lardbucket: merry christmas, 2015


Merry Christmas, 2015

Filed under: General — Andy @ 12:00 am

And so we’re about to round out 2015. I haven’t done much public of note (other than what’s already documented on this blog), but hopefully everyone has had a productive and enjoyable year. Here’s to a 2016 that’s even better.


  1. Dear Andy Schmitz, you have a pirated copy of my book “Business Ethics Workshop” up on your website, please take it down, thanks you, James Brusseau


    Comment by James Brusseau — 1/15/2016 @ 5:04 pm

  2. James Brusseau: That’s not really a comment on this post, but it’s also quite an inflammatory claim, particularly given that it is false.

    I assume you found my blog via the second page of that PDF, which notes that I am distributing it, as well as giving links to the project’s main page and attribution page, both of which explain in detail exactly how and why the books are legally hosted on my website.

    To briefly summarize because you’ve brought that discussion here: your book, along with many others, was available under a Creative Commons license (by-nc-sa 3.0 unported), directly from the publisher as of December 29, 2012. That license, which is non-revokable, allows anyone who obtains a copy of the book to redistribute it under the same terms, as long as it is not used commercially. That is exactly what I am doing in the PDF you’ve linked to, as well as in the browseable version at

    Since the time I downloaded copies of those books, the publisher has removed their free access to the books. However, I can still redistribute the books according to the terms of the license they had when I downloaded them, and I am doing so. (The Creative Commons license gave the publisher a number of additional rights, such as asking me to remove the attribution statements generally required by that license, and I have done so per their request, which is also why I’m not naming them here.)

    I do find your comment interesting in light of section 1.1 of the book in question, and its discussion of the ethics (or lack thereof) of “kickback textbooks”, particularly given that your two upcoming Pace University Spring 2016 sections of PHI 121 list a digital copy of your own book as a “required package”. Perhaps your students will find it an amusing coincidence as well.

    At any rate, it is clear that at the time the book was downloaded, it was licensed in a way that allows me to redistribute the book in perpetuity, and that the licensing was intentional (indeed, that fact was widely used as a selling point by the publisher, both to encourage teachers to adopt the textbooks, and to encourage authors to publish with them). I certainly appreciate you choosing to publish your book in such a way, as it has made the content available to tens of thousands of additional learners.

    I would appreciate a retraction of your claim that I am in some way hosting a pirated copy of your textbook, as it is clear that this is not the case.

    Thank you,
    Andy Schmitz

    Comment by Andy — 1/15/2016 @ 6:31 pm

  3. Mr. Brusseau’s comment is not false. You have published my book under the wrong title “A Primer on Politics.” It wasn’t even published until 2013, so to say it was available by license in 2012 is bullshit. You need to take my book down. I have contacted my publisher; my attorney will follow.

    Comment by T.M. Sell — 3/23/2016 @ 9:28 pm

  4. Mr. Sell: A couple of things are worth making note of here. The above blog post has no context on the books in question, but it’s the venue you’ve chosen for some reason, so I’ll have to give a bit of background.

    The books published on are books that were downloaded in 2012, with no exceptions. They were downloaded from a publisher who made all of their books available under a Creative Commons license through the end of 2012. I then made those books available pursuant to the terms of that Creative Commons license, which allows redistribution under a few conditions (to which I have scrupulously adhered). Notably, the Creative Commons license is non-revokable, and the fact that the publisher no longer makes all of their books available under the license is irrelevant.

    The reason I am not naming the publisher here is that they later contacted me and asked me to remove the authors’ names as well as their own name from the attribution of all of the books. They are allowed to make this request under the Creative Commons license they chose, and I am required to adhere to it, so I have. They further requested that I change the name of all of the books to not match the names they were using to promote the books, and again I have complied with their request. (This is the reason that your book is published “under the wrong title” – were it not for your publisher asking me to change it, I would have used the original title and attributed it to you.)

    As for the claim that your book “wasn’t even published until 2013,” I can assure you that the copy of the book that I am hosting was indeed available in 2012. It was listed at http://catalog.[publisher's domain name].com/bookhub/reader/5913 at the time I requested it, and the publisher’s server helpfully responded including a header with the date: “Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2012 05:15:42 GMT”. This was firmly inside 2012 by any definition and time zone. At that time, I verified that the book listed a Creative Commons license. The actual content of the book (as it was spread across several pages) was downloaded between “Sat, 29 Dec 2012 06:41:34 GMT” and “Sat, 29 Dec 2012 06:41:39 GMT”, as reported by your publisher’s server, just over an hour later. Finally, after I finished downloading everything – and before the end of 2012, I went back once again, and verified again that the Creative Commons license was indeed still present on each book, including yours. I have thorough documentation of all of this, including additional detail and full responses from your publisher’s server.

    What may explain the apparent discrepancy is that the book I have listed on my website has disclaimers on virtually every page, added by you or your publisher, indicating, “PLEASE NOTE: This book is currently in draft form; material is not final.” So, while the final copy of the book may have been published in 2013, the draft copy was available online, and was licensed under the Creative Commons by-nc-sa 3.0 license, toward the end of 2012, when I downloaded it. This draft copy, available under the Creative Commons license in question, is the one I am hosting.

    As was the case when Mr. Brusseau made similarly incorrect accusations, I would appreciate an apology. It is clear that I am only hosting copies of books which were available under a Creative Commons license at the time I retrieved them.

    Comment by Andy — 3/24/2016 @ 10:01 pm

  5. Hello!
    Please can you email me the the author, year of publish, publisher of the book Primer on Communication studies, the pdf is very helpful for an assignment, however at the moment I am unable to use it as a reference because I am required to Harvard reference it.

    Many thanks!

    Comment by Student Z — 4/16/2016 @ 5:35 am

  6. Student Z: Unfortunately, the publisher of that book has asked me to remove all attribution from that book, so I’m unable to properly attribute it to the author. You may be able to find the original by copying a sentence or so and doing a search for it, which may return the original publisher’s copy. (I don’t actually know if that will work in this case, as I haven’t tried it, but it frequently does for other books when I’m trying to find their sources.)

    Comment by Andy — 4/17/2016 @ 10:23 am

  7. Andy!

    We went to High School together, and it’s kind of goofy I came across your blog today when looking up a map of Southwest Asia. Crazy how that works out. Thanks for providing so many resources on here.

    Had a question about something kind of…out there, but I figured you know computer stuff really well and could assist me. I need to get a full text RSS feed for my blog in order for another website to post my blog posts on their site (I can go into more detail if needed!), but everything I’ve offered them ( and utilizing another full text feed website) doesn’t seem to provide the full text they need….any ideas?

    Sorry for dump this on you in your comment section like this! Hope things have been going outstandingly well for you after all this time.

    Comment by Jonathan Slusar — 5/2/2016 @ 4:06 pm

  8. Jonathan Slusar: Jon! Crazy indeed. To show the full content of WordPress posts in the feed, you should be able to log in to WordPress, go to the Settings page, the Reading tab, and under “For each article in a feed, show”, pick “Full text”. After that, your feed should indeed start showing the full text for each post, rather than a snippet. Good luck! (Sometimes themes might override that setting, but they’re not really supposed to.)

    Comment by Andy — 5/4/2016 @ 7:34 am

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