by putting essentially all of the words from the catalog into Excel and are making it available online, is this a copyright infringement?

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:05 pm 
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Everything we've done so far falls within the fair use clause of copyright laws. We're good. What they're mostly interested in protecting is their brand, and nothing we've done diminishes the Christie's brand.

- Greg


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 7:28 am 
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I've given this some additional thought, and I think I've come up with a way to make the information available to researchers without violating the copyright law. While I am between batches of catalogues to transcribe I'll start the process of scanning this information in. When I'm done I'll either have the entire catalogue in a spreadsheet or a Rich Text Format (RTF) file readable by world processors (such as Word or Wordpad). It will take a while, and the resulting file will be large, but it will be available to no charge to those that want to help with the projects.

- Greg


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:13 am 
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So it would NOT violate copyright laws if it is in the form of a spreadsheet or RTF?
But a pdf would violate copyright laws?

It there a good place online to try to understand copyright laws related to our issues?

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:58 am 
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Copyright law is a generally misunderstood law. You can read about it here: http://www.copyright.gov/

To address your question of why the format matters, I don't really think it does. Frankly, I think I am well within my rights to create a PDF version of the catalogue and distribute it here for use in a research project. I would traverse the legal line if I was trying to use their material for monetary gain or if my use of the material in any way undermined their ability to make money (i.e. undermined their credibility, impacted their ability to sell the catalogues, or diminished their brand). Since the use to which I would put the information does none of those things, and because the use to which I would put the information is limited and educational in nature, it doesn't violate the law.

I sought their permission as a means of precluding any possible assertions of misconduct. They chose not to give me permission, which is their right. Without permission I still have the ability to utilize the material, so long as I stay within "fair use" guidelines. If you're curious, you can look into the "fair use" clause here.

- Greg


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